Located outside Benoni on Johannesburg’s East Rand, the school services one of the poorest urban communities in Gauteng. Built to accommodate 750 children, it currently has a student body of 1 290 learners, from Grades 0 to 7. All of them are from poor and disadvantaged homes; many are orphans or live in foster care. Most live in shacks or large hostels.
More than 55% of these learners have no access to electric lighting, making it impossible for them to complete their homework in the evenings. The solar-powered lanterns donated by M2TD make this a problem of the past by providing up to six hours of light.
The project holds great significance for M2TD CEO David Mashatane. “These children have started life at a disadvantage, and their limited access to resources means that many will struggle to better their circumstances,” he says. “These lanterns shed light on their lives in more ways than one: they mean a better education – and a better future.”