Enabling Africa, a company that supplies quality drinking water and solar electricity solutions in off- grid communities, is to provide much-needed relief for the learners at Actonville Primary School on the East Rand. Together with The Marketing Hub, BT, M2TD Consulting, FlySafair, Grant and Colette Daniel, Enabling Africa will be donating 1 000 solar lanterns to the School, which will enable learners, with no access to the formal electricity supply, to do their homework when darkness descends.
The solar lanterns will be handed over in a ceremony on 24 August 2016.
A solar lantern takes four hours to charge and provides six hours of strong lighting. This is sufficient for one or two pupils at a time to complete their homework assignments every day.
Actonville Primary School which is located in Actonville, Ekurhuleni, services one of the poorest urban communities in Gauteng. Built to accommodate 750 children, it currently has a student body of 1 290 learners from Grade 0 to Grade 7. All of them are from poor and disadvantaged homes, with many being orphans and living in foster care. Many live in shacks or large hostels and more than 55% have no access to electricity.
“These children come from desperate home environments in a community characterised by high levels of poverty, unemployment and substance abuse,” says Chris Kelway, CEO of Enabling Africa. “Even the simple task of completing their homework in the evenings is complicated by a lack of resources. This puts them at an educational disadvantage right from the start and hampers their ability to perform well at school.”
As this is a challenge for Learners in many Schools across the Province and indeed the country, Enabling Africa is calling on other companies to provide sponsorship that will enable the solar lantern program to be extended to other children in off-grid schools and communities.
“A donation of R20 000 enables us to supply 100 lanterns,” says Kelway. “If 750 companies were each to donate that amount, we could reach the learners with the same challenge in many home environments across Gauteng. Just think what a difference that would make in strengthening their education journey.”
The principal of Actonville Primary, Venessa Moodley, agrees.
“It may seem like an insignificant problem for people who have access to the electricity grid,” she says, “but we find that learners really struggle with their homework when they have insufficient light to work by. And in really poor families, the cost of every candle or litre of paraffin for lighting has to be counted.
“These lanterns will not only provide the learners with good light as darkness descends but, being solar powered, will eliminate the burden on their families of having to provide alternative sources of lighting.”
Companies that wish to help bring the gift of light to thousands of learners are asked to contact Chris Kelway at email@example.com for further information.
“We know what a difference these solar lanterns will make to the children at Actonville Primary,” he says, “and we’re very keen to roll out the project to other schools in South Africa.”