Who knew that the simple act of drinking water would end up building a classroom?
We’ve been incredibly inspired by the amazing work accomplished by Kirsty Watts Foundation and Bottle2Build Schools since we first began working with these incredible organisations. Over the last few months we’ve had the privilege of witnessing their hard work and determination, which culminated in the opening of a brand-new classroom in Soweto on 17 March. Sedibathutho Primary School was the scene of celebration as the new classroom for their Grade Rs was officially opened – testament to our commitment to real partnerships with Kirsty Watts Foundation and Bottle2Build Schools. Their real actions, along with generous sponsorships produced a very real classroom for the young children of Soweto, built with modular plastic water bottles.
“Being here today and seeing the work we’ve done all come together is the reason why we do it – this was the perfect environment, the right kids, and the right opportunity. We started Bottle2Build in 2008, and to get to this point is absolutely fantastic – we just need to do a lot more of this. It’s a special feeling each and every time a Bottle2Build building goes up, because you see the appreciation,” says Bottle2Build’s Faan Muller. The Bottle2Build modular water bottles fit together serve a second purpose as low-cost building material. Specially designed to interconnect, they fit into a steel frame and form the walls of a new classroom to build underprivileged classrooms all over South Africa, with over 50 buildings having been built to date.
The solidification of their partnership with the Kirsty Watts Foundation means that Faan’s dream of building even more structures now has an even stronger chance of being realised: “Our relationship with The Kirsty Watts Foundation was quite a process. When we developed the system, nobody was prepared to take a chance and build it. Our very first build was done in conjunction with The Kirsty Watts Foundation, and that gave us the launch pad that we needed to do a whole lot of other projects. We did another project with them about halfway through the journey, and then at the end of last year we met by chance on this project again, and that was when we decided that it was time for us to join forces and go forward with our projects together. It is now in conjunction with each other that we’re moving forward,” says Muller. His excitement and sentiments are echoed by Belinda Watts of The Kirsty Watts Foundation: “This school is one of the poorest of the poor, and there’s a great need here, so it’s incredibly special to be able to work with this school and make a difference. I think that Faan and I make a great team – Faan has the expertise and the labour, and we have a real shared passion and vision for these schools and for South Africa.”
Seeing the excitement at the school on the day of the new classroom’s unveiling was an incredibly fulfilling experience for all involved parties. “I have forty kids in my class, and their previous classroom was too small, which impacted on their learning. When they ran into the new classroom this morning, you could see the joy on their faces. I’m so proud knowing that they’ll have more space and freedom to learn,” said Grade R teacher Nthabiseng Selekane.
Worx Group loved refreshing the Bottle2Build brand ahead of the opening, creating invitations for the opening and giving local media the scoop about this amazing initiative. We have supplied Bottle2Build at many of our events and were so happy to see how some of those bottles landed up! Less waste, lower building costs and most importantly, much-needed facilities to add to the 56 structures already built throughout the country – it’s a winning combination. We look forward to our future projects alongside The Kirsty Watts Foundation and Bottle2Build, as we continue to work with them to improve conditions for learners across South Africa as part of our IMPACT initiative.