Kids love books. Photo supplied

Empowering Tomorrow – Danone Southern Africa’s Initiative Transforms Underprivileged Schools

CHILDREN belong to the future, and the destiny of Mzansi rests squarely in their hands. Yet, many feel they are being deprived of adequate opportunities. During a recent media visit to Nageng Primary School in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, speakers unanimously concurred that numerous township and rural schools were lacking the essential support they require.

This media invitation, orchestrated by Danone Southern Africa, aims to bring positive change to underprivileged schools in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape by providing them with fully equipped libraries.

Principal Lefty Monobe of Nageng Primary School expressed heartfelt gratitude for the Danone NutriDay learning centre, which arrived at a crucial juncture for them. “Previously, we didn’t possess a library, and this addition brings us immense joy,” Monobe shared. Despite the school’s challenges, they are making steady progress.

Among their challenges are the absence of a school hall and sports ground, classroom overcrowding, and incidents of vandalism. Leanne Kiezer, the Head of Corporate Affairs at Danone Southern Africa, disclosed that the bricks used to construct these libraries are crafted from recycled yoghurt tubs.

“Last year, we launched the NutriDay’s Tubs2Classroom campaign, wherein 80 primary schools across three provinces collected yoghurt tubs to be repurposed into lightweight bricks for building classrooms in need,” Leanne explained. This campaign served the dual purpose of educating children about responsible plastic recycling and fostering an active recycling program within schools.

Schools collecting the highest number of yoghurt tubs each were rewarded with a cash prize of R10,000. The announcement was made in January this year. Danone is poised to launch their 2023 collection campaign with a significantly loftier collection goal compared to the previous year.

This year’s target is to amass 1 million yoghurt tubs, a substantial increase from the previous year’s count of 300,000. Their aspiration is to construct more structures using the collected tubs.

Leanne conveyed that the Nageng Primary School library will measure 7 x 7 meters and is slated for construction this year. The library’s benefits will extend not only to the students but also to the broader community it serves. Through initiatives like these, Danone Southern Africa is sowing the seeds for a future where educational resources are equitable and accessible to all.

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