Cast of Characters

Office of Sustainable Livelihoods

The City of Cape Town’s Office of Sustainable Livelihoods implements strategies and programs that focus on environmental sustainability and were our sponsors. We worked closely with them for the duration of this project. To learn more about them, visit their website.

  • Cindy Jacobs works in the Office of Sustainable Livelihoods. She advised our project, gave us key insights, and connected us to organizations such as the Low Income Energy Strategy Task Team. Furthermore, she provided us with Wonderbags, which we used to demonstrate the product and cook with.
  • Jacques Du Toit works in the Office of Sustainable Livelihoods. Before moving to Cape Town, he worked in Kruger Park. He advised us throughout the entire project and provided a deeper understanding of Wonderbags, the City’s Goals, and the townships.
  • Max Dingaan works in the Office of Sustainable Livelihoods. He lives in Langa, and created the Langa Environmental Action Forum (LEAF). Prior to working in the OSL, he taught students about environmental impact and sustainable lifestyles. He worked as our co-researcher by connecting us to crèches in Langa. Furthermore, he provided invaluable feedback on the Entrepreneurial Support Packet and Wonderbag distribution methods. Also, he volunteered to continue this project by contacting other crèches and expanding the project after we leave.

Business Bridge

  • Tom Parry is CEO (South Africa) of the Business Bridge Initiative. He gave us advice on how to introduce products into townships. Also, he provided us with material that assisted us in developing both the business model and entrepreneurial packet.
  • Solomon Willis teaches classes in the Business Bridge. He connect us with crèche leaders and provided us insights on distribution methods.

Crèche Leaders

  • Rina is a crèche owner and takes classes at the Business Bridge. She provided us with a variety of information which helped us form the business model.
  • Khayelitsha ECD forum is a large collection of roughly 45 crèche leaders. We presented the Wonderbag to them and received feedback about the product.
  • Lungiswa Gege owns Gege’s Crèche. She lives in Langa, and has worked with Max and LEAF before. She was the first crèche leader to participate in the Pilot Program. Their participation gave us invaluable information about the effectiveness of the business model and provided ideas how to improve the Entrepreneurial Support Packet.
  • Meghan works for Grannies Against Poverty and AIDs. She met with us to discuss the possibility of their aftercare program selling Wonderbags. She also provided us with information on how guardians and community members may respond if Wonderbags were sold in their community.
  • Miss May is the owner of Kiddies College Preschool. She has worked with WPI in past, and agreed to participate in our Pilot Program. We worked closely with her, Mrs. Robinson, and Mama to sell the Wonderbags, and improve our business model. She invited us to come to their graduation ceremony and present the Wonderbags to the parents.
  • Mrs. Robinson is the principal of Kiddies College Preschool. We worked together to improve the business model. She runs the day-to-day life of Kiddies College.
  • Mama is Miss May’s mother and the cook for Kiddies College Preschool. She sold the Wonderbags. Also, she used the Catering Wonderbag to cook lunch for the children and the normal sized Wonderbag to cook at home. She demonstrated to us how important it is to use the Wonderbag, as her interest in the product greatly benefited her ability to sell them.

Community Members

  • Amanda lives in the Langrug informal settlement and is involved with other WPI projects. To read more, visit the WaSH Service’s Co-Researchers page.
  • Sizwe Mxobo works for CORC and is a co-advisor for several of the WPI projects. He agreed to be interviewed by us and provided invaluable information on energy usage in informal settlements. WaSH Services has more information about him on their Cast of Characters website.
  • Auntie Marie is a community leader in Flamingo Crescent. She worked to reblock the community. Also, she agreed to speak with us about the community’s energy usage, cooking methods, and plans for electrification. More can be read about her on the Early Childhood Development in Flamingo Crescent’s Meet the Community website.
  • Yolanda is a community member in Flamingo Crescent. She is considering becoming a teacher at the new crèche. She spoke with us about Flamingo Crescent and its energy demands and usage. More can be read about her on the Early Childhood Development in Flamingo Crescent’s Meet the Community website.

Product Distributors

  • Peter Sharples is the local distributer for Natural Balance. He sells Wonderbags in the Cape Town area. He provided us with a number of Wonderbags for demonstration and use. He also agreed to work with the various crèches and sell them bags. Additionally, he provided invaluable information which helped us to select crèches as a distribution center.
  • Ryan Styler is a co-founder of In2Brands, which distributes Waka Waka lights across South Africa. He spoke with us about the possibility of crèches selling Waka Waka units and gave us advice on how to distribute energy products, both in townships and middle income areas.
  • Terry Murphy sells Fluoresave lights. He meet with us and provided valuable information about his efforts to distribute energy products in townships.