Helping kids smile all year round

2019-08-27 06:00
Bags of plastics collected at Angels Training and Resource Centre. Proceeds are donated to Operation Smile.

Bags of plastics collected at Angels Training and Resource Centre. Proceeds are donated to Operation Smile.

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Girl Guides Cape West’s donation of a record-breaking number of bottle caps to Operation Smile last year made a huge difference. Now other South Peninsula organisations are continuing their good work, collecting discarded plastics to make a child smile.

Operations Smile, the international medical charity, operates in more than 60 countries worldwide to improve the health of children. The charity was able to sponsor two cleft pallet surgeries with the monies raised from the donation of 121 600 bottle caps collected by the girl guides.

Yvette Stephen, adult guide, says the drive was a widespread success. “I had people mailing me bottle caps from George!”

The quest to give all children a fighting chance by providing critical health services is not over, however, and South Peninsula organisations are still doing their bit to help as much as they can.

The City of Cape Town’s Fish Hoek subcouncil office, Angels Training and Resource Centre, and Bay Primary School are just three of the organisations who continue to collect plastic bottle caps and bread tags.

The collected plastics can be dropped off at any one of these locations in Fish Hoek and Kalk Bay. From there, the plastics are taken to the Woodstock recycling facility, where it is weighed and the money paid out to the selected beneficiary; in this case, Operation Smile.

At the launch of Angels’s e-Zone in Fish Hoek last month, Lizelle Coombs, the centre’s chief executive officer (CEO), said: “We are collecting bottle caps. We give Operation Smile the proceeds so that they can continue doing cleft palette surgeries. All of our e-Zone’s will be collecting bottle caps.”

She said they are also looking to collect other plastics for various decorative and construction purposes.

“We have the eco-bricks – plastic bottles stuffed with plastic. The idea is to remove all of the plastic that we can’t recycle from the environment. It’s a temporary solution, but it’s a cool idea. We built our reception with them and some furniture, too.”

She said these items also encouraged people in the communities where they work to create things out of discarded plastic that are functional and beautiful to sell, bringing in an extra income.

“As long as we consume things, there will always be waste in the community, so this is quite a nice resource for us to use,” said Coombs.

Stephen supports the collection and drop-off of plastics at the Angels e-Zone. “It’s a good initiative and there’s no end date to it. It’s indefinite,” she says.

V Angels Training and Resource Centre e-Zone is located at 81 Main Road in Fish Hoek and can be contacted on 086 111 1950.

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