Over the past financial year, Tile Africa, a division of Norcros South Africa, have been working to upgrade school bathroom facilities at four needy schools near their head office in Gauteng, and sponsored educational workshops at the four upgraded schools. Many public schools in South Africa struggle with the lack of proper ablution facilities for their learners, which hampers the children’s ability to learn and affects school attendance since poor sanitation increases health risks, making illnesses a common occurrence.
“We realised that one of the best ways we could help was to do something that coincided with Tile Africa’s core business – tiles, taps and bathroom ware,” says Rachel Imasiku, Legal Director and Company Secretary for Norcros South Africa. Part of the project included educational programmes on how to keep the facilities healthy, clean and safe. “There are posters on the walls of the bathrooms, for instance, where we promote the message that superheroes always clean the toilet and wash their hands. We want the children to see themselves as those very special beings,” confirms Imasiku.
Taking this education programme further, the company conducted a round of maintenenace at each of the chools, to help keep the facilities in top condition for the leaners. Following this, Tile Africa partnered with MIET Africa, a not-for-profit African education organization, to conduct Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Workshops at the four upgraded schools. These workshops were conducted at each school, teaching learners the do’s and don’ts of toilet care, how to use the toilet properly, when and how to wash hands. With a combination of songs and games, Taffy, the Tile Africa Superhero mascot, encouraged learners to do the right thing every day, when using the bathrooms.
“We are fully aware of the challenges that we face in this country, especially in the area of education. This project of upgrading bathroom facilities together with the WASH workshops, is very important to us and speaks to our company’s purpose which is creating spaces for living life your way. We are proud of our achievements over the past year and look forward to doing more in our new financial year, which includes collaborating with Unilever to rebuild toilet facilities at a school in the Eastern Cape ” concludes Imasiku.