New desks for Ikhaya le Themba

Neliswa Mvumvu and Thuliswa Nobenxa, of Ikhaya le Themba.

Plastic water bottles, sachets and other waste discarded by marathon runners are being used to make desks for schoolchildren in Imizamo Yethu.

There was great excitement at Ikhaya le Themba – which provides after-care for primary school children – in Imizamo Yethu, last week, as the children received 45 new “green desks”.

The desks are made from non-organic event waste collected during the marathon earlier this year as part of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon #GOGREEN campaign, which was developed by the Wildlands Conservation Trust.

The handover of the desks was met with delight as the pupils quickly took turns sitting at them.

The Two Oceans Marathon Initiative (TOMI) paid for 30 of the desks, and money raised by some of the marathon runners paid for the rest. But this is only the first batch, and more desks are due to be delivered.

Ikhaya le Themba was chosen as the first recipient of the desks thanks to its relationship with the Hout Bay Rotary Club, which has helped to establish a team of race marshals from Imizamo Yethu that now numbers 45 members.

Through the #GOGREEN campaign the waste left behind by athletes and spectators at endurance events is processed and moulded into planks used to make the green desks – it takes 60kg of previously unrecyclable waste to make a desk, which means the 45 desks have kept 2 700kg of waste out of a landfill.

Lauren van Nijkerk, of Wildlands, said being the official beneficiary of the Two Oceans Marathon had helped them “raise public awareness of environmental issues” and source funding for projects that helped to uplift communities countrywide.

Ikhaya le Themba director, Susan Hill, said the pupils were thrilled with the desks.

“It’s a real morale booster. We thank everyone involved with the campaign for this contribu-