Over the 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.
So far, they have presented 5000 water lessons in 1750 primary schools, reaching over 1500 teachers and 200 000 children.
Two years ago, the two organizations 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.
Schools in South Africa have re-opened across the country under strict COVID-19 protocols, but a significant number of South African schools, still do not have running water. In an effort to curb COVID-19, Woolies and the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme announced that the funding worth the value of over R1.7 million, will go towards rolling out water tanks, hand washing units and hand sanitiser stations at schools in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
“COVID-19 has shown us that we need to work together. 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,” said Pieter Twine, General Manager of MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet.
18 new schools are set to receive water tanks and handwashing units, while the previous years’ beneficiaries of water tanks are receiving hand washing units. The water tanks and greywater systems are used to improve sanitation and water supply, as well as provide water for food gardens that are essential to the schools’ feeding schemes. A total of 49 handwashing units will be installed to help the schools improve protection for learners and educators.
The additional funding also makes it possible to return to other schools and add hand-washing installations to their existing water tank systems. Moreover,50 000 learners across the country will also receive their own personal hand sanitiser.
“It’s vital that teachers and learners are able to wash and sanitise their hands frequently. 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,” said Thando Tladi, Woolworth Education Programme Manager.