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Thembelihle Primary School Receives Hope: Wonderbag

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On the 16th of June 2016, two Durban based companies, Wonderbag and Durban’s five-star Oyster Box Hotel, launched their first educational and economic-inclusive initiative for underprivileged communities in South Africa. The launch of the first phase of this ambitious initiative fittingly took place on Youth Day at Thembelihle Primary School in Howick to the parents of pupils who come from impoverished communities. The invited 300 parents enjoyed a tasty and healthy Wonderbag-cooked meal amidst lots of singing and uplifting educational demonstrations provided by Wonderbag’s activation teams. Not only did the local families leave with full stomachs and hearts, they were also the delighted recipients of subsidised Wonderbags for their homes.

Sarah Collins, Founder and CEO of Wonderbag, addressed the receptive crowd and acknowledged the importance of this momentous occasion being the 40th anniversary of the Sharpeville uprising as well as the significance for her of launching this community model in her hometown of Howick. “Howick is a very special place to me as it was here that I spent a few years learning from Dr Ian Player about my life’s purpose while living on his farm in the Karkloof. I believe that just like Hector and all the brave children who actively went about affecting change this day forty years ago – so too do we all have the power within us to improve our lives and that of our family’s and community. We want to protect our future leaders from the harsh realities and dangers of indoor air pollution and shack fires. So many children living in these communities face these dangers on a daily basis when trying to cook for themselves on open flames while their parents are working long hours to contribute to their family’s wellbeing. Thembelihle Primary School is a beacon of light to this inspiring community and is making a major impact on the lives of so many young people who come from a difficult living situation. We hope that through our partnership with them we can make even a small but significant difference to the lives of these children and their families through the power of the Wonderbag and it’s many end-user benefits,” Sarah shared.

Wonderbag as a brand is intrinsically linked to enhancing the overall quality of people’s lives through the many health, safety, economic and time-saving benefits of the product. The company has a history of empowering communities with women being identified as the key caregivers for families and communities across all races and classes. It’s also no secret that Collins’ has a passion for finding ways to empower people living in hard circumstances, which is why she was “overwhelmed” with the success of the first activation working with an established and reputed school and community organisation like Thembelihle Primary School.

Thembelihle Primary School is run independently and relies purely on donations to sustain its operations that cater for vulnerable children in the greater Howick region. The school also has ties to other community-focused centres that cater to the needs of the people living in this region. According to Principal Damon Shaw, this school is more than just an educational centre for Howick’s children and further serves the needs of the community as a safe haven. “The school’s name means ‘good hope’ and we are very proud of the trust and reputation we have earned from the families living here as they openly regard us as a beacon of hope to the community. We not only strive to provide our learners with a great education in the traditional sense, but we also provide them with a holistic life education which includes assisting with health care, emotional support and counselling as well as feeding them nutritional meals and providing health supplements to our students. Our school’s cook was given a big catering Wonderbag from Sarah and her team and she now swears by it for all the school’s cooking needs,” Shaw stated.

There are many instances and success stories already about how Thembelihle Primary School has helped countless children and their families overcome a variety of issues ranging from health to educational deficiencies. According to the school’s Chairman, Carolyn Hancock, the partnership of Wonderbag and The Oysterbox Hotel is a hugely exciting one with countless benefits to be had for the school and the community at large. “We are so grateful already to the generosity of both these entities. The Oysterbox Hotel not only covered the costs for the food provided at the Youth Day Wonderfeast, but they also donated an additional R25 000 which went towards covering the tuition of five of our learners for the year. The Wonderbag’s incredible donation of Wonderbags (valued at R90 000) has gone towards raising funds for the sustainability of our school. Sarah and I are both firm believers based on our experiences that the most effective form of empowerment to disadvantaged communities is through the provision of resources and knowledge, which will enable them to constructively improve the state of living of their families. That’s why during the Wonderfeast each family that attended was given a bag at a minimal cost, along with knowledge on how to derive the most benefit from the product. Our families were delighted to pay something for receiving a Wonderbag as it will not only benefit their own families, but the proceeds are also going straight back into their contributing to the operating expenses of the school – an important contribution for our parents who highly value the level of education offered to their children at Thembelihle,” explained Hancock.

Collins added, “By insisting that these families make a small contribution towards ‘buying’ their own Wonderbag they will appreciate the product much more and the likelihood is they will also use it regularly. That’s ultimately what we want because we know first-hand how this product can help enhance their lives in so many small but meaningful ways. This particular activation and launch with Thembelihle is a model that we would like to replicate across South Africa and eventually into Africa. We have seen the power and effectiveness of the Wonderbag with over 1 million bags already sold around the world and we know first-hand how this simple but revolutionary product can help communities in areas that are faced with poverty, health issues and a shortage of fuel resources.”

Thembelihle Primary School is just one of the centres in this area, which has become a pillar of strength within the Howick community. Also affiliated to the school is the Angels Care Centre which 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.

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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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Businesses

PROBAC Biologicals: Revolutionizing Cleaning in Durban with Eco-Friendly Innovation

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Durban, a city known for its vibrant culture and diverse community, is also becoming a hub for sustainable living. Leading this green revolution is PROBAC Biologicals, a proudly Durbanite and South African brand at the forefront of eco-friendly cleaning solutions.

PROBAC’s unique technology utilises ‘beneficial bacteria’ to biodegrade dirt, fundamentally transforming how they approach cleanliness. This innovative method not only ensures effective cleaning but also safeguards our environment by preventing chemical and dirt transfer.

What sets PROBAC apart is its commitment to long-lasting cleanliness and odour control at a microscopic level. This is particularly beneficial for Durban’s bustling households and dynamic businesses, offering a practical solution for maintaining hygiene without constant attention.

The significance of PROBAC’s technology extends beyond just cleaning. It mirrors natural biodegradation processes, fostering healthy bio-stability in our spaces. In a city like Durban, where the community is increasingly conscious about their environmental impact, PROBAC’s products resonate deeply. They embody the essence of sustainability — a trait highly valued by Durbanites.

Probac Durbanite

 

PROBAC’s roots as a South African brand represents a local solution to a global challenge, aligning perfectly with Durban’s ethos of community-driven progress and environmental responsibility. By choosing PROBAC, Durbanites not only enjoy a cleaner living environment but also contribute to a larger movement of ecological preservation.

As Durban continues to thrive as a city that values both its cultural heritage and environmental sustainability, PROBAC Biologicals stands out as a beacon of innovation. Its eco-friendly approach to cleaning is not just a product choice; it’s a lifestyle choice that resonates with the heart of Durban.

Check out www.probac.co.za for more information and give them a follow on Instagram.
Available at Pick n Pay, Checkers and Spar country-wide.

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Attractions

Luxurious R1.3bn Oceans Mall Umhlanga ready to open

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The luxurious and much anticipated Oceans Mall, part of the R4.3 billion mixed-use Oceans Umhlanga Development, opens its doors to shoppers on Tuesday 15 November.

On Friday 11 November, His Majesty King Misuzulu Ka Zwelithini will make his first public appearance since his Coronation to officiate at the launch function of the mall.

The project has created 6,000 jobs during construction and 2,500 permanent jobs and is classified as a catalytic development by the City of Durban. The double award-winning, internationally acclaimed development has been recognised for its unique curvilinear architecture at the International Property Awards.
The 36,000sqm mall has attracted top national and international brands The mall boasts two large, state-of-the-art anchor tenants – Woolworths and Checkers. Over 97% of the mall’s 120 stores are let and are filled with both well-known national and sought-after international brands to satisfy the most discerning of shoppers.

The world-class, first for South Africa, flagship Checkers FreshX will offer customers exclusive private label brands such as Forage & Feast – a premium private label endorsed by South Africa’s first Michelin star chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen – and Simple Truth. It also has a Meat Market with free range chicken and restaurant-quality steak, a Kauai store, a sushi bar, and a Foreign Ground coffee shop.

“The luxurious Checkers is designed in such a way that the various departments look and feel like specialist stores within a store,” says co-developer Vivian Reddy.
Trendy restaurants and family franchises Oceans Mall also offers mouth-watering restaurants such as the trendy Tiger’s Milk, renowned Signature Restaurant, Black, long established Olive & Oil, plus local franchise favourites such as Spur and Hussar Grill. “We have gone to town with opulent decor matched by a decadent menu,” says Black directors Andrey and Joelene. “We know that Black is destined to impress the senses, and we are catering for everyone including a special VIP section.”

High-end Platinum Walk fashion section to launch in March 2023 International fashion-brands – a first for KZN – will launch in the next phase of the mall opening in March 2023. The luxury Platinum Walk of Oceans Mall will feature premium international fashion brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry and Versace, and 8 others in the high-end section similar to the popular “Diamond Walk “of Sandton City.

Umhlanga is known as the playground of the North Coast and Oceans Mall is positioned as the most aspirational mall in KZN, destined to attract both locals and tourists who flock to the area. The high-end mall will have a positive impact on both the local and regional economy with its job creation and major financial contribution to the city coffers in terms of rates and utilities.

Transforming the north of Durban Offering a new and exciting shopping experience, the mall is designed to cater for all walks of life and will transform the lifestyle of the entire northern region with a unique KZN mall experience.

“Oceans Mall is distinctive and geared for all tastes, including the sophisticated and affluent shopper,” says Reddy. “It’s a world-class offering that is positioned amongst the top three exclusive malls in the country.”

 

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