Solar-powered schoolbags in South Africa

The world as we know it is not like that in every place and every country. The African continent, and many countries that are on it, deal with daily issues while many of those issues involve life or death.

Those are places that people from all around the globe try to help and contribute in order to decrease the majority of those issues.

For instance, many school children who live in impoverished communities in South Africa are affected by power cuts. And with all that being said, this brings us to the creators of the new innovative solar powered schoolbag, an invention that will possibly change things and make the children’s life easier.

Made from recycled plastic, this solar powered schoolbag features a solar panel in the flap – which charges as the children walk to and from school – as well as strips of reflective material to make the wearer visible in the dark.

Once the pupil gets home, he removes the solar panel and screws it onto a solar jar that can last up to 12 hours and allows him to do his homework even during power cuts.

Kamogelo, a nine-year old pupil who deals with this daily power difficulties stated: “It helps me a lot when there is no electricity because I take the lamp and use that for lighting in order to read and do my homework”.

The Repurpose Schoolbags as they are called, are the brainchild of a pair of young entrepreneurs from Rustenburg on the outskirts of Johannesburg.

At the factory where they are made, the plastic sheets are first cleaned and processed to make them malleable enough to create the bags. The design and look is also important, and the bags come in a variety of bright colors for every taste.

“They’re happy to have a school bag. I remember with the first handover one of the kids cried and I was like ‘This is a bit emotional.’ The parents are coming saying ‘My child is able to do work’ and teachers are coming saying ‘Homework is now being done.’ So I think we are affecting all spheres of a child’s life, if I can put it that way”, says co-founder Rea Ngwane.

And this truly must be a lifetime change for the kids that now have a chance to more proper learning. What’s more surprising though, is the people’s support to something that most of us would consider given. Parents and teachers thank Rea and react as if this innovation will change their children’s lives for ever (which to be honest, it will in even a small degree).

The pair say that the company is growing to meet demand and they are planning to launch a luxury brand to help subsidise the schoolbags. They also want to expand to other countries in Africa where access to electricity in poorer communities remains a problem.

We wish them best of luck, so that they can help as many people as possible. This should a good example to all of us!

Last Modified: Mar 26, 2019