Community for a Sustainable World

We are Community for a Sustainable World (CSW), and it’s our mission to support and develop sustainable self-reliant communities around the globe. This year, our team partnered with the Botshabelo Community Development Trust located in Magaliesburg, South Africa to launch our first major international initiative known as the Botshabelo Solar Panel Project. Like the name suggests, this purpose of this project is to design and install a fully operational photovoltaic (PV) solar system that allows the Botshabelo community to live independently from the local power grid.

The Botshabelo Community Development Trust was founded by Marion and Con Cloete in 1990 and remains in full operation today. The community is home to hundreds of children, several animals, and includes a female owned and operated community village. Inspired by its name, this community gives refuge to anyone and everything in need of a place to be safe and loved. The most important rule at Botshabelo is that everyone in need is welcomed. What started as a safe place for those ostracized by HIV/AIDS and the fallout from Apartheid, has led to a steadily growing community of orphaned children and displaced adults who, against all odds, now call themselves family.

The ultimate goal at Botshabelo is to be a model village that works together for sustainable and communal growth. However increasing challenges continue to distance the community from reaching this goal. Infrastructure is one of these major challenges and includes everything from access to health care and reliable building supplies. The biggest infrastructural obstacle is acquiring enough electricity to power the community. Nation- wide power shedding protocols leave the community without power for days at a time. Without power, they are unable to pump water for drinking, bathing and cooking and this is a major problem in an HIV/AIDS prevalent community. In combination with the astronomically high cost of electricity, the Cloete family are striving to reduce their reliability on the local power provider and soaring energy costs. Such a solution would allow the community to use their existing resources to elevate their community.

CSW is collaborating with the Cloete family and the Botshabelo Community Development Trust to assist in funding, planning and coordinating the installation of a solar panel power system for the community. This project will support the community by improving access to power for daily operations, reducing (or ultimately avoiding) absorbent utility bills, and assist in reaching their goal of living off the grid. Ultimately, the success of our project is entirely dependent on the generosity of our very own communities. We hope that you’ll consider making a donation to Community for a Sustainable World in trust for the Botshabelo Solar Panel Project.

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