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G-lish on SBS Radio

Gayle Pescud

We're excited to share this interview with you on SBS radio. Godwin Yidana and Gayle Pescud, the co-founders of G-lish Foundation, were interviewed by Bertrand Tungandame at the SBS studios in Sydney. Thank you Bertrand and SBS Radio! The link to the interviews on SBS Radio Africa program is here. You can stream it online or download and listen to it. 

An excerpt from their site: 

G-lish Foundation is a not for-profit organisation from Ghana. It was established in 2010 by Gayle Pescud (Australia) and by Godwin Yidana (Ghana). G-Lish develops environmentally sustainable income generating projects to reduce poverty in rural communities in Ghana. From 5 producers at the beginning of its operations G-Lish has now attracted more than 80 producers. The majority of these producers are women. Some of G-Lish Foundations producers lived below the poverty line. Thanks to G-Lish foundation these producers have become financially secure and are now able to save. In most cases these women have also become the main income earners in their households. Their unique handcrafted items have had a very strong social, economic and environmental impact in their community.

Featured on Recycled Interiors Website

Gayle Pescud

Upon waking this morning, we were greeted with this visually stunning story about G-lish Foundation on Recycled Interiors, a site and business managed by Helen Edwards in South Australia. A little about Recycled Interiors:

"Recycled Interiors has a focus on health & wellbeing – in the home, at the individual level and from an environmental perspective – believing that design, architecture and interior decoration should focus on the health of people and planet, alongside function and form. We encourage people to use a blend of sustainable, locally designed, upcycled and vintage pieces in decorating their homes."

The Recycled Interiors ethos:

"Buying new things from local makers, craftspeople and artisans who are creating things in a sustainable way, seeking fair trade, and reusing, recycling and repurposing, means not only are you stopping something going to landfill but you are NOT buying something made in an unethical and damaging way.

An excerpt from the story about G-lish Foundation recycled textile art: 

"The Design Hunter has a selection of the beautiful woven textile artworks from G-lish, which are handmade from recycled fabric and plastic, using traditional basket weaving techniques. I was given this beautiful wall hanging to borrow so I could run a feature for the blog, but it is so beautiful I am buying it! Don’t you think it is made for our walls?!"

How We Began

Gayle Pescud

Our tiny granny flat in Bolga was filling fast with thousands of these plastic bags from the water we drank in 2009 when we first moved to Bolga. Little did we know we were surrounded by #value in the form of #rubbish. I refused to burn them, as most people do, or throw them on the ground, as is also common practice. So, our office turned into a plastic bag storage facility. I tried plaiting them after cutting them. No good. Then one day, Godwin was bored with malaria (it drives you to odd behaviour) and he began cutting the bags in a new way. Then he rubbed the strip against his leg, as you do with straw, and it turned into twine, the same way straw twines are made for baskets. That was our "aha" moment.

We called his cousin, Edna, to come and try making a basket. I spent a week cutting, Godwin spent a week twisting, and Edna spent a week weaving on our bedroom floor beside our mattress, then on the floor. That's how it began. With plastic. It turned out we could make beautiful baskets using plastic--it had never been done before in Ghana. It was innovative and transformative. It laid the foundation for our ethos which was environmentally sustainable income generating projects to reduce poverty in rural communities in Ghana.