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Colourful shoppers create opportunities for children and families in Alexandra thanks to Dis-Chem pharmacies’ partnership with Khulani Creatives

| On the move

Dis-Chem Pharmacies has recently partnered with Khulani Creatives, an income generating project aimed at empowering economically marginalised individuals in South Africa. The initiative is driven by Anna Maruma and Rose Vinqi, two grandmothers living in Alexandra, Gauteng, who sew the vibrant fabric bags that are now available in stores nationwide.

The bags are durable, eco-friendly, handmade, and good quality, and the sales from the bags go towards helping Anna and Rose, and other individuals just like them, care for and support their families and grandchildren in their care.

Rose supports four children, and two grandchildren and Anna looks after her household of her husband, two children and one grandchild through their work at Khulani Creatives. This income not only provides a place for them to live, food for them to eat and clothes to wear, but they are also paying school fees for their grandchildren. Jane Simmonds, founder of Khulani Creatives, explains that “for Anna and Rose, educating the next generation is so important. They know how an education can open doors for them, and they are steadfast in providing the children in their care with the best opportunities that they can.” The same goes for the women and men eager to join the project.

Khulani Creatives approached Dis-Chem towards the end of 2020 with the hope that the pharmacy group would support them in this initiative. Currently Anna and Rose are producing 1000 bags per month, however, with the assistance of the income generated from Dis-Chem sales, they will eventually be able to bring more men and women on board to help with the production, creating more job opportunities, and more output per month. Over the last four years, these men and women have been learning how to sew so that it is possible for them to join this venture when sales allow for it.

To date Dis-Chem has seen a positive reaction to the bags, with consistent sales month-on-month. Saul Saltzman, Group Executive at Dis-Chem, says “When we were approached about this collaboration, our immediate answer was yes. We are inspired by what Anna and Rose are doing to make an income and create a better future for their families and grandchildren in their care, and the quality and look of the bags fit into our Dis-Chem profile. Furthermore, Anna and Rose’s commitment to education and job creation aligns closely to Dis-Chem’s outreach priorities and if selling these bags allows us to fulfil this, then we are more than happy to get involved”.

You can find Anna and Rose’s bags in all Dis-Chem stores, retailing for R79.95. A percentage of every bag sold will be donated to the Dis-Chem Foundation which assists a number of NGO’s and charities. Over the next quarter, the target is to add more bags per month to the stores and increase revenue for the Khulani Creatives team allowing them to grow and bring more people on board. So next time you need a bag for your Dis-Chem purchases, rather swap out plastic for an eco-friendly, fun, beautiful fabric bag from Anna and Rose and be a part of helping with job creation and educating South Africa’s next generation.


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