A HEART PROJECT izandla zethu



‘izandla zethu’ means ‘our hands’ in the African language isiXhosa. Our hands are made to move and create things.

This idea inspired Michaela Römer to set up a project that offers young people the opportunity to learn a demanding craft and thus provide for their own livelihood.

After a visit to the masifunde CHANGEMAKER ACADEMY in Walmer Township Port Elizabeth, the master goldsmith was so impressed by the work with children and young people in the township that she wanted to implement this vision right here and with these people: To pass on the knowledge she has acquired over many years, as well as skills and experience to some of these young people, so that they can earn money by working with their own hands.

Together with her daughter – and best critic – Noemi, Michaela Römer then traveled to Port Elizabeth a little over a year ago to conduct a first workshop with interested young people… That was the first step with izandla zethu on a rocky road. And now, after a year of training, planning, handholding, social media and word-of-mouth advertising, izandla zethu® is now a registered trademark and the baby is starting to take off… much slower than expected… but hopefully with an independent future.

“There is still so much to do… and we may have only been able to really help a few people in a sustainable way… but it was worth it. And in keeping with the current wisdom: ‘If you like it, share it’, we’d be delighted if you’d share the idea and – perhaps even own a piece of handmade jewelry from izandla zethu® – african jewelry yourself,” Michaela Römer tells us.




Photos: Maggy Melzer Photography

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