When I lived in Cusco, Peru, there were loads of street kids selling postcards to tourists. The reason tourists didn’t buy many was that the pictures were faded and old and not something you’d want to send your loved ones back home. But you wanted to help the kids, whose families relied upon the income to survive. The kids selling the postcards were doing that instead of going to school, so they were missing out on an education.
I’ve had an idea for a social enterprise project which would allow the kids to design their own postcards, which would be more attractive to tourists so they would sell more. Most of the profits would go into buying food, education, clothes etc. for the kids and their families. This is one of the ideas I’d like to pursue when I go to South America in a few weeks.
Kids art is so great. Hal and Betty, my friend Susie’s kids, made these fabulous thank you cards over Xmas.
I think designs like these would work well as postcards.
The designer Ella Doran had a competition in Tower Hamlets primary schools to design trays to sell in her lovely shop on Cheshire Street, with a cut of the profits going to that school. I think this is a great model and the products are gorgeous. Read an interview with her about it here