Makers Valley Partnership: Streamlining Impact with Payper

Makers Valley Partnership: Streamlining Impact with Payper

The people at Maker’s Valley Partnership (MVP) and Love Our City Klean (LOCK) are doing incredible things for the communities within Maker’s Valley!

Located  on the east rand of the  Johannesburg central business district, South Africa, the communities that comprise Maker’s Valley have a rich history and cultural identity. Troyeville for example is the site of the very first Baptist church in Johannesburg and is popular as the residence of Mohandas Gandhi during his stay in Johannesburg. The area is also home to an array of artisans and has recently seen a rising tide in creative entrepreneurship, hence the community’s namesake. Despite this wealth of history and incoming opportunity, the communities comprising Maker’s Valley has been wrought with socioeconomic disparities; which have worsened uniformly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Poverty and unemployment is endemic to the area, with approximately 50% of residents reporting to be unemployed prior to the pandemic and associated containment measures. The community members most affected by the impact of unemployment have remained women and youth. Statistical evidence, as well as anecdotal reporting by residents show that this number is higher now coming out of the pandemic; particularly amongst those working in the service and informal sector. As a consequence of this, the community members are also vulnerable to food insecurity and cannot establish food sovereignty without the means to purchase sufficient and nutritious food.

These are the problems and challenges that the amazing people of MVP and LOCK are looking to overcome; through the development of a Maker’s Valley Food Hub and the use of a unique digital token known as MVPees.  For MVP, COVID-19 has highlighted the urgency for a new economy: one which has the wellbeing of individuals, communities and the environment at its center. The program that was designed by MVP and LOCK integrated the idea of informal waste management and long-term food security. In this initiative, community members were encouraged to collect recyclables at home and in the community, which they would then exchange at LOCK for a value of MVPee credits, that could subsequently be used to purchase food stuff from  the established MVP Swop Shop. The Swop Shop provides donated surplus food items such as Maize, Rice, Canned Foods, Noodles as well as donated vegetables and toiletry items, which are available at various point prices for the community members to then ‘shop’ from. Allowing residents to select items they need and actually enjoy promotes food sovereignty and directly  contributes to a more dignified food security experience.

The Swop Shop was piloted from July 2020 and had initially relied entirely on the manual registration and administration of beneficiaries through paperwork. “It used to take really long to register the residents, and keeping record of the points that they earned for each bag they recycled became really difficult at some stages, especially when there were many people” according to MVP program leader Johanna Monama, known locally as Jo-Jo. The introduction of the Payper platform into this project has streamlined this process rather significantly; “Everything is easier to track and manage with Payper, residents don't need to record their points on pieces of paper anymore, they just need their account number and everything is sorted [out]” continued Johanna. Currently the Swop Shop is fully digitized, with all transactions happening through the Payper platform. MVP has expressed a desire to introduce MVPees into other programmes within the community stating;

“Our hope is that this platform and MVPees would serve as a more widespread Community Currency which would unlock many more opportunities in the Makers Valley beyond the Community Swop Shop one day. This would bring about a virtually connected community that is rewarded for volunteerism and further driving our mission and goal for a Wellbeing Economy.”

At the same time LOCK will be launching their unique token at their other sites around Johannesburg, replicating and developing the model that they’ve designed in partnership with MVP. The people at MVP and LOCK are doing incredible work in the community of Makers Valley, and Payper is proud to be involved as their digital platform.

Liam Smith