CSI initiative sees households equipped with solar powered lighting
Tuesday, 16 April 2019, The recent wave of loadshedding has given the wider South African public just a small inkling of the daily realities facing households that do not have electricity supply, particularly in the hours after dark. A recent corporate social investment initiative saw Medipost Holdings team up with Kamcare’s Project Sunshine to provide solar powered lighting to 50 households in an informal settlement in Roodeplaat, northeast of Pretoria.
“Many of us take the convenience of having electric light in our homes for granted,” says Kgomotso Maapola, CSI manager for Medipost Holdings, comprising Medipost Pharmacy, MediLogistics and Kawari Wholesalers.
“Lighting is essential for even the most basic daily tasks. Consider the difficulties of cooking in the dark, for example, or the challenges children face trying to study or complete a school assignment without light. We saw an opportunity to help alleviate such problems for members of the community living in plot 175 Kameeldrift informal settlements who do not have access to electricity supply.”
Medipost Holdings worked with Kamcare Social and Training Services’Project Sunshine toprovide Lithium Solar Kits for installation in households with school-going children.
“The solar kits provide sufficient light to illuminate a 20 square meter room for 10 hours. The solar powered system also has the capacity to charge cellphones, which means that the individuals within these households will be more accessible for employment opportunities when they arise,” explains Maapola.
Medipost Holdings’ group director for sales and marketing, Rentia Myburgh, says the organisation chose to partner with Kamcare’s Project Sunshine as its goals align with the corporate social investment aims of Medipost Holdings.
“Promotion of education and health has always been important to Medipost, as we believe these are the pillars of a more equal and prosperous society. When we have the opportunity to support non-profit organisations through our corporate social investment initiatives, we have traditionally prioritised projects that have the potential to make a contribution towards the lives of community members through health and education,” Myburgh says.
“We see immense promise for this initiative to benefit the community on many levels. We hope that access to lighting will assist in enhancing children’s education, as they will have extended time for their studies in the evenings, as well as for those adults who are performing work at home in the evenings or looking to improve themselves through self-study,” Myburgh notes.
“The renewable energy lighting source is a safer alternative to flammable light sources such as candle light and paraffin lamps, and has the added advantage of being ‘clean energy’, as it does not emit unhealthy fumes within the home.”
The families who benefitted from the initiative have expressed their gratitude for the donation of the solar kits. RennyRamarois one of the community members who received the solar powered lighting system.
“I would like to say thank you to Medipost. I am staying here at Kameeldrift, I have one child, I say thanks for this light. If I do not finish my work, I can come home and finish it here. It has already helped my child as now she can finish reading and writing her homework,” Ramaro says.
LiezelLandman, manager of Kamcare Social and Training Services adds: “Life without light is a struggle, especially when you need to do homework at night or need to charge your phone to search for job opportunities. Kamcare started this project during 2010 to enable school going children to do homework after dark and that is a prerequisite for people receiving lights; they have to have school attending children in the household.”
“Through Project Sunshine, in association with donors to the project such as Medipost Holdings, we try to make life a little bit better for people. We have a lot of challenges in South Africa and this is just one small light, but we also hope to remind children that there are people out there who care about their wellbeing and want to help them.”
“The value of this initiative is that it will assist the children and their parents to enhance their potential, both in terms of future educational and employment opportunities, through their own efforts. Through the provision of solar power, they will have more productive hours in the day,” Myburgh concludes.
Please visit https://youtu.be/wT3-rzCRR50to access the video to accompany this media release.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Medipost Holdings
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone: (011) 469 3016