Recycle Swop Shop, Hermanus


The Recycle Swop Shop is a concept that began in Hermanus’ township, Zwelihle. One woman, dismayed by the lack of play-space and the litter that surrounded the children there, helped create the project, elegant in its simplicity. Children collect junk, receive goodies in return, and learn arithmetic alongside good values. Every Wednesday is Recycle Swop Shop Day in the Hermanus township of Zwelihle. It takes place at the Hou Moed (Chin Up) Centre, which comes alive with the laughter of children each afternoon. You’ll find some in a large hall, learning to ballroom dance. Others are gathered around pool tables. The pre-teens are picking through a box full of toys and the tots are rootling through a sandbox outside. In one part of the yard, you’ll see a long line of excited children, from tiny to teenage, starting to form in front of a fenced area.

Welcome to the Recycle Swop Shop, an innovative community development project in Hermanus that enriches children’s lives by encouraging them to take initiative and rewarding that effort.

Their mission is to help children help themselves.

The RSS has been doing just this since 2003. The project teaches children the value of effort, provides reinforcement of important educational concepts while giving them the opportunity to obtain essential items – their own stationery, toiletries and clothing.

Children collect recyclable material in their community and exchange or “swop” it for points at our RSS collection yard. Using the points, the children can buy items from the shop and also receive a “free” snack. It truly is a hand up and not a hand out.

The project is easily replicated and adapted to meet the needs of any disadvantaged community. They want to encourage people to set up their own Swop Shops in their areas so that more communities can benefit.


Contact the Recycle Swop Shop on Facebook or visit their website for more information!

Recycle Swop Shop, Hermanus

Projects that deal with similar themes: Education & Social Enterprise

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