The fantastic hanging garden imagined by the Bon Marché Rive Gauche, made of thousands of flowers designed by Thebe Magugu and made by 120 women supported by the Designing Hope association in Southern Africa, has anabled a new project to blossom: The Garden of Skills in Eswatini.

Les Porte-Bonheurs
Invité Thebe Magugu

le Bon Marché Rive Gauche

This forest of “Lucky Charms”, designed by designer Thebe Magugu, also illustrates one of the most beautiful human adventures undertaken by the Designing Hope: 
– 120 women from South Africa and Eswatini have been involved in the making of these 20,000 flowers, generating for them in 2020 an income that has enabled them to get through the Covid crisis with relative stability.

The sale of the flowers now makes it possible to raise the funds needed to set up and run the “Garden of Skills”, a demonstration and training centre in agroecology and agroforestry, but also to enable the women to develop craft skills and micro-project management. 

A look back at the genesis of the project

Thebe Magugu & le Bon Marché

A new rising figure in fashion, South African designer Thebe Magugu, 26 years old and winner of the LVMH prize in September 2019, is a committed designer, very concerned and involved on a daily basis by the cause of women, and sensitive to the situation of children living in the townships in South Africa.

After beeing a sponsor of the Uniforms & Differences operation of Designing Hope in 2019, here is a new story that associates the designer with the association and its actions in Southern Africa:
the exhibition and installation “Porte-Bonheurs, invité Thebe Magugu” at Bon Marché Rive Gauche.

Blossoming of a major event for the association

On the initiative of Frédéric Bodenes, Image and Creative Director, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche has called on Thebe Magugu for its next exhibition “Porte-Bonheurs”, to implement a unique project to support the association Dessine l’Espoir, in particular its work in Southern Africa.
“We are deeply committed to investing in philanthropic works, and it is in our DNA to do so through the prism of fashion,” says Patrice Wagner, Chairman and CEO of Groupe Bon Marché.

Common DNA with Designing Hope, which with its adventure “La Mode Dessine l’Espoir” (Fashion Designing Hope), has marked its 20 years of existence with collaborations with 80 designers, including the biggest names in fashion.

A spectacular installation

In March 2021, Le Bon Marché unveiled “Porte-Bonheurs”: a spectacular installation of 20,000 multicoloured fabric flowers designed by Thebe Magugu, made up as brooches stitched on countless lianas, suspended in the hopper and in the various areas of the shop. A vibrant and poetic staging for a charity project that is also extremely concrete.

Above, the words written in flowers in the windows of the Bon Marché Rive Gauche.

More than an artistic gesture, Thebe Magugu’s installation “Porte-Bonheurs” is the theatre of a fantastic philanthropic project. In December 2019, the teams from Le Bon Marché and Thebe Magugu spent two days with Designing Hope’s team in Johannesburg to design the original flower model. It was then sewn and embroidered by 120 vulnerable women in four workshops supported by the association, two in Eswatini, in Pigg’s Peak and Bulembu; and two in South Africa, in Roosboom and Johannesburg.

The flowers are available in the seven colours of the rainbow and two sizes. They all bear Thebe Magugu’s signature label. These singular flowers have been designed as lucky charms, which from Eswatini and South Africa to Paris, carry a message of generosity with generosity and delicacy.

Setting imagined for the atrium of the Bon Marché Rive Gauche, with a double cubic suspension of 16,000 flowers…

They will be on sale, in shops and on the Bon Marché site for the benefit of the Designing Hope for the duration of the event, and will be sent by post to their buyers once the installation is complete. 

Link to the site to buy the flowers online :

A significant local impact.

An income-generating activity for women …

The first phase of the project, consisting of making the 20,000 flowers, was a great opportunity for the 120 women involved. A considerable amount of work, carried out just before the Covid crisis, and which enabled so many families to pass the test of confinement in better conditions.

  • Here are some images of the making-of of the project

… Followed by a surge of generosity to fund a new project

All of these benefits will contribute to the implementation of the new Designing Hope project: entitled the “Garden of skills” located in the village of Malanti in Eswatini.

The idea? To bring together on the same site a forest garden (associating trees that fertilize the soil with market gardening) and a training and activity centre in the field of agroecology, crafts and micro-project management, open, in particular, to underprivileged women and youth. The “Garden of Skills” will provide them with equipped workshops for sewing, handicrafts, the processing and conservation of garden products and the acquisition of knowledge in nutrition.

  • Click here to discover the Garden of Skills.
    Bellow the presentation of this project by Cyrille Varet, président of the NGO.

The installation of chalets on the site will make it possible to welcome solidarity tourism and accommodate volunteers who can share their know-how during their stay. In the long term, they will constitute an additional resource for the self-financing of the “Garden of skills”.

Partnerships will also be forged with local schools, partners of the association, to offer workshops on agro-ecology, environmental awareness and nutrition.

More information :

Contact the NGO: +33 (1) 43 46 79 18 or by email :
Link to the site to buy the flowers online :
The link to the funded project :

This operation set up by the Bon Marché Rive Gauche: Lucky charms by Thebe Magugu and this new project which could be set up in 2021 in Southern Africa: “The Garden of Skills“, constitute a major step in the life of the association. This is the opportunity to look back on this human and creative adventure, which has animated Designing Hope since its creation in 2003.

Since 2003, year of its inception in Paris, Designing Hope has been building cultural and social bridges between France and several countries in Africa, supporting projects in the following areas:

Nutrition and access to a balanced diet, promoting family and organic agriculture, and developing food self-sufficiency projects based on agro-ecology, permaculture and agro-forestry,

Promotion of North-South and South-South exchanges of skills and experience in the field of sustainable agriculture, particularly by involving younger people,

Support for HIV-positive women , particularly in southern Africa, with awareness campaigns, nutritional support, social integration and income-generating projects,

Support to children and youths who are orphans or in vulnerable situations , with support in their education, nutritional and social care.

Since its creation, Designing Hope has relied on international artists and creators to carry out its actions, mobilise, raise awareness and create a human and cultural link between the countries where it operates.

A continuous presence on the ground

Since its creation, Designing Hope has been committed to supporting people affected by HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa, the most affected area in the world. Designing Hope has maintained a constant presence on the ground while developing its approach as the pandemic has evolved:

Thus, to prevention and anti-discrimination campaigns,
to the development of income-generating activities, a new component has been added since 2011: the promotion of agro-ecology to achieve food self-sufficiency and strengthen the immune system.

Combating discrimination

“In 2003, AIDS was experienced in Southern Africa as an unspeakable scourge, which plunged hundreds of thousands of women, most of whom were tested during pregnancy, into a situation of extreme precariousness: rejected by a spouse, not forced to be tested, these women were stigmatised.
It was then that the association developed its first anti-discrimination campaigns with the message of tolerance: “I Love You Positive or Negative”, while accompanying the women with income-generating projects. “, says Cyrille Varet, founding president of the association.

Millions of packaged condoms bearing this message combined with artwork by international artists interpreting the campaign were distributed in South Africa and Eswatini.

This campaign, supported by Unesco, was relayed in France at the Art Paris Art Fair between 2006 and 2013, mobilising nearly 100 international artists.

At the same time, the association has developed income-generating activities to help these women cope and gain professional skills. This is how the project Fashion Designing Hope was born.

Fashion Designing Hope

La Mode Dessine l’Espoir has been the association’s flagship project in this respect, mobilising over the years 100 designers among the biggest names in fashion around a generous approach: the creation of unique objects, made by people affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa.

The manufacture of these exceptional products has enabled these vulnerable people to gain access to substantial and sustainable additional income and to acquire skills in a number of craft activities, and has also contributed to the financing of field actions in favour of people affected by HIV and AIDS by Designing Hope.
100 renowned fashion designers have collaborated in this project by imagining one or more creations… Agnès b., Jean-Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Weswood, Karl Lagerfeld, Lolita Lempicka, Nina Ricci, Thierry Mugler , Paule Ka, Hugo Boss, Lanvin, Cacharel, Paul Smith, Emmanuel Ungaro, Maison Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Yves Saint Laurent ….

You can download the dossier presenting all the achievements of Fashion Designing Hope fashion here
or see below in pictures 18 years of creations:

Cultivate Hope

Since 2011, Designing Hope has been actively involved in food support programmes for vulnerable populations in Southern Africa. It also initiates educational gardens demonstrating sustainable farming techniques to a variety of audiences.

Each garden therefore has a particular vocation:
In South Africa, the Roosboom Garden is for young orphans in a day care home. In Eswatini, Designing Hope has set up educational gardens in 5 schools around Piggs Peak, which also produce vegetables for the canteens, as well as a community garden in Macambeni providing vegetables for orphaned children in the neighbourhood, as well as for the hospital’s HIV-positive patients (a project that won the Raja Awards 2020 Foundation).

In Lesotho, Designing Hope accompanies a school farm set up by The Ivory Foundation, which aims to raise awareness of sustainable agriculture among deaf and hearing-impaired young people. In Burkina Faso, Designing Hope supports a permaculture garden developed within the Laafi Village for the benefit of HIV-positive women from an association in Koudougou.

In order to create bridges with its educational gardens in Africa, Designing Hope, winner of the Parisculteurs award in 2017, has undertaken to create an educational garden on the roof of the Bercy school, a veritable laboratory of agro-ecology in an urban environment.

All these projects are networked within a dedicated platform :

More information :

Contact the NGO: +33 (1) 43 46 79 18 or by email :
Link to the site to buy the flowers online :
The link to the funded project :