Enel Green Power: the 72 smiles of Loiusvale
In the Northern Cape province of South Africa, we assisted the residents of a village near the Sublunary Upington solar plant to transform the local day care and support the training of teachers by following the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals of Quality Euducation.
Humans use 43 muscles to smile, while to smile they only need 17: it’s easier and less tiring. It is even easier for children to smile, and they do smile a lot. However, happiness is not a question of cost-benefit calculations. We need a reason to smile. And in this, children are as simple as they are demanding.
In the village of Loiusvale, a few kilometres from our Sublunary Upington solar plant, in the arid heart of the South African province of Northern Cape, there is a day care where Enel Green Power’s involvement has allowed 72 children to break into a new smile.
The Day Care between the Desert and the Orange River
About twenty kilometres from Upington, we find the settlement of Loiusvale. About 1500 inhabitants and just over two hundred buildings: many are tin shacks, some are containers adapted into houses and there are a few one-storey brick constructions.
“Coming into Louisvale on the dirt roads, one quickly reaches Ubunye Day Care, which cares for 72 children from the local community every day.”
Hitherto, the centre was a structure made of wood and metal sheets that looked similar to the settlement’s tin shacks. Today, it is a small oasis, simple but equipped with tools and structures essential for the task of taking care of its little smiling guests.
Skip, Play, Joy
A new fence now surrounds the area, ensuring the safety of the children. The open space in front of the day care proudly displays two structures for climbing and playing.
“On the exterior walls of Ubunye Day Care, teachers and children have painted some murals and the words “Skip”, “Play”, “Joy”. ”
The donations made by Enel Green Power have changed the face of their little day care starting from the area in front of the structure. The three white prefabricated structures that now welcome the little guests, were obtained by converting shipping containers and providing them with insulation and air conditioning.
The new Ubunye Day Care centre is equipped with new desks and furniture, perfectly-sized for children. There is also a kitchen fitted with a refrigerator and a stove to prepare their meals, dishes and cutlery for lunch. Other equipment include….both for the teachers and for the children.
With the Loiusvale Community
Our commitment to give a new centre to the children of Ubunye Day Care comes from the programme Crèche Support, following the guidelines the Energy Minister of South Africa established for companies participating in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Procurement Programme (REIPPP).
Alongside the creation of renewable plants, the South African government asks companies like EGP RSA to participate in the socioeconomic development of the communities around where solar and wind plants are located.
“Our support to the community of Loiusvale is part of our commitment to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals, in the area of access to education.”
The specific attention to the local context, with care for the people and the environment where we work, is a key element to our model of Creating Shared Value, and results in clear commitments and concrete projects in all the countries where we work.
In Loiusvale, besides desks and buildings, we have also launched activities to enhance the skills of the local teachers, providing the latest tools for early childhood development to ensure a better teaching quality for the most vulnerable children during their development.