10/10/10 was the day and Alexandra was the place to be. The Sustainable Energy Society for Southern Africa (SESSA) Solar Water Heating (SWH) in conjunction with the Intisolar Consortium and Bidvest donated not one, but five solar water heaters to the Sithandiwe Home for the disabled.
While the world was celebrating and working to combat climate change in their communities, SESSA was reaching the hearts of the residents of Sithandiwe Centre as well as the Home’s chair person mama Thandi Sefike.
‘As soon as we arrived and upon seeing the state of the Home, we got together as a team and a decision was taken to donate five 85litre solar systems to the Home in honour of celebrating Global Work Party climate action day, a global online campaign run by 350.org. On this day, the Sithandiwe solar installation was one of 7000 climate action events happening in 188 countries; the welcome from the kids was overwhelming and so moving,’ says brand ambassador of SESSA SWH.
‘This simply means that the Home will have hot water with minimal electricity usage; saving money and the environment. These solar gysers will improve the quality of services for Sithandiwe, the staff and the residents,’ he says.
Tears of joy
‘Seeing the tears of joy pouring out of mama Thandi humbled us as the organisation of SESSA. It was an honour to celebrate a global environmental initiative, 10/10/10. This was merely our collective contribution to fighting global warming and improving the quality of life for all concerned,’ says Damon.
Marlene Snowden, Managing Director of the Intisolar Consortium (in association with BidVest) says, ‘The solar panels (SOLO) will be launched shortly in South Africa. We are expecting delivery of solar panels from Israel in the next week ‘ this hybrid system will revolutionise solar water heating with regards to installation speed and convenience, due to its compact all-in-one hybrid design. The geyser and collector are no longer separate components, we now have an integrated, easy-to-install, revolutionary system that makes solar an accessible reality for all; installation of the geysers at Sithandiwe will take place within a month,’ she adds.
‘This casing design is largely made of plastic, which means there will be no maintenance required from the Home. In the event of scarcity of the sun for about a week, electricity can be used,’ she says.
‘It is humbling to see the residents truly rejoicing because someone thought of them on the day. I commend the staff for the amazing work they are doing, providing care for the residence,’ she says.
A dream realised
Mama Thandi, also living with a disability says, ‘Starting this Home was always a dream of mine. Growing up with a disability was not pleasant. I was teased a lot and I don’t want any kids living with disabilities to go through the shame I went through,’ she says.
‘The times are evolving and at least now children talk about their challenges more these days than in our time. Starting this project was my way of telling my story and a turning point in my life,’ she adds.
Also present at the event, Elana Afrika says, this sustainable donation is aimed at benefiting the kids, not just the adults. She mentioned that giving is a good practice to adopt as South Africans. ‘Let’s continue to commit to giving, giving is a must,’ she says.
’10/10/10 only comes once, and I’m glad I was at Alexandra to make a green legacy of a difference; in the words of the Pres of the Maldives: 350 is more than a number, it is our passport to a more sustainable future and our survivali,’ concludes Damon.