Gaborone, Botswana (Gabane village)

/ Context:

Dibapalwa Nageng Cooperative Trust is made of six old women who collect the morula (sclerocarya birrea) fruits from the natural habitat and process them to add value in making organic sweets. This project aims at using local natural resources sustainably and in the process creates sustainable livelihoods of the women and their families. When we met Dibapalwa Nageng Cooperative Trust, we could see the value of what they were doing but they lacked the design input for their products to be competitive in the market. At first, the way the sweets were packaged was not appealing though they were of superior taste as compared to most sweets sold in retail shops. Through our design intervention, it was possible to assist the Trust to brand and position itself so that the products remain more competitive and promote healthy, natural organic sweets.

/ Case idea:

The case was viewed as part of sustainable use of natural resources to promote sustainable community livelihoods. In a way, this creates employment opportunities for the local people and brings income to the actors and their families.  The aim of the solution is to assist the Dibapalwa Nageng Cooperative Trust to better package and brand their products so that they remain competitive in a way to meet Botswana Bureau of Standards package design requirements.

/ Summary of the initiative:

  • The Trust is producing organic sweets and they were not selling to due lack of knowledge on packaging and branding.
  • Some of the members left the Trust because they could not see it growing and increasing its products line.
  • The shape of the sweets was not appealing to customers due to the fact that it was cut by hand and the sweets were irregular in shape.
  • Through the intervention of design students, we started by branding the Trust by designing the (logo, letterheads, business cards, signage etc.)
  • Then, design a package design for the sweets which is branded.
  • We are now working on the design of a sweets mould to standardise the sweets size as per the requirement of the Botswana Bureau Standards requirements.

/ Collaborative value:

The collaborative value is high as the people have to depend on each other based on trust, social skills, personal connection, the spirit of sharing and cooperation, voluntarism, the spirit of ‘Ubuntu’ – ‘you are because we are’ etc. for the success of the cooperative.  The case requires interpersonal skills because we are dealing with old women and one should have patience and innovative ways of working with them. Trust plays an important part because if there is no trust decision taken will not work because there will be ill-informed. Participants will hold back certain vital information which can make the project a success until they gain one’s trust.

/ More:

Dibapalwa Nageng Cooperative Trust (case description document)
Dibapalwa Nageng Cooperative Trust (presentation/images)