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VUVUZELAS GOING GREEN FOR 2010

South Africans are getting ready to become the centre of the world for four weeks in 2010. This is when we will showcase the mother of all soccer games - the FIFA World Cup. Among the many benefits of the World Cup for South Africa, are some special 2010 programmes. Green Goal Action is a 2010 programme aimed at protecting the environment in 2010 and beyond.

Green Goal Action is an official 2010 FIFA World Cup greening programme. It aims to help people make the event as environmentally friendly as possible.

As part of the city's Green Goal Action, a programme was started in Cape Town to produce a special kind of the vuvuzela. The city's Green Point stadium is scheduled to host eight games including a semi-final.

Kelp

The vuvuzela is loud, and it's proud, and it's part of South African soccer culture. It is so important that special permission was given to allow it into stadiums during the 2010 World Cup.

This truly South African 'trumpet' is usually made from plastic. But it is hoped that the latest environmentally-friendly vuvuzelas, will be just as popular. These vuvuzelas are made from kelp, a large brown seaweed that is found all along South Africa's coast.

School project

The man who started the kelp vuvuzela project is graphic designer and illustrator, Adam Carnegie.

He said the idea of making kelp vuvuzelas for 2010, came from his son's school craft project. "We had to come up with an idea where all the children in the class could participate in a craft project to raise funds at a school fete," he said.

He had seen the decorated kelp horns before and thought it would be a good project for the entire class. The horns turned out to be very popular at the school fete and were quickly sold out.

Creating jobs

Carnegie realised that these horns could also be popular among tourists, especially during the 2010 World Cup when more people are expected to visit the country. He saw it as a business opportunity that would create jobs. At the same time it would develop skills and teach people about the environment. His idea led to the Kelp Environmental Learning Project, also known as Kelp.

The project grew so big, that he moved his workshop from his home to a shop in Kommetjie. Here he employs many unemployed men and women. He trains them to paint decorations on the kelp horns.

Works of art

Kelp, collected from local beaches, come in different shapes and sizes. Before painting on the kelp it is dried out in the sun. The horns are then transformed into colourful works of art, each one with its own special shape and patterns.

"I'm hoping that tourists will buy these beautiful works of art and take them home to remind them of South Africa," Carnegie said.

- Aisha Ismael