by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOME South African early childhood development centres (ECDs) are going green.
This is part of a local mobile network operator’s target of halving its environmental impact by 2025.
Vodacom has made the target a priority.
Through the new Vodacom Green Early Childhood Development (ECD), the company is facilitating the planting of vegetables at various ECD centres across the country.
The programme also aims to ensure access to food through sustainable farming at these centres, improving the quality of life for the children and the communities they serve.
Takalani Netshitenzhe, External Affairs Director for Vodacom South Africa, noted the latest figures show that over 9 million people in South Africa are facing high levels of acute food insecurity.
“For children, with the basic right to food out of reach, learning often falls by the wayside,” she said.
“Urgent, immediate action is needed through sustainable farming practices, which can help to reduce these food gaps now and, in the future, as well as to support education while preserving our planet for the next generation,” Netshitenzhe said.
Eight ECD centres within Vodacom’s education ecosystem will benefit from a six-step sustainability journey where viable food gardens are being planted and will supplement feeding schemes while promoting sustainable practices.
This is to contribute further towards the company’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Programme.
The installation of clean solar energy and a sustainable water supply has seen each ECD centre fitted with a 5 000-litre tanks to collect rainwater, as well as six solar panels and energy-efficient appliances and lighting.
Beneficiary ECD centres are in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape.
ECD is recognised as a national priority in the government’s National Development Plan: Vision 2030.
– CAJ News