Every year millions of children die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene, according to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Tracker.
In South Africa, this reality manifests itself as children in over 3 000 schools are using dangerous pit latrines (toilets) in their learning environment.
As a solution to this dire problem, The HomeComing Foundation, based in Pretoria, has launched groundbreaking initiative, #TheBucketStopsWithMe, to assist in the eradication of pit/bucket toilets in schools and replace them with dignified and safe sanitation infrastructure, including taps and toilets for schools in need.
“We understand that quality education is accompanied by a clean environment, sufficient equipment, and a safe space for students to thrive. #TheBucketStopsWithMe initiative is the first project from our foundation, and we are proud to embark on this transformative journey that will address key problem areas in learning environments,” says the Managing Director of HomeComing Foundation, Kopano Bookholane.
With the first phase of this initiative, HomeComing Foundation aims to raise enough funds to transform the sanitation challenges in up to 4 schools. So far, #TheBucketStopsWithMe has managed to raise over R62 000 via the BackaBuddy crowdfunding platform.
“The funds raised are allocated towards the implementation of a non-polluting, cost-effective toilet system, plus the safe and hygienic infrastructure to house it,” explains Kopano.
To amplify its fundraising efforts, the #TheBucketStopsWithMe initiative has joined forces with media personalities, Hulisani Ravele and Dr. Musa Mthombeni, as its key spokespersons.
“We have both had the privilege of being educated in learning environments that were safe and clean. Our parents never had to carry the fear of receiving a phone call from the school saying that we had fallen down a pit toilet or contracted an illness as a result of unhygienic conditions. For this fear to still be a reality for so many parents and learners speaks to the crisis our education system finds itself in. We’re excited to lend not only our voices but also our hands to HomeComing Foundation,” said Ravele and Mthombeni.
The Homecoming Foundation #TheBucketStopsWithMe Initiative is live and both individuals and corporates are encouraged to pledge their donations as we aim to eradicate pit toilets and the buckets system, thus creating safe and hygienic learning spaces for students to thrive.
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