Hands of Honour: The Legacy of Paul Talliard

by | Feb 26, 2021 | Heartivist Of The Week

There are people who are born with a light inside, capable of illuminating the path of those who are lost in the labyrinth of life and cannot find a way out.

Paul Talliard was one of these rare gems of humanity; a man who dedicated his life to helping those who had lost everything. His own story of healing was an inspiration for others, and although he passed away last month, his legacy of service will ripple out forever.

Paul was many things; an important part of our global family of changemakers, an early recipient of seed funding from The Pollination Project, and the visionary founder of a project called Hands of Honour.

He was a firefighter and family man who lost everything to addiction. A random act of kindness inspired him to ask Glenda, the supervisor of a soup kitchen he frequented, to help him get control of his life. He dedicated himself to serving young and adult men in Cape Town who were living as he once did, homeless and dependent on handouts. He started the support group  that would become Hands of Honour, an award-winning Social Enterprise upcycling waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

“It isn’t enough just to reintegrate homeless men into society. Their rehabilitation should inspire and restore their dignity by giving these men a way to pay it forward,” Paul said in founding Hands of Honour.

The model Paul created was unique: businesses donate their unwanted goods to Hands of Honour to be upcycled, which creates jobs and skill-building opportunities for the boys and men Hands of Honour employs. Paul used some of that income to create learning resources for local school children and provided many other opportunities for those he served to volunteer in their communities. To date, this work has saved 369 tons of waste from entering a landfill, employed 14 boys and men, can call up to 50 members for a volunteer project, and distributed 80 Early Childhood Development Classroom on Wheels units to under-resourced children’s centers.

Even while growing Hands of Honour, Paul always found time to give back to The Pollination Project’s global family. He served as a grant advisor and mentor to new changemakers since 2016, donating countless hours to helping other would-be visionaries on their own unique path to creating a kinder, more compassionate world.

“I have learnt so much from my experience at TPP; I feel I have grown as a human being and changemaker. As Margaret Mead stated  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing it ever has,” Paul once told us.

Our grants manager Tara remembers Paul this way: “If I had the opportunity to design the perfect TPP grantee, it likely would have looked like Paul Talliard. A humble man who took his life’s learnings and used them to drive local change. Paul had a heart for the people and for ensuring he did everything during his physical time on this planet to lift up others, whether it be through sharing stories of his past or constructing mobile classrooms for the generations of the future. His voice was grounding and reassuring, which is uncommon. A special man who eloquently reminded us all that despite our mistakes and choices of the past, we all have the ability to learn, listen, and act.”

People like Paul never really leave us and continue to live through their legacy. He is in the eyes of the marginalized who have found hope and dignity, in the hands that work, transform and create a new future, and in the fierce spirit of all those who put their dedication where their beliefs are.

We will miss our friend, but we will honor Paul’s legacy by opening our own hearts and hands in the continuous search for that magic that transforms a human being into an extraordinary changemaker.


To know more and/or to contribute with time, expertise or donations, please visit https://handsofhonour.co.za


Academic professionals Carla Forte Maiolino Molento and Rodrigo Morais-da-Silva founded Cell Ag Brazil at the end of 2023 with support received from The Pollination Project. The objective of the newly created association is to reflect, contribute, and promote the development of cellular agriculture in Brazil through proactive promotion and unifying actions among different audiences interested in the development, production, and commercialization of food through cell cultivation processes. 
With a seed grant, they founded the organization and designed a logo that represents their mission. They are now inviting people and organizations to participate in the association so that it gains greater relevance. 
Their members will be distributed across three chambers: 1) academia, 2) private sector, and 3) third sector and civil society. With this, they aim for diverse representation and to create a positive movement to act in different areas to promote and accelerate alternative proteins in Brazil and Latin America.
Billions of animals involved in food production in Brazil will be impacted in the medium to long term from this work. Data from IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) indicates that approximately 6.1 billion chickens, 56.5 million pigs, and 30 million cattle were slaughtered in Brazil in 2022. 
With this association, Carla and Rodrigo may help reduce the number of non-human individuals involved in food production as they help to speed up the replacement process with alternative proteins.
In this World Day of Social Justice we celebrate the transformative impact of The Pollination Project and our dedication to seeding the essential change our world needs. Since its inception, The Pollination Project has been at the forefront of empowering grassroots initiatives, providing the crucial support needed for small-scale projects to blossom into powerful agents of social change.

Our unique model of micro-granting has enabled a diverse array of projects across the globe, touching upon various facets of social justice including environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and human rights. From providing clean water solutions in remote villages to empowering women through education and entrepreneurship, we always believed in the power of individual action to create a collective impact.

Each project funded is a testament to our faith in the inherent goodness and potential of every person to contribute meaningfully to the betterment of society. These initiatives not only address immediate community needs but also foster a culture of empathy, equity, and inclusiveness - essential pillars for achieving true social justice.

On this World Day of Social Justice, let's draw inspiration from the myriad projects The Pollination Project has nurtured. Their work reminds us that each small seed of kindness and action can indeed grow into a mighty force for good, paving the way for a more just and compassionate world.