Durban – The My Walk initiative, in partnership with Netcare and Adcock Ingram Critical Care and supported by South African corporate investors, is giving pupils from disadvantaged areas “the gift of dignity” by providing them with a brand-new, 100% recycled and recyclable school shoes.
The school shoes are made of non-hazardous medical waste, including drip bags and tubing, collected from participating Netcare hospitals and sanitised.
My Walk general manager, Delanie Bezuidenhout said the aim of the initiative was to help deserving pupils across South Africa by giving them new school shoes.
“We are not only making a difference by giving the gift of dignity to young people who deserve it, but also because it is a human need and right for them to have school shoes. No child should go to school without school shoes. We are also cutting down on landfill waste and carbon emissions resulting from unethical use of resources in the manufacturing process,” said Bezuidenhout.
She said that in the short time the initiative has been in existence, it had reduced health-care waste to landfill by more than 59 427kg. In addition, she said, “for each ton of PVC material recycled and re-purposed to make these school shoes, we can prevent about 1.5 tons of greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere”.
The initiative had also created 16 new job opportunities since its inception.
“Our factory is run by various entrepreneurs who we support.The organisation that collects the medical waste items to be recycled from the hospitals, for example, is a 100% black female-owned enterprise, and they have been able to expand their business in the process,” Bezuidenhout said.
She said My Walk had also recently joined forces with Vuma, a fibre provider company, to expand its efforts and get even more school shoes to pupils in need.
Vuma’s marketing and CSI manager, Taylor Kwong, said the company was grateful to be part of this initiative.
“It is a privilege to be able to partner with the My Walk initiative to provide children in need with free school shoes.
“In line with our overarching goal of uplifting the education sector through connectivity access, we are passionate about assisting and supporting our youth through our other social initiatives, in ways that move the needle and meet their needs in a sustainable way too,” said Kwong.
For more information, email Bezuidenhout at [email protected].
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