From Me to You
A 6-book series of children's stories inspired by the elderly of Cape Town.
From Me to You is project that was created in order to reveal the wisdom of the marginalised society of the elderly who live in old age homes. Six elderly were chosen to be interviewed about their lives, moral convictions, and what they have learned over the years.

Each story is based on one individual and their wisdom. Each addresses a social problem and then attempts to give a solution for that problem.

Two books are created entirely out of secondhand fabrics and materials, to emphasize the cradle to cradle theory of old becoming new. Techniques incorporated into the books included sewing, screen-printing, applique, hand embroidery, printmaking, crochet, as well as skills possessed by the elderly.

A closed loop system was created as elderly of the community were able to contribute to the younger generation in their community. The project ended off with a reading session at the local library with 40 3-5 year olds and the elderly who were involved.

The following story is based on the wisdom of Mr. Subkleve.
inspired by the life of my dear friend, Les Subkleve.
 There once was a world called Impatience.
 Everyone there agreed there was never enough time.
 One day, someone noticed a building was falling apart.
And when the people looked around, they noticed nearly everything else was breaking too.
 They slowly began to realise this could be happening because they always did everything too quickly,
since they believed time was running out.
 And when people made things, they did it as fast as possible so they could go do something more enjoyable.
But their world was continuing to fall apart.
So they decided to slow down and relearn how to make things the right way.
The people found the new work so enjoyable, that they didn't want to rush through it anymore.
It was then that they knew they could be proud of their work and that made them happy.

What's missing in the world today is patience. Everyone wants to do things as quick as possible and no one knows how to slow down anymore.
Les Subkleve (paraphrase)

 "the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person."
andy rooney
The following story is based on the wisdom of Ms. Fortuin.
 inspired by the life of Daphne Fortuin
 There once was a land called Gimme.
 Everyone spent their days wishing for things they didn't have.
"If only I could have that, then I would be happy," they'd say to themselves.
They wanted to have those nice things very much, but they didn't want to do anything to get them.
 So each person sat down, lifted their arms up, opened their hands & cried "Gimme!"
 They waited for a long time. Nothing happened, but their hands opened wider & they still demanded, "Gimme!"
 Their arms were weak from never doing any work & so they grew tired.
 As they lowered their arms from the pain,
they could suddenly see all the other people of Gimme who were also sitting there begging.
As they began to interact with one another, they began to understand the needs of others.
Suddenly, their wants became less important to them.
They started coming up with ways to help each other with the things they already had.

And soon they realised all that they needed to be happy had been right in front of them the whole time.
 Loving one another, that's all you need.
Daphne Fortuin
"the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person."
andy rooney
 The following story is based on the wisdom of Ms. Roodt.
 inspired by the life of Jean Roodt
There once was a city called Silence.
 Everyone there kept to themselves.
 When they did speak, they spoke nonsense.
 Everyone was sad and felt alone.
No one had any friends, because they were too afraid to say how they were really feeling.
 So they sat in silence.
 Then one day, a brave little one asked, "Why?"
 Soon enough, everyone was talking to each other.
 They began to realise they were no longer afraid to say how they feel.
Being honest with each other made them happy.
And soon they all had friends.
 by being involved in others' lives,
you never have to feel alone because living in community is more enjoyable than living in isolation.
Jean Roodt (paraphrase)
 "the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person."
andy rooney
 The following story is based on the wisdom of Ms. Raby.
 inspired by the life of Elizabeth Raby
 There once was a city called Ignorance.
 Ignorance was a dark place, where light was spoken of as a myth. It was as if every day was night.
 Because they couldn't see, they often injured one another and got tangled together.
Lots of bad things happened in the dark and they became frustrated with each other.
 Until one day, when a child said, "There must be a better way."
She remembered a story she had heard about light,
so she went and found an old candle that had been thrown away years ago.
 It didn't look like much, but when she lit it, she could suddenly see, and others could too.
 Others were drawn to this light. It made them realise they didn't like the darkness anymore.
 They could see in the light. They could understand each other better and see why they were unhappy before.
They began to search for candles, so that they too could have this light.
 Then, those who were brave, took their lights and shone them proudly in their dark corners.
And because they were courageous enough to shine their light, everyone could see.
 i remember a song from my childhood "jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light; you in your small corner and i in mine."
you should stand up for what you believe in, even against those you respect.
Elizabeth Raby (paraphrase)
 "the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person."
andy rooney
 The following story is based on the wisdom of Mr. Taljaard.
 inspired by the life of Hans Taljaard
 There once was a town called Unawaria. It was known for being very beautiful.
 Yet everyone who lived there always seemed to be bored and just waited around for something to happen.
Nothing excited them. Nothing made them happy. And nothing ever made them smile.
 They had forgotten the beauty of Unawaria.
They never even thought to look around because to them, the buildings were ugly, the parks took up too much space,
the mountains never changed, the birds were too loud and the sea was always too cold.
 They were completely unaware of the beautiful place they lived in.

 Then one day, some visitors came to town.
 They walked around "ooh-ing" and "ah-ing" and gasping at all the wonderful things.
"Look at that!"  "Look over here!" they said to one another.
The Unawarians wondered what all the ruckus was about.
So they looked to where someone was pointing and there before them were the most beautiful flowers growing in a park.

 They couldn't believe their eyes. But for the first time in years, they smiled.
The Unawarians then decided to walk around the town and see what else they hadn't noticed.
At every corner was something new and wonderful.
So they walked around with new eyes and a new appreciation for the beautiful world around them.

 learn to appreciate and be thankful for all that is around you.
Hans Taljaard (paraphrase)
 "the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person."
andy rooney
The following story is based on the wisdom of Mr. Carew.
 inspired by the life of Eddie Carew
 There once was a suburb called Thoughtless.
 No one who lived there had a care in the world. They went about each day without considering what they were doing.
 Someone would tell them, "SAY THIS," and they would say it.
Another would say, "DO THAT," and they would do it without knowing why.
It was as if they didn't know how to use their brains.
 Then one day, someone said, "GO HERE," and another said, "GO THERE."
The people of Thoughtless became confused because they realised they couldn't do both.
"But which do we choose?" they asked one another.
Then someone said, "Maybe the answer is inside each of us and we should try to use that thing they call a brain.
What if everyone figured out on their own which way they must go?"

 So each thought it through, then went his own way. This was new for the people of Thoughtless.
They realised that although it was harder, everyone was much happier making their own decisions.
 And since then, each person in Thoughtless uses their brain by carefully considering and questioning everything
that a person says and does in order to be able to make decisions that are right for them and others.
 don't believe what you hear. go out and find out for yourself.
get off your hind legs, off your bum and see what's going on. don't just follow blindly.
Eddie Carew
"the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person."andy rooney
Reading Session
Fabric Books
The following fabric books created were donated to the Children's Section of the Cape Town Public Library to use for further use in reading sessions for local schools and creches.
Paper books are available for purchase. R55 each or R300 for the set of 6. Contact leahkirstendesign@gmail for purchase.