As the COVID-19 pandemic has developed over the past months and more research becomes available on how to address the virus, the simple act of washing hands has steadfastly remained the central tenet of protecting ourselves and others. Schools are re-opening across the country under strict COVID-19 protocols, which of course include the need for frequent hand-washing and sanitizing. However, a significant number of South African schools, do not have running water and/or hand washing stations.
Woolworths and the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme have announced that funding to the value of over R1.7 million is going towards rolling out water tanks, hand washing units and hand sanitiser stations at schools in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape. 18 new schools are receiving water tanks and hand washing units, while the previous years’ beneficiaries of water tanks are receiving hand washing units. A total of 49 handwashing units will be installed to help these Eastern and Western Cape schools improve protection for learners and educators. In addition, as they return to school, 50 000 learners across the country will receive their own personal hand sanitiser.
For many years, Woolworths and the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme have been addressing water insecurity at schools through annual donations of rainwater harvesting tanks and infrastructure for schools that participate in the Woolworths Education Programme. The water tanks and grey water systems are typically used to improve sanitation and water supply, as well as provide water for food gardens that are essential to the schools’ feeding schemes. Two years ago they established the Water Fund so that customers can also help raise funds for sustainable water solutions at under-resourced schools by simply swiping their MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet cards.
“It’s vital that teachers and learners are able to wash and sanitise their hands frequently,” says Thando Tladi, Woolworth Education Programme Manager. “Our schools must be safe and healthy environments. The global crisis is putting the country under pressure to address long-standing issues around water insecurity at schools, and we felt it was important that we partner with the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme so that we could include hand-washing facilities in the donation. The additional funding also makes it possible to return to other schools and add hand-washing installations to their existing water tank systems. The generous donation of hand sanitisers from our Foods colleagues gives us the opportunity to also give 50 000 learners an individual hand sanitiser product for their personal use.”
Water conservation has long been a critical part of the Woolworths Good Business Journey impacting throughout the supply chain, from water management on farms to store design. Through the Woolworths Education Programme they have shared their expertise with schools, and over the past five years 5 000 water lessons have been presented in 1750 primary schools, reaching over 1500 teachers and 200 000 children. In partnership with the MySchool My Village My Planet programme, Woolies has also donated over 100 fully installed water tank systems to schools across the country.
“COVID-19 has shown us that we need to work together, “says Pieter Twine, General Manager of MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet. “It’s an opportunity to find sustainable solutions to important issues like water security. We hope that MySchool supporters will be inspired to add the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet Water Fund as one of their three beneficiaries, and help ensure that the return to school is as safe as possible for our teachers and learners.”
CAPTIONS: Westville Secondary School in Bethelsdorp, Port Elizabeth
Learners and principal of Westville Secondary School celebrating the donation of two watertanks and a handwashing unit thanks to Woolworths and the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme.
From left to right: Daylon Korkie, Joy Williams, Nkosiyabo Peter, Tanisha Vasagie, Daveraux Freeks, Adam January (Principal), Kegan Prinsloo, Kelly Damons, Khiran Butt, Kaitlin Kayser and Ivanisha Geswindt
Khiran Butt and Kelly Damons washing their hands with other Grade 12 Learners at Westville Secondary school in the recently installed handwashing unit which is one of 49 handwashing units that Woolworths and MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme are installing across Eastern and Western Cape along with water tanks to improve water security and hand sanitation.
CAPTIONS: Philip Nikiwe Primary School in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth
Sibabalwe Salakufa washing hands with other learners of Philip Nikiwe Primary School in the recently installed handwashing unit which is one of 49 handwashing units that Woolworths and the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme are installing across Eastern and Western Cape along with water tanks to improve water security and hand sanitation.
Learners and principal of Philip Nikiwe Primary School celebrating the donation of two watertanks, a handwashing unit and hand sanitation station thanks to Woolworths and the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme.
From left to right: Sibabalwe Salakufa, Elona Suka, Liyema Dyantyi, Ms. N Makasi (Principal), Samkelo Mzizi, Esona Mlibali and Thimna Dywili
Learners from Philip Nikiwe Primary School lining up to use the hand sanitiser station that was recently installed with a hand washing unit and two water tanks thanks to Woolworths and the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme.
Learners from front to back: Elona Suka, Liyema Dyantyi, Esona Mlibali, Thimna Dywili, Samkelo Mzizi and Sibabalwe Salakufa
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