Swipe for action with the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet Thuso Fund

Sign up for a free MySchoolSA card and you can effortlessly raise funds for NGOs that have communities’ best interests at heart, at no cost to you

27 November 2023 - 09:15
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Hundreds of foundation-phase children have benefited from the Thuso Funds' education-driven interventions.
Hundreds of foundation-phase children have benefited from the Thuso Funds' education-driven interventions.
Image: MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet

Make a difference every time you shop by signing up for a free MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card. Each time you swipe this card at one of this community fundraising programme's many retail partners, a percentage of your spend will be donated to up to three worthy causes of your choice — at no charge to you.

There are over 8,500 beneficiaries to choose from, including the Thuso Fund. Created and managed by MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, this fund was set up to give cardholders the opportunity to support causes across four pillars: education; access to the economy; food and water security and sustainable ecosystems. 

“In the face of so much need, people often don’t know where to turn to offer help. We’re happy to be able to offer the Thuso Fund as a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet beneficiary to help channel their funds to organisations who have communities’ best interests at heart,” says MySchool GM Pieter Twine.

The impact of the Thuso Fund's education-driven interventions not only benefits students, but teachers too.
The impact of the Thuso Fund's education-driven interventions not only benefits students, but teachers too.
Image: MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet

The Thuso Fund focuses on:

  • Improving education outcomes, especially early learning and literacy;
  • Developing work-ready youth and unlocking access to the economy, employability and income-generating activities;
  • Improving access to food and clean water to support food security; and
  • Providing disaster relief to help communities recover, while also protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable ecosystems.

“This is in alignment with our purpose of making a difference in the lives of South Africans — people, animals and environment — for long-term resilience,” says Twine.

“Every project is carefully assessed, and implementation is done with credible partners in the NGO sector, ensuring that these projects are delivering the agreed outcomes. By choosing the Thuso Fund as a beneficiary, supporters are assured that the funding is managed and that communities benefit from lasting upliftment.”

How the Thuso Fund is making a difference

Supporting early childhood development

In 2022/2023, the Thuso Fund allocated funds to many education-driven interventions, but the three largest were the partnerships with Grow Educare, Breadline Africa and Impande.

The partnerships delivered 11 early childhood development centres in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape with 24 new classrooms and associated facilities. The direct impact was felt by hundreds foundation-phase children and scores of staff, with the extended impact reaching thousands of parents, siblings and community members.

“Safe infrastructure facilities become shining lights in neighbourhoods and drive up demand by parents for quality which, in turn, uplifts the whole community,” says Twine. 

Teaching the teachers

SA has a shortage of qualified, passionate teachers and a rising wave of youth unemployment. The Thuso Fund, supplemented by the Dream2Teach Scholarship Fund, has turned these challenges into an opportunity to create positive change.

In partnership with St Peter's Foundation and the Realema Teacher Intern Programme, the fund gives young people who may not be able to afford to obtain a teaching qualification the chance to achieve their teaching dreams, while also fighting youth unemployment.

The programme and its partners offer each student a bursary to cover the costs of tuition and books, placement at recognised educational institutions, a peer-support network, and mentoring, coaching and internship opportunities at top schools for work experience.

Winning with water

The Thuso Fund, in partnership with Woolworths and MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, gave rise to the Woolies Water Fund, which has successfully implemented water solutions in schools worth R7.3m.

This includes providing over 600 handwashing stations and 172 water tanks in four provinces. The fund has also installed rainwater harvesting infrastructure and tanks at more than 100 schools, providing the capacity to store over 1-million litres of rainwater, ensuring access to safe water for local communities. 

To date, the Woolies Water Fund has installed 600 handwashing stations in four provinces.
To date, the Woolies Water Fund has installed 600 handwashing stations in four provinces.
Image: MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet

“The water collected in the rainwater tanks is purified and can be used for handwashing stations, kitchens and toilets and enables schools to continue teaching during water outages,” says Twine.

“In addition, run-off water is channelled to support sustainable food gardens, where possible. The aim is to assist schools to grow sustainable food gardens of vegetables and fruit for school lunches and to share the produce with their communities.”

Helping animals in need

The Thuso Fund helped establish the Domestic Animal Rescue Group’s (DARG) Rush Ndou community clinic in Hout Bay this year.

This facility aids the organisation in attending to emergency cases, provides accessible veterinary care for the many cats and dogs in lower-income areas, and is a hub for DARG’s sterilisation operation in the area.

It also assists in skills development, providing employment for residents from Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg and educating children from Hout Bay’s underprivileged communities about animal care and safety.

You can make a difference: sign up for MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card

Sign up for a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card online or via the fundraising programme's app (available via the Google Play and Apple app stores) to give back to worthy causes — at no charge — with every swipe.

By nominating the Thuso Fund as one of their three beneficiaries, supporters can help raise funds for projects close to their hearts, as well as supporting broader development initiatives that constantly strive to make SA a better place,” says Twine.

This article was sponsored by MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet.

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