WILDLANDS, a programme of the WILDTRUST in partnership with Solving7, a registered Not-for Profit organisation, handed over 100 green desks to local primary schools, Ndlelayabasha (50) and Hlangeni (50) Primary schools in the Willowfontein and Taylours Halt communities respectively, in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu-Natal (South Africa) yesterday. The Green Desk initiative was launched in 2016 by WILDLANDS and to date, over 10 000 school children have benefitted from these desks that have been distributed across South Africa including Limpopo, KZN, Gauteng and the Western Cape.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) there are as many as 95 million school children who do not have access to a school desk in Africa. In Southern Africa, the statistics are equally alarming, with over four million scholars requiring desks.
Solving7 recently joined forces with WILDLANDS to continue to make a difference in the disadvantaged communities across the country in addressing the acute shortage of desks in schools and provide a sustainable solution to the plastic waste problem. “Solving7 is a socio-environmental and educational NPO that seeks to make a difference in cleaning up the environment from the scourge of No. 7 plastic film waste whilst showing the consumers, manufacturers and producers of this plastic film waste that there is indeed a valuable end use solution for their waste and that is into much needed, literally indestructible, school desks,” says Nabila Wissanji and Sophia Ladha, the two main drivers behind Solving7.
Solving7, along with their recycling and extrusion partners are able to recycle dirty post-consumer multi-layered plastic film waste (previously considered unrecyclable) and convert it into durable, sturdy, environmentally friendly and much needed, school desks. Over 80 million single use plastic packages have so far been collected and recycled by Solving7 and WILDLANDS for their Green Desk projects.
While it is no secret that plastic is destroying our environments, rivers and oceans; through this partnership, we hope to address a multitude of issues and provide solutions for our communities which include poverty alleviation, job creation, educational upliftment and general wellbeing of these communities.
Ndlelayabasha and Inhlangeni Primary Schools are part of a Grade R training and mentorship programme run by Singakwenza, a local NPO, that uses resources made solely from recycling to help educators provide fun, educational activities that enable young children to learn through play. “These schools stood out from the rest as they showed dedication and commitment to our programme. Their budgets may be limited but they proved that our vision, which aims to build sustainable early childhood education programmes, in economically disadvantaged communities is possible,” added Julie Hay, CEO and Founder of Singakwenza, which means ‘we can do it” in isiZulu. “Huge thanks to WILDLANDS and Solving7 for these desks,” Hay concluded.
“WILDLANDS has played a leading role in facilitating the delivery of green desks into schools across South Africa helping over 10,000 school children. We collected waste, through our various partners, in sensitive ecological areas (rivers, communities, mangrove forests) and are now very excited to be partnering with Solving7 as a way of dealing with the plastic that we collect that cannot be recycled. This partnership fits in perfectly with our vision of a thriving and resilient world,” comments WILDTRUST CEO, Dr Roelie Kloppers.
Both schools were elated to receive these much-needed desks for their learners and thanked WILDLANDS, Singakwenza, Solving7 and their partners for making these desk donations possible. “During this time of uncertainty, we are comforted, encouraged and humbled by your generosity. We are so excited to receive this donation and extremely thrilled to have your support. You have truly made the difference for our leaners and the community at large,” concludes Mr Mosiea, Principal of Inhlangeni Primary school.
Image Captions: Please credit Mongezi Mbhele of WILDLANDS Image 1:
Front Row (L-R): WILDTRUST CEO, Dr Roelie Kloppers, WILDLANDS Marketing & Communications Deputy Director, Buyi Makhoba-Dlamini, Singakwenza Facilitator, Sthe Magwaza
Back Row (L-R): Solving7 Sophia Ladha, Solving7 Nabila Wissanji and Singakwenza CEO, Julie Hay
Front Row (L-R): Ndlelayabasha Principal, Mr Ntuli, Singakwenza Facilitator, Sthe Magwaza
Back Row (L-R): WILDTRUST CEO, Dr Roelie Kloppers, Solving7 Sophia Ladha and Nabila Wissanji
The jubilant learners of Inhlangeni Primary School in the Vulindlela District – South Ward
Front Row (L-R): Inhlangeni Primary School Principal, Mr Mosiea with learners
Back Row (L-R): Sophia Ladha, Inhlangeni HOD Ms Nombuso Ntoyi, WILDTRUST CEO, Dr Roelie Kloppers, Singakwenza Facilitator Sthe Magwaza, Inhlangeni Teacher Mrs Nosipho Mlotshwa, Singakwenza CEO Ms Julie Hay, Vulindlela District Circuit Manager Mrs Mazeka and Solving7 Nabila Wissanji.