Plenty Canada is delighted to announce the receipt of a $50,000 grant from the Unifor Social Justice Fund. This funding will support Plenty Canada's ongoing sustainability and cultural revitalization work in South Africa, with a current focus on the Tsundzukani Bright Eyes Daycare Centre in the rural village of Acornhoek in the Mpumalanga province.
For the past three years, Plenty Canada has been supporting the development of the Tsundzukani Daycare Centre, expanding the space and making numerous sustainable upgrades (including two rainwater catchment/storage systems, a large gravity-fed irrigated vegetable garden, flush toilets, an upgraded kitchen, and a new classroom building). This has more than doubled the capacity of the Centre, allowing them to educate more children while at the same time supporting Indigenous cultural revitalization by teaching cultural practices, customs, and history. The Centre has now gone beyond its initial intended purpose and is also used as a venue for the community’s official meetings and events, thus making it a pillar of the village of Acornhoek.
The newly secured funding will go towards addressing critical challenges still faced by the Tsundzukani Daycare Centre:
Solar Power: A sustainable solar power station will be implemented to counteract the impact of intentional electricity blackouts, known as "load shedding," that have plagued South Africa in recent years. The country's heavy reliance on coal for power generation has not only contributed to frequent blackouts but also has significant environmental implications. In addition, a long-delayed service delivery from the local municipality means that the entire Centre is not yet connected to the grid. The proposed solar power system aims to provide a reliable and sustainable source of electrical power, ensuring uninterrupted energy for the entire Centre to support various needs, including powering a submersible water pump, a refrigerator, cooking machines, lights, and plugs for classrooms, as well as exterior security lights.
Water Well: Despite the existing rainwater catchment and storage systems, which have proven effective during the rainy season, the Centre faces water scarcity challenges during the dry season. The rainy season lasts for a good six months in a successful year, but reliance on commercial water trucks during dry periods has proven costly and unsustainable. The new funding will contribute to drilling a well within the Centre's premises, offering a reliable and consistent water supply throughout the year.
Plenty Canada extends heartfelt appreciation to the Unifor Social Justice Fund for their generous support and is committed to utilizing this funding to enhance the Tsundzukani Bright Eyes Daycare Centre's infrastructure, making it more resilient, sustainable, and better equipped to serve the needs of the local community.
— Emily Morris