Melrose Arch, one of the country’s most luxurious and high-end shopping and business centres, has donated one hundred running metres of sheets of vinyl in the form of billboards to DeskBags, a NPC dedicated to creating mobile desk solutions for underprivileged children around South Africa.
DeskBags is an innovative concept that provides school satchels that double as desks when folded open as the bag flap is reinforced with ABS plastic, providing a hard and stable surface for children to write on to do their lessons and homework.
Many schools around the country are not furnished with the most basic of amenities, such as school desks or chairs. According to Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education 3.1 million children do not have school desks and are forced to learn while seated or kneeling on dusty floors, and using the ground as a writing surface.
Co-founder and managing director of DeskBags, Shannon Roscher, expressed her delight at the donation saying, “Melrose Arch is such a recognisable icon within South Africa, especially in Johannesburg, and we are very excited that their billboard donation will make a real difference in our efforts to produce more DeskBags for needy children and communities.”
On top of providing a writing surface for school kids, DeskBags are made by women from underprivileged or abusive backgrounds, providing them with a means to earn a living and gain independence. Because of this, each bag is constructed with infinite care and is so strong and durable that if looked after well, it can last a child many productive years.
“When we heard about the DeskBags initiative and the very creative and cost-effective way in which they are answering a very real need in South Africa, it simply made sense to hand over our old billboards to turn them into functional school bags, while providing added employment streams for the underprivileged women who make them,” says Mike Vermaak, general manager of Melrose Arch.