WHO WE ARE
Community_Works is a small group of concerned, active and creative professionals from varied backgrounds ranging from Social Anthropology, Architecture, Design, Art, Education, Marketing and Business. These collective skills are used to empower marginalised peoples, involved in projects, through creative employment, effecting a positive change to their lives.
The group began their work with two groups of artisans, those of Penang Prison and St Nicholas home for the blind in July 2006. This experience exposed the need to provide a creative edge to their existing merchandise, design new products and provide new economic avenues to support their work.
VISION / AIMS
The Aims of Community_Works are to:
• identify social organizations or challenged individuals with an interest in arts and crafts.
• provide training in product techniques and designs, as well as business, presentation and marketing skills.
• become a source for funding of Community_Works Projects
• envision a merchandise / retail outlet for products from Community_Works’ Projects
• nurture and promote a community of socially conscious friends of the arts and crafts
Community_Works currently raises its own funds from private contributions and product merchandising at the Little Penang Market, a monthly craft and design market which promotes traditional, creative, contemporary products from Malaysia. The market also creates an opportunity to observe consumer market trends. Products from the Community_Works Project artisans are also merchandised there.
Community_Works products are also sold through other outlets such as The Tropical Spice Garden and the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion.
COMMUNITY_WORKS PROJECTS (CWP)
CWP is currently working with The Penang Prison, St Nicholas Home and has created a + Women Programme supporting such organisations as May Support Group, Women’s Centre for Change (WCC), and other challenged individuals.
CRAFT ENHANCEMENT PROJECTS
For each social organisation, which comes under the CWP craft enhancement banner, the aims and objectives will be to:
• research and study the existing craft training, design and merchandising for any existing shop.
• recognize the strengths, weaknesses and potential of the current system and products.
• explore and develop the creative potential from participants in the craft workshop and retail outlet, their wants, needs and aspirations.
• identify individuals to support as future facilitators and role models for the programme.
• promote self-worth and financial independence.
PENANG PRISON / ST NICHOLAS’ HOME FOR THE BLIND
The Penang Prison and St Nicholas Home projects will both be a two-year program for Community_Works Projects-craft enhancement.
The aim of these projects is to expand the potential of their existing craft shops through improved merchandise designs and crafts, enhanced marketing skills and markets as well as to develop the potential and skills of the prison inmates in preparation for their new life after rehabilitation.
The project also intends to help source/search for raw materials in order to expand the product potential, improve the marketability of the products as well as research for new markets.
Community_Works has taken the opportunity of testing product desirability versus consumer preferences at The Little Penang Market -since July 2006- in order to assess products currently available at their product Gift Shops.
CW is currently working with challenged women who are intent in supporting themselves and their families and are working positively to overcome their situations, such as, illness, abandonment or abuse. CW is both sponsoring stalls for such women, at the Little Penang Market, and designing and purchasing products made by then for the market and other retail outlets.
From time to time, CWP will assist social organisations raise funds for projects related to our aims and visions, using the skills and potential of our volunteer team.
MAY SUPPORT GROUP – May support group, identified as the first social organisation in Community_Works ‘+ Women’ programme, is a member of the Family Planning Association, Penang, and is a voluntary charitable organisation registered in 1961. The group supports women and families infected and affected by HIV, poor single women-headed households, and former drug-users and their families. Currently they run three support-centres, but see the need for a new support centre for their many clients based in Prai and Butterworth.
Community_Works, in collaboration with May support group orchestrated a fundraising event in November 2006, in order to set up the centre and establish creative business programmes. RM80,000 was raised from the Penang Premier of the Malaysian Movie, The Red Kebaya.
By supporting Community_Works we are helping others to help themselves.
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