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BIG Better Awards: Repurpose Schoolbags

BIG Better Awards: Repurpose Schoolbags

Thato Kgatlhyane was only 18 years old when she and two friends set up the social do-good company Rethaka. Their first product was the Repurpose Schoolbag, a solar powered waterproof schoolbag for children, made from recycled plastic.

How does this help South-Africa?


Social problem #1: Lighting

Light is a scarce resource on the African countryside. The consequences of the lack of electricity in large parts of South-Africa is that children often have to finish their homework in unhealthy and dangerously kerosene lit huts. The poor lighting is not only a major issue in the house but also on the roads leading to the schools. An average of three roadkills per day happen because children aren’t visible enough. It’s no exception for schoolchildren to leave the house before sunrise as their walks often take up to three hours to reach school.

The solar panels that are attached to the Repurpose Schoolbags turn sunlight into energy that can provide up to 12 hours of LED-light. According to IFC African households still spend one tenth of their income on lighting. Kerosene is very expensive!


Social problem #2: Plastic Waste

Plastic waste is a serious social and economical problem for South-Africa. The large amounts of plastic waste leads to health problems, blocked waterways and animals choking. It’s costing developing countries more than $1.27 billiard per year to do something about plastic waste.

Founder Thato takes part in the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy, a program that helps younf South-African entrepreneurs to make a difference in their community.
If you’d like to sponsor the Repurpose Schoolbags you you can click here.

Go to our Facebook website to vote for Repurpose Schoolbags if you think they deserve a €10K worth campaign by the creative team behind the Better Awards.

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1 Comment

  1. WOW! What an ingenious solution to a very real problem. Well done! You certainly deserve to win.

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