Photo Credit: Supplied

Safe Study, an inner-city after-school support programme for Johannesburg youth, got a solar boost thanks to the Versofy team, ensuring the lights stay on when loadshedding starts.


South Africa (16 April 2024) – Having a space to do homework and extramural activities is what makes Safe Study the place to be after school. Versofy Matters, valuing this space, helped establish a solar system to help keep the lights on when loadshedding hits.

Safe Study was founded during the pandemic when soup kitchen volunteer Georgina Bennett noticed how many children were on the streets due to schools being closed. Without access to online learning, the children were quickly falling behind.

Georgina started helping some of them with English, Maths and Reading. They had a thirst for learning, and soon, more children were asking for help. Georgina went from helping two children to one-hundred and ten! Safe Study was founded together with her mother Nicola Bennett.

Versofy Matters, the charitable arm of Versofy SOLAR, decided to give back to the organisation in the best way! Amy Tearle the Versofy Community and Social Media Marketing Manager, shared how the team reached out to lend a helping hand to Safe Study.

“Versofy provided Safe Study with a complimentary solar power system, which has had a profound impact on their operations. This system not only enables Safe Study to continue functioning seamlessly despite load shedding but also ensures a safe and conducive environment for students, teachers, and staff.

By harnessing solar energy, Safe Study now offers reliable access to essential amenities such as electricity, heating, and Wi-Fi. This transformative initiative is particularly significant as over half of Safe Study’s students come from homes without access to these basic necessities. With the solar power system in place, these children now have a dedicated space to learn and thrive, with the assurance of consistent lighting and warmth, along with the opportunity for a warm, nutritious meal.” – Amy Tearle, Versofy Community and Social Media Marketing Manager

Speaking to Nicola Bennett, she shared that the installation has been a “dream come true”. They had really been challenged by the loadshedding stages. Now they are able to keep the lights on and save money on electricity too. The money saved is being put towards feeding the children and purchasing needed supplies.

“We were really struggling on so many levels with loadshedding.

Many of our skills development and academic support programs were continuously put on hold, sewing machines couldn’t work, electric guitars, keyboards amplifiers etc not operational, computer department became impossible really affecting academic support, projects etc”

“Many of the youth are living with only one meal a day, so we also like to provide a hot meal in the afternoon before they go home – almost impossible without power, resorting on many days to a sandwich which is not ideal.

Also, just DARKNESS – our space doesn’t have many light windows and so for hours and hours the space was just gloomy, sad and difficult to thrive in!” – Nicola Bennett, Safe Study Co-Founder

Nicola confirmed that the future looks brighter and that there is the option of very real growth on the cards. She also shared that the youth involved in the programme have been so happy. The majority of the youth come from disadvantaged backgrounds, so access to solar is life-changing.

“For 90% of them the only source of light during power outages are candles and the one solar light we had donated for each household a few years ago. Aside from this they are in darkness, so they were in complete disbelief that they could come to a safe space with completely uninterrupted power, WiFi and the ability to continue with their work. Amazing, amazing, amazing!! We are so incredibly grateful for a sensational system from Versofy!!”


Versofy Matters embodies the company’s dedication to community engagement and social impact. It’s not just about putting solar panels on roofs; it’s about using their knowledge and resources to uplift and lighten the burden.

“We are privileged to be in a position where we can truly make a difference in a country where electricity access is not a given for many in need.” – Amy Tearle

Amy was in awe of her team after pitching the idea of supporting Safe Study. Each employee contributed to the project by donating a portion of their earnings.

“What truly defines Versofy Matters is the incredible spirit of generosity among our team. 

It was inspiring to witness how each member willingly stepped forward to donate, demonstrating our collective commitment to making a positive impact. Within hours of presenting the idea, we surpassed our monthly target as every employee eagerly opted in to lend their support in any way they could”

Versofy is now exploring ways to have a positive impact in its community. It hopes to add more organisations to its support profile.

“Presently, we’re engaged in an internal initiative to support an adoption home in Westcliff, Princess Alice. Our aim is to fulfill their winter wishlist and provide them with essential items to make their season a little brighter. We’re excited about this project and eager to contribute to the well-being of those in need.” – Amy Tearle

Nicola shared that she, her daughter Georgina and the youth are so grateful for the contribution to their programmes. It has made a massive difference and will continue to do so over the years.

“These Safe Study youth are nothing short of incredible – every single one of them with so much potential.

Having this extremely generous donation from Versofy is a complete game changer. With this support from Versofy we are able to help transform this little lives without interruption -such an incredible privilege for us to be empowered to do this!!” – Nicola Bennett

You can find out more about Safe Study here and Versofy here. Versofy SOLAR offers monthly subscription-based solar rentals which means that solar energy really is accessible to so many more households as it becomes that much more affordable.

Sources: Versofy
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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