Since the lockdown slammed into us all at full speed back in March – and grounding all plans for any 2020 event in the desert – members of our team have been involved in realigning our energies and focus. And amongst the most visible of these efforts have been The Dignity Project, which was initiated back in 2018 as a means of alleviating the sanitation challenges that street folks of Observatory, Cape Town, face on a day to day basis.
The project began as so many collaborations with our organisation do: with an idea and a conversation, and in this case it was kickstarted between concerned members of our team and civic partners involved in our annual Streetopia Obs street festival in the suburb of Cape Town that’s been home to AfrikaBurn since its inception.
Little did we know then that the first steps we took in creating the toilet units that would go on to be rolled out at our main annual event in the desert would become the core of a greater programme that would become instrumental in providing much-needed relief for the homeless community in our area as a result of Covid-19 and the pressing need to provide personal sanitation solutions on the streets. But that’s how we roll, as an organisation and as a community: the lessons we’ve learnt in the desert over the years continue to provide us with ways to invent the world anew beyond the dust.
Here’s what’s coming in the next phase for the Dignity Project:
Since our last update on The Dignity Project, we’re happy to report that things have begun to progress, with new partnerships afoot that will help to expand the Dignity Project’s reach and impact. In the process, we’re forging stronger bonds with local community-based organisations and civic bodies, which are enabling our team to extend the good work it’s doing out in the world.
We hope to bring you more updates on the civic partnerships that are being discussed, as well as examples of where new toilet and wash station units have been deployed, soon.
To help accelerate the process of building The Dignity Project’s toilet and wash units, it would help a great deal to be able to buy greater numbers of plumbing components – and though these are not expensive items, buying them in bulk brings the cost of each unit down to a level that enables civic organisations and community-based projects to buy the units and get them operating in a greater number of areas where needed. So far, our donations drive is almost at the R12 000 mark – but all involved would love to see those numbers climb higher, so the Dignity Project’s free community sanitation service can expand and make a difference to folks living on the street. Sound like something you’d like to see happen?
Click here to support The Dignity Project’s donations drive – or, if you’re involved in a community-based organisation or civic that’s interested in having toilet and wash stations installed in your area, email the team on [email protected]
Stay tuned, stay safe and stay positive out there.
To stay updated on progress with this project, Head to The Dignity Project’s Facebook page.