The Import.Ideen results show different perceptions and ways of life that the participants have observed during their volunteer service. Pictures and text document production processes and results, they show for example how new things can be recycled from old paper.
More examples: Import.Ideen Archive
Lower Saxony Protestant-Lutherian Mission Work (ELM)
Today I visit with Father Moagisanyo with my work colleague from the hospital in Ramotswa. She has told me a lot about him and we both collected a lot of material for him, and now I get to know him.
I tell him that I work with his neighbour and that I came to see how he repairs chairs. A smile spreads across his face, he slowly gets up, goes to the house and comes back with two chairs. He wants to explain it to me, unfortunately, he can not demonstrate it to me, as he currently has no chair at work.
In the village he looks for chairs that other people have thrown away because the back part or seat are broken. "It would be a shame to leave them on the roadside," he says.
At home, he takes away the remaining parts of the back and seat and weaves new seats in the chair, using the chair as a frame.
The materials that he uses for weaving the seats are plastic cords, that have been used for wrapping and bundling packages. In the hospital of Ramotswa we receive packages every week. My colleague collects the cords and brings them to Father Moagisanyo.
Father Moagisanyo repairs the chairs for free. The only thing that you need to do if you want a chair is to bring him the material. He can not say how long the repair service may take. Sometimes a week, sometimes three.
Father Moagisanyo radiates an amazing amount of calmness.
With his work he contributes to freeing the streets of Ramotswa from some rubbish. In addition, chairs are very important - the Batswana people like to sit in a shady garden and talk. Therefor, Father Moagisanyo’s chairs are high in demand. The fact that he makes these chairs from waste, and that he makes them for free, is part of his personality.
Saxony-Anhalt County Association for Children and Youths’ Cultural Education e.V. (lkj)
The sticky rice basket is the constant companion of every Laotian, present in every home and taken on every trip. It adapts to the modern world, fits on every motorbike and scooter, thus combining traditional food culture with modern mobility. Rice baskets are available in every imaginable size: huge are the ones that market women use, others are big enough to make rice for a family, or small versions for singles. Inside the basket, people store sticky rice, a special variety of rice that is staple food in Laos and northern Thailand. Sticky rice is served with almost every meal: meat and fish, salads and soups. The sticky rice basket is traditionally woven by hand from young bamboo. Some villages have specialized in bamboo weaving. Nevertheless, the work on a sticky rice basket can take up to two days, depending on size and decoration of the basket. This effort is estimated as much as the product itself. Every Laotian owns such a plentiful companion.
Lower Saxony Association for Education Initiatives e.V. (VNB)
Paper instead of plastic
A town of around 33000 inhabitants, situated in the mountains of the federal state of Tamil Nadu in India, has declared war on plastic bags! In 2000, the municipal administration of Kodaikanal decided to prohibit the use of plastic bags in order to curb the far-reaching pollution caused by the throwing away of packaging material.
This was the hour of birth of a unique project. Shortly after the ban had been imposed, “Polio Home”, a facility for the physically and mentally handicapped, began to produce bags and dishes from recovered paper.
Today, almost nine years after the project “Paper instead of plastic” was started, ten regularly employed female workers produce about 200 paper dishes and 400 paper bags daily that are used by all shops and stores in Kodaikanal.
Meanwhile, the product range of “Polio Home” has been extended. Polio Home’s newest creation comprises living accessories from recovered paper. After some experiments with paper and a glue mixture Polio Home found out that even the production of bowls, toys and mirror frames does not pose problems and that the outcome is very decorative.
The reorientation towards paper helped both the afflicted nature and the inhabitants of Kodaikanal. They take responsibility for nature and contribute to pass their knowledge on to tourists.