Local government officials joined Domestos and their new Sanitation Brand Ambassador, Anele Mdoda at Thembalethu Primary School in Lusikisiki recently to break ground on the country’s first fully crowdfunded school toilets.
In November 2018, Anele Mdoda, who has just been named as Domestos’ official Sanitation Brand Ambassador, set an ambitious goal to raise over R1 million to build new toilets in one school through a crowdfunding campaign in partnership with Domestos and today’s sod-turning marks the start of their construction.
“I am so proud and happy to see this project come to life. I never had any doubt that South Africa would come through for us and make this a reality. I have been truly humbled by the enormous support from big and small corporate entities and everyday South Africans alike. Today, we pledged to change the lives of close to 600 learners. Once these toilets are complete, they will no longer have to suffer the daily indignity and danger of unsafe, unhygienic sanitation at school. I can’t wait to see these new toilets once they are completed!”
The campaign received cash donations of over R130 000 from businesses and consumers, but the bulk of the donations came in kind from a handful of key investors including Norcros SA, Aveng Group, Ithemba Infrastructure Consulting, MMQSMace, Designdex who have donated materials and services towards the project.
Special guests from local government were welcomed by Principal Mr M Nduva, including a representative from the Eastern Cape MEC for Education, Advocate Masuku, local Mayor, Ngquza Hill’s representative, Councillor Somana, Director of National Schools Nutrition Program (NSNP), Ms Witbooi VE and community leader Chief Vumbalengwe Vellem.
Advocate Masuku, said, “We know there is a problem with the state of sanitation, including the state of infrastructure in the country. Last year, Lumka Mthethwa tragically lost her life. We have plans and partners in place to deal with this issue.”
Representing DesignDex, Paul Avelar led guests to view the sites where the new toilets blocks will be built. Once complete, the walls will display plaques including the names of every donor who contributed to the project.
Principal M Nduva was especially overwhelmed and excited about the new toilets. “Thank you to Domestos and Anele for helping my school! We are so happy today!”
PR Brand Specialist Homecare for Unilever SA, Mandisa Mbenenge said the brand was proud to have come this far with the help of all its sponsors and partners. “At Unilever, we believe that businesses have the power to drive impactful social change. We take great pleasure in serving both society and our planet. Through our multi-prong approach which entails behavioural change education, maintenance of facilities and our most recent pillar – infrastructure, we hope to provide a lasting sustainable long-term solution, not only for Thembalethu Primary School, but for the other schools we have committed to.”
Now, Domestos has set another big target for themselves, with a goal of raising funds and starting the build of new toilets in 20 schools in 2019. Anele Mdoda expressed, “Our crowdfunding page remains open and I hope I can once again count on the generosity and kindness of all South Africans to support us. This may not seem like a lot, but it will change the lives of so many learners and give them a chance for a brighter future!”