To celebrate MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet’s 23 years of existence, the community loyalty programme is taking time out to thank those who have been instrumental in its success over more than two decades – their supporters. Since its launch in 1997, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet has enabled South Africans to make a tangible difference and contribution to the improvement of tens of thousands of lives, and to the conservation of some of our most at-risk animals. In honour of this, we highlight the top 10 “gifts” that over 1 million South Africans have helped secure towards education, under resourced communities, animal welfare, conservation and more.
More than R767 million – the total sum of money raised by MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet since 1997
After 23 years, the total amount of money raised by South Africans has helped over 8 000 charities, schools and organisations. The programme began as a fundraising tool solely focused on providing parents and individuals with the opportunity to raise funds for their local school every time they shopped. But in response to the vast and growing need in South Africa, it was expanded to assist “communities, animal protection and conservation around 2007, hence the name change to MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet.
R2.2 million was donated to assist with disaster relief efforts during COVID-19
South Africa has a long history of rising to the challenge when disaster strikes, and lives and livelihoods are threatened. These include flash floods, droughts, and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet has always been at the forefront of providing relief in areas where it is most needed, thanks to its supporters and their unwavering commitment over the past 23 years.
49 schools received water tanks for rainwater harvesting and storage
Together with MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, the Woolies Water Fund was established in 2018 to assist the many schools across South Africa without access to sustainable water sources. The water collected in the rain-water tanks can be used for handwashing and toilets, allowing these schools to remain operational in cases of water outages. It is also used to support their sustainable food gardens that provide vegetables and fruit for school lunches, and to share with local communities.
Over 150 000 books have been provided to schools, learners and other institutions
Working alongside organisations like Book Dash, South Africans have managed to impact the lives and literacy levels of thousands of children and learners, thanks to the gift of educational and recreational books. MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet first became involved with Book Dash in 2108 as part of the organisation’s 21st birthday celebrations, sponsoring 21 000 books for Santa Shoeboxes going to children aged seven and younger. The impact was so significant that MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet broadened the scope of the collaboration the following year, sponsoring 50 000 books for Santa Shoeboxes in an inspiring example of a collaboration that ultimately benefits children. This year 100 000 books have been sponsored.
Investments into Early Childhood Development centres
Early Childhood Development is crucial to all children’s future success in school and in their personal lives. There are many children in South Africa who do not have access to quality learning materials, and centres like GROW EduCare have the resources to help enrich their minds and encourage them to fulfil their true potential. In 2019, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet launched the new partnership with GROW Educare to establish 21 high-quality ECD centres in under-resourced communities in Cape Town and Gauteng over the following two years. With funding of almost R5 million, this marked one of MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet’s biggest commitments to a single project at the time.
Over 6 000 lap desks have been donated to learners
To assist learners in schools without sufficient resources, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, through the commitment of its supporters, has provided thousands of lap desks to improve their learning experience. Many schools unfortunately do not have the financial resources to purchase desks for all learners, so this small contribution makes a tangible difference to the way in which children learn.
120 smiles have been changed via MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet’s support for Smile Foundation missions
Working hand in hand with the Smile Foundation, which provides corrective surgery to children who suffer from treatable facial deformities such as cleft lip and palate, burns survivors, those with Moebius syndrome (facial paralysis) and other conditions, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet has helped contribute to the organisation since 2013.
Over R19 million has been raised for the fight against rhino poaching
The MyPlanet Rhino Fund was created in 2011 to boost rhino conservation across South Africa, so when you select them as a beneficiary, you can trust that you’re raising funds for worthy and best-practice conservation initiatives. Even during a very tough 2020, when the world’s focus has been consumed by COVID-19, the MyPlanet Rhino Fund was still able to raise over R3.3 million from September 2019 to date.
173 schools have raised over R500 000, and 121 schools raised over R1 million
Schools all around the country have received millions of rands to assist in their efforts to provide learners with the best possible education. Through the swipes of MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet supporters, children across the country are receiving a higher quality education.
Over 300 pets were provided with quality veterinary care
Through the Thanda Inja project, South Africans helped our furry friends secure access to quality veterinary care and get the treatment they needed. A Pug Rescue SA initiative, the project currently operates out of pop-up theatres and clinics under gazebos, but aims to build and equip an animal welfare hospital which will be supported by mobile veterinary units. The ultimate goal is to expand veterinary services and care to informal settlements other than Daveyton in Gauteng, where they currently operate.
It’s never too late to join the community of supporters who are giving back to these and other causes. Every time you swipe your MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet or linked Woolies card when shopping at any of their retail partner stores, a donation is made to your chosen causes on your behalf – at no cost to you. Sign up for free at myschool.co.za or download the App. Retail partners include Woolworths, Loot.co.za, Bidvest Waltons, Builders and more.