Our Story

Our Story

Various volunteers and heart-shaped initiatives for The Secret Love Project
Non-profit company that supports the homeless

Our Story

Spreading the love since 2014

The Secret Love Project is an urban artwork. It was created as an official project for World Design Capital 2014 in Cape Town. The theme for WDC2014 was "Live Design, Transform Lives" and artists were invited to submit proposals for works of art that could improve people's lives. Michael Elion conceived an urban artwork that would use the heart shape placed in city space to enrich the city by subliminally influencing people's perceptions of the city and in turn positively influencing their behaviour. 

The Beginning
Initially heart stickers were placed on lamp poles throughout the city and sold from various outlets and people were encouraged to participate in this collaborative effort to beautify the city with hearts. Heart stickers were given for free to the homeless and destitute to sell to uplift themselves from extreme poverty and to have meaningful exchanges with members of the community. 

The Evolution
The project evolved into a registered charity in 2014 and with its enormous appeal to both the homeless beneficiaries and the community as a whole it evolved into a full-blown charity in 2018 supporting hundreds of destitute, vulnerable and homeless people. Every heart sticker sold represents a positive interaction and the symbol contributes the greater artwork of spreading a message of love in the world.
The Secret Love Project Charity Heart Campaign in Cape Town

Our Vision

To create The LovEconomy; a socio-economic system that prioritises and incentivises compassion, sharing and collaboration as building blocks of community prosperity. Its purpose is for communities to derive collective benefit and financial profit by helping each other and working together. Collaborating in building stronger, safer, healthier, happier and more inclusive communities. The currency that underpins all transactions in The LovEconomy is the heart shape.

Our Mission

Spread love in the world by helping the destitute to uplift themselves and feel welcome in society. We give free heart stickers to vulnerable members of the community to sell to the public (they keep 100% of their sales). This creates employment, reduces petty crime, and allows the seller to take care of themselves (food, shelter, clothing, hygiene) and their families. It instills a sense of purpose and restores their pride and dignity.
The Secret Love Project Charity Heart Campaign in Cape Town

Our Vision

To create The LovEconomy; a socio-economic system that prioritises and incentivises compassion, sharing and collaboration as building blocks of community prosperity. Its purpose is for communities to derive collective benefit and financial profit by helping each other and working together. Collaborating in building stronger, safer, healthier, happier and more inclusive communities. The currency that underpins all transactions in The LovEconomy is the heart shape.

Our Mission

Spread love in the world by helping the destitute to uplift themselves and feel welcome in society. We give free heart stickers to vulnerable members of the community to sell to the public (they keep 100% of their sales). This creates employment, reduces petty crime, and allows the seller to take care of themselves (food, shelter, clothing, hygiene) and their families. It instills a sense of purpose and restores their pride and dignity.
Offering the homeless a lifeline out of poverty

Meet Michael Elion

Creating good vibes

The Secret Love Project was founded by artist Michael Elion. The project started as a social engineering experiment and developed into a collaborative artwork designed to spread love in the world.

 

Michael believes the simple, universally recognised heart shape is a symbol with mood-altering power. The simple heart shape signifies positivity and therefore stimulates positive emotions. The little heart stickers all form part of his larger work; good emotions and behaviour initiated by positive collective awareness and helping the homeless lead a self-fulfilling life.

 

The Secret Love Project is now an established non-profit company that supports over 600 homeless people in Cape Town.
Various artworks by Michael Ellion Shevel, the founder of The Secret Love Project and volunteers around Cape Town