Race gifts learners greener desks

2017-10-24 06:00
It was an afternoon of smiles for learners from Ikhaya le Themba in Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay, who received 45 new Green Desks as a part of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon #gogreen ­campaign.

It was an afternoon of smiles for learners from Ikhaya le Themba in Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay, who received 45 new Green Desks as a part of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon #gogreen ­campaign.

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Learners at Ikhaya le Themba in Imizamo Yethu are going green after they received 45 new desks as part of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon #gogreen campaign.

Funded by the Two Oceans Marathon Initiative (Tomi), the unique desks were made from non-organic event waste collected during the marathon earlier this year.

The desks were handed over last Friday.

Thirty of the donated Green Desks were funded by Tomi, with the remaining 15 coming from funds raised by Two Oceans Marathon runners who participated in 2017 to raise funds for Wildlands. This is just the initial rollout, with more Green Desks on the way. Throughout South Africa, there is a shortage of approximately 300 000 school desks.

Ikhaya le Themba was chosen as the first recipient of the Green Desks thanks to Imizamo Yethu playing such a pivotal role in the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. The Hout Bay Rotary Club helped to establish an Imizamo Yethu marshalling team, with the race day crew now totalling 45 members. Initially, Ikhaya le Themba helped to establish the Imizamo Yethu marshalling team with the Hout Bay Rotary Club.

Wildlands’ Lauren van Nijkerk says being the official beneficiary of the Two Oceans Marathon is a huge honour and they are humbled and grateful.

“Two Oceans has given us the platform to raise public awareness of environmental issues, and helped place them at the forefront of the running fraternity’s agenda. Through this platform we have also been able to leverage funding to support our ‘cleaning and greening’ projects and ultimately uplift communities countrywide,” she says.

Since the first ground-breaking Green Desk was unveiled by Wildlands in June last year, around 2000 desks have been distributed to schools in need across KwaZulu-Natal, with another 1100 in production. #Gogreen was developed by Wildlands and is supported by Old Mutual. It aims to provide a practical solution for collecting, recycling and upcycling waste from athletes and spectators at endurance events, while educating them about responsible waste management. Large troughs, also known as green zones or throw zones, were set up at this year’s Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon so that runners could throw away their waste without littering on the route. The director of Ikhaya le Themba, Susan Hill, says learners, many of whom assist Hout Bay Rotary with marshalling during the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, were very pleased to receive the desks. “It’s a real morale booster and we thank everyone involved with the campaign for this contribution,” she says.

Old Mutual’s chief marketing officer Vuyo Lee says one of the most rewarding aspects of Old Mutual’s sponsorship of events like the Two Oceans Marathon is that it enables them to collaborate on innovative projects that have both social and environmental benefits.

“We were proud to launch the #gogreen campaign at the Two Oceans Marathon this year and the end result has been great: new school desks for children, and minimised waste. It has been launched at several other Old Mutual-sponsored events to great success and we look forward to seeing it go from strength to strength.”

Through a combination of grinding and extrusion, and then squeezing and densifying the waste material into a mould, planks are produced and used to create school desks. It takes 60kg of previously unrecyclable waste to make a double Green Desk.

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