On Friday, 26 August, the Angel’s Care Centre and Howick community received over 150 Wonderbags to support the social and economic upliftment of those most in need. Wonderbag and The Digital Media Consultancy (TDMC), both local Durban based businesses, partnered on this change activation as a follow up to the first local educational initiative that was held earlier this year in June, when 300 Wonderbags were donated to the Thembelihle Primary School in Howick. Solutions as simple as the locally founded and Durban-manufactured Wonderbag have the ability to have tremendous impact on social issues. Promoted as a living “recipe for change”, Wonderbag operates in multiple countries around the world to empower and inspire impoverished women and their families to combat the physical, economic and environmental impacts of unhealthy cooking. Sarah Collins, founder of Wonderbag, who was awarded the 2016 Fairlady Woman of the Future last week in recognition of her global work, believes business has a critical role to play in their local environments: "To be recognised at home means more to me than international accolades. In the same way, investing and working alongside the change leaders here at home is equally as important. Our drive and absolute belief in ending world poverty is as relevant here as anywhere else in the world. To achieve this, local business must follow international trends and start to align their social and sustainable agendas to bettering lives within the communities they operate in." Angels Care Centre, founded by Carolyn Hancock and led by principal Damon Shaw, is a pillar of strength within the Howick community. It has a pre-school, a bridging class for children who have never had the chance to attend school, an aftercare programme for students to obtain assistance with their studies, a weekly feeding programme for over 300 children, as well as a reputable crisis centre for children who are victims of gender-based violence. Wonderbags where donated to the Angel’s Care Centre to assist their feeding programme as well as to the parents of the children. The activation included a lively demonstration that taught each recipient how to use their Wonderbag. This was particularly valuable for this impoverished community, as by using a Wonderbag 3-4 times a week, each home can save up to 30% on their monthly energy costs, cut cooking time in half, and families are at a lower risk of injury and disease caused by fumes, smoke and fire typically used to cook. "The Wonderbag is definitely a safer option of cooking. We deal with many learners who have burn marks at school which happened during cooking time. With cooking time reduced, we see less children getting hurt in Wonderbag homes. From the previous outreach, parents have also told me how much more time it's given them to spend with their families,” shares Principal Damon Shaw. "Building up to this event, I was very surprised to hear that many of our parents had knowledge of a Wonderbag, but just were not able to afford one. So this donation is most welcomed and appreciated! In this community where there is no electricity and most parents cook on gas or use wood, it will not only mean that they can save money on gas, but will also make life easier in already a very challenging environment," continued Shaw. The community also joined in on a Wonderfeast sponsored by TDMC that showcased a menu developed by Ursula Rohrs, a well-known food innovator, who has recently joined the Wonderbag team as Executive Chef. “The success of our business allows us to reinvest into our local charities – and I would urge all other business to come onboard with us and our partnership with Wonderbag," encouraged Jo Griffiths, Director of TDMC.
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