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The South African School Eye Health Project aims to screen 50 000 school children in three years!

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Project will provide support to Government’s Integrated School Health Programme 

Ster-Kinekor, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Durban – 09 October 2014:  A young child sits in school, struggling to follow his lesson. The teacher’s notes on the blackboard are a blur, and the child, unable to see past his arm, soon gives up his attempts to concentrate. It seems his poor eyesight will cause him to fail yet another subject – or perhaps, like others in his position, he will drop out of school altogether.

Although a simple eye examination and a pair of spectacles would correct his vision, the lack of access to proper eye care and spectacles has placed him at a severe disadvantage. His avoidable blindness has impeded his learning, which will affect him for the rest of his life. And he is not alone.

It is estimated that six out of every 10 children in South Africa with reduced vision can be corrected with glasses, yet only 20 percent of those children needing glasses, have them. Considering that up to 80% of what children learn is assimilated through their eyes (an estimate), any form of vision impairment can adversely affect a child’s educational growth.

In an effort to address this urgent need, Ster-Kinekor Theatres’ CSI initiative, Vision Mission, has partnered with the Brien Holden Vision Institute, the Provincial Departments of Health and Education and the South African Optometric Association (SAOA), to launch the South African School Eye Health Project.

Launched on World Sight Day today (09 October), the School Eye Health Project aims to support the implementation of eye health services within the government’s national Integrated School Health Programme (ISHP). The project will provide eye care to thousands of disadvantaged learners in five provinces – KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

Says Geraldine Engelman, CSI and projects manager of Ster-Kinekor Theatres: “During the three-year project, we plan to screen approximately 50 000 children, and provide free pairs of spectacles to at least 2 500 of those suffering from refractive error and low vision. We will also be launching various other initiatives including health promotions and educational messages to reach an even wider group of children and adults in the targeted provinces.”

At the launch of the School Eye Health Project today, World Sight Day, held at Ster-Kinekor Gateway in Durban, are (from left to right): Fiaz Mahomed, CEO of Ster-Kinekor Theatres; Prof Kovin Naidoo, Global Programme Director of the Brien Holden Vision Institute; Dr Nina Kriel, President of SAOA (South African Optometric Assn); Jayshree Naidoo, representing the KwaZulu-Natal Dept of Health; with some of the learners who attended the event this morning.

At the launch of the School Eye Health Project today, World Sight Day, held at Ster-Kinekor Gateway in Durban, are (from left to right):
Fiaz Mahomed, CEO of Ster-Kinekor Theatres; Prof Kovin Naidoo, Global Programme Director of the Brien Holden Vision Institute; Dr Nina Kriel, President of SAOA (South African Optometric Assn); Jayshree Naidoo, representing the KwaZulu-Natal Dept of Health; with some of the learners who attended the event this morning.

Working in association with various departments within each province, including the Departments of Health, Basic Education and Women, Children and People Living with Disabilities, the objectives of the partnership will be to:

  • Contribute resources and skills for refractive and low vision services within the district health system;
  • Improve child eye health services through screening, examination and management of vision problems within the ISHP;
  • Improve the integration of child eye health into the government’s broader development and disability agenda; and
  • Improve the eye health seeking behaviour through appropriate health promotion messages and education.

According to Professor Kovin Naidoo, the Global Programme Director for the Brien Holden Vision Institute, the School Eye Health Project addresses a desperate need. “Our country faces many social and economic challenges. In such a context of competing needs, it is critical that civil society, business and government work together to address children’s needs, since they are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society especially in a climate of limited resources.

“The Brien Holden Vision Institute applauds the concern and caring that Ster-Kinekor and SAOA have shown in supporting government’s Integrated School Health Programme. This Public Private Partnership is a quality investment in the future of our children,” concluded the Professor.

Dr Nina Kriel, President of the SAOA, comments: “It is our wish to contribute to the elimination of avoidable vision impairment and blindness due to refractive error and low vision. Working with our partners in this initiative, it is our aim to render these much-needed services in public schools as a pilot programme initially, in partnership with the various provincial departments. Such an undertaking would not be possible without the valuable input from the private sector, and we are extremely grateful for their enthusiasm and contribution to the project.”

For Ster-Kinekor, sight is integral to appreciating the wonderful and magical world of cinema that is projected onto its big screens. “We are excited to be extending our Vision Mission programme into another area of eye health – the ISHP – and, with the assistance and commitment from our dedicated partners, to launch the South African School Eye Health Project. For us, it is a privilege to be in a position to raise awareness about the importance of eye health, specifically around the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness, and to give back to the communities in which we operate,” says Engelman.

The aims of Vision Mission are to contribute to the elimination of avoidable blindness in communities across South Africa, and to increase awareness of low vision as a major public health issue. The programme is also aligned to the World Health Organisation’s Universal Eye Health Global Action Plan 2014-2019.

“Being able to walk into a darkened cinema and watch in wonder as a fantastical story unfolds before your eyes, in a larger-than-life format, is a wonderful experience. All our customers who enjoy watching films at our cinemas can also make a difference, simply by making a contribution to the Vision Mission project when purchasing their tickets,” states Engelman.

Customers can contribute to the School Eye Health Project either when booking online (www.sterkinekor.com) or at one of the self-service terminals in the cinema foyer. The public can opt in to make a donation, from as little as R2.50, to Vision Mission when prompted during the booking process. One click is all it takes to give someone with sight impairment the hope for a clearer vision of their future – and every donation will make a difference.

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Art

I heart Market – February Sale Market Saturday 3 February: 9am – 2pm

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February is the month of love and the I heart Market will celebrate with its traditional bi-annual “sale” market on Saturday 3 February from 9am to 2pm at  Northlands Primary School, in Durban North.

Following two busy and packed festive season markets in its new home at Northlands Primary School, which was well received by customers, February’s I heart Market will offer a range of discounted products.

“We were over the moon with the turn for our first markets at Northlands Primary, with a steady stream of customers, and great sales for our traders who are all small business entrepreneurs,” enthuses Manager of the Market, Tanith Molliere. “Our February market is kind of the “January Sales” market with great offers to help those budgets that may have been stretched during the holidays.”

February’s Market promises a magical shopping experience with wares created with love and care by local artisans and small businesses, reflecting a deep commitment to their artistry and craft.  With Valentine’s Day just around the corner – there will also be a gorgeous array of “romantically-inspired” products available.

As always, the market is filled with handmade treasures ranging from fine leather goods, unusual ceramics, exquisite jewellery and accessories, innovative visual art, home decor, plants, clothing, condiments and pickles, cured meats, a delightful selection of delicious baked goods. Of course, the usual mouth-watering array of food truck eats, catering to every palate including vegan and vegetarian.

There is also a secure play area for children between the ages of 1 and 6, with qualified Teacher’s Assistants in attendance available for the morning for those parents who want to take a break to shop or enjoy some delicious food. There is a fee of R100 for the morning or part thereof. A “pram park” is also available for people to leave their prams whilst shopping to help avoid congestion in the hall.

The market is housed in the school hall and surrounding gardens from 9am to 2pm, and takes place rain or shine as most of the traders are under cover.  Parking is available in designated school areas, with security guards to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

For more info contact info@iheartmkt.com.

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East Coast Radio House + Garden Showcases Diverse Crafts and DIY Experiences

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The East Coast Radio House + Garden Show is back, and this year it promises to be a haven for craft enthusiasts and those seeking interactive DIY experiences. Crafting has come a long way from scrapbooking and papier-mâché, we have an incredible line up of specialist crafters that will expand your imagination! With a focus on engaging activities for all, this year’s craft traders will offer a variety of hands-on experiences at their stalls. From crafts for the kiddies to offerings for health and beauty enthusiasts and creative entrepreneurs, visitors can expect an exciting showcase of talent, innovation, and creativity.

Craft for the Kiddies
A Toy for You, distributor of toy brand Melissa & Doug, will be a highlight of the East Coast Radio House + Garden Show. Renowned for their classic wooden toys and realistic pretend play sets, Melissa & Doug products inspire creative thinking through screen-free open-ended play. At the show, visitors will have the opportunity to see and purchase top Melissa & Doug items that are well-crafted and designed to ignite the imagination. The exhibit will also feature a colorful and creative play zone where children can engage with popular toys, such as a wooden kitchen, art easel, and wellness area. Daily themed activities, including sand art and slime workshops, will also be hosted, providing children with countless ways to encourage creativity, imagination, learning, and discovery.

Craft for Health and Beauty Enthusiasts
Alchemists’ Lab offers a unique and new way to experience self-care. With a focus on discovering top-notch, safe, and naturally derived skincare products for diverse skin types, The Alchemists’ Lab sources and develops high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. Visitors to their exhibit will have the opportunity to engage in a live interactive Bath Bomb and Bath Salts Station. Participants can personally tailor their products using premium ingredients, choosing scents, colours, and botanicals to create bath bombs and salts that suit their preferences. This immersive crafting experience allows individuals to unleash their creativity and produce items that bring joy and tangible health benefits. In addition to exclusive show discounts, visitors who tag Alchemists’ Lab on social media will receive a promo code for their online store. Every purchase made at their stall during the House + Garden Show will enter visitors into a giveaway to win an entire range of their products.

Craft for Creative Entrepreneurs
Cricut™, a worldwide phenomenon and pioneer in smart cutting machines, opens doors for small business owners and creative individuals through their user-friendly app and versatile devices. Their cutting-edge technology enables the personalisation of various items, from custom cards to unique apparel. At the East Coast Radio House + Garden Show, the highly anticipated EasyPress 3 will be made available for purchase. This portable heat press combines speed and convenience with the genius of the Cricut Heat™ app. Visitors at the Cricut stand will have the opportunity to participate in a “spin the wheel” activation and win the chance to personalise a mug, water bottle, or t-shirt free of charge. The aim is to inspire creativity through hands-on experiences, ensuring that everyone leaves the Show with a sense of accomplishment and takes home a personalised item they can cherish. Make sure to visit the Cricut stand for daily prize giveaways and stand a chance to win an exciting Business In A Box competition.

“The East Coast Radio House + Garden Show offers a unique platform for craft traders to showcase their talents and engage visitors in exciting DIY experiences. Whether it’s exploring the world of imaginative play, indulging in self-care through customised products, or unlocking creativity for aspiring entrepreneurs, you will find an array of creative exhibitors ready to inspire your inner artist,” shares Cairey Baxter-Bruce, Show Director of the House + Garden Show.

For more information and to stay updated on the latest news about the East Coast Radio House + Garden Show sponsored by Plascon, visit www.housegardenshow.co.za or follow @housegardenshow on Instagram and Facebook.

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Green Corridors LitterBooms Team Urges Action to Combat Plastic Pollution on World Oceans Day (8 June)

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As part of its observance of United Nations World Ocean Day (8 June) Durban-based Green Corridors urges action from citizens to combat plastic pollution as part of its drive to try to reduce the amount of plastic waste flowing into the oceans in our rivers.

World Ocean Day is an observance day set to remind all global citizens of the “major role the oceans have in everyday life. The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.”[1]

1869: Photo by Val Adamson: Jabulani Ngwenya and Sifiso Luvuno – Green Corrirdors Team community members from Johanna Road clear the waste from the litter boom on an Umgeni River tributary.

One of the critical interventions that countries are looking at is how to prevent plastic going into the ocean. Green Corridors, is an NGO that looks after green spaces and supports communities to work with these spaces, has installed 16 litterbooms onto waterways in the eThekwini Municipality to minimize the flow of plastics into the Indian Ocean.

These litterbooms are large plastic pipes that trap floating waste; the waste is collected by local community co-ordinators, and sorted. Plastics that are not able to be recycled are taken to the Green Corridors KwaMashu Materials Beneficiation Centre and through a process combined with other materials are converted into “green” pavers.

Siphiwe Rakgabale: Green Corridors litterboom co-ordinator and director of Tri-Ecomvelo, Siphiwe Rakgabale at a previous SAFRIPOL/Green Corridors beach clean up

Green Corridors’ litterboom co-ordinator, Siphiwe Rakgabale, says, “There is something like 75- 199 million tons of plastic waste floating about in the oceans, mostly flowing into the sea from rivers. This plastic pollution not only endangers marine biodiversity but also contributes to climate change.”

“Last year Green Corridors were able to remove 2 tons of plastic from our 16 litterbooms,” says Rakgabale. “But this is a fragment of what could be captured and redirected. The waste comes down these water ways through the inappropriate use of storm water drains, lack of waste management services around informal settlements and lack of awareness amongst consumers about the impact of the products they buy”

Green Corridors is calling upon governments, businesses, communities, and individuals to take action and support initiatives that help to minimize the waste flowing into the oceans.

“By investing in sustainable waste management systems, promoting recycling, and raising awareness about the importance of reducing plastic consumption, we can create a positive and lasting impact on our oceans and the planet as a whole,” says Rakgabale.

Aerial view of Blue Lagoon and Durban’s spectacular coastline – with the Beachwood Mangroves in the foreground. Reasons to care for our waterways and ensure we keep waste away from the rivers as they affect the health of our oceans. Green Corridors has 16 litterbooms set up on rivers around Durban to try to prevent waste from flowing into the oceans. Photo TCM Photography/Green Corridors

Green Corridors will participate in a number of events during the month of June to create awareness around waste management and recycling related to the oceans:

  • On Saturday 10 June at the World Oceans Day Swim Green Corridors will have a stand at the Durban Beach Club where you can meet the team involved in the litterboom, and clean-ups.
  • Also on Saturday 10 June from 2pm, the KwaMashu School of Dance Theatre will be performing at the Global Water Dance Festival at Green Corridors – Green Hub open Grass area.

For more information about Green Corridors go to https://durbangreencorridor.co.za/

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