Having been awarded two massive, global accolades in the past month, Wonderbag founder and Ballito local Sarah Collins has been honored and recognised for the incredible work she has done to inspire and grow the African continent.
The Wonderbag needs no introduction. This non-electric, portable slow cooker has been a game changer for home cooks the world over, allowing you to cook food that has been brought to the boil by conventional methods for up to eight hours without electricity or fuel.
The real wonder of the Wonderbag, however, is the difference it has made to the lives of thousands of rural women around the world. Billions of people cook over open fire every day, with women and girls burdened with time-consuming tasks like collecting firewood and cooking in harsh conditions. The Wonderbag saves time, decreases air pollution and saves trees. Over the past 10 years, more than 1.5 million Wonderbags have been activated worldwide.
How fitting it was then, that on International Women’s Day, social entrepreneur Sarah was named as one of Africa’s ‘New Wealth Creators’ by Forbes Africa Woman magazine at the Leading Women summit held in Durban. Amongst the speakers at the summit were Naomi Campbell, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and other high-ranking CEO’s and sportswomen. Managing editor of Forbes Woman Africa, Methil Renuka said the nominated women were pioneers within their industries. “These women are pioneering within their industries, as well as pioneering industries themselves, tapping into previously unknown sources of income and transforming the world as we know it.”
Passionate about helping women the world over reach their full potential, Sarah says she felt honoured to have been nominated. “Every woman in Africa is a potential entrepreneur, but if they spend up to eight hours collecting firewood and water as well as cooking – how can they ever have time to earn an income or tend to their agricultural land and sell produce in the market? That’s why I created the Wonderbag. I believe Africa needs economic stimulation in rural communities to ease the burden on urbanisation. If we can allow women to take their rightful place as entrepreneurs and matriarchs of their homes, we will significantly short the gap to fill empty tummies, as well as get children into school and allow girls to have more freedom to pursue and achieve great things.”
On top of the Forbes Woman Africa award, in the same month, Sarah and her Wonderbag were also named by the London Stock Exchange as a ‘Company to Inspire Africa’. Of this Sarah says she was proud and honoured to have her company and the Wonderbag acknowledged by the London Stock Exchange Group. “It’s so gratifying to be recognised by such a revered international organisation like the London Stock Exchange as one of the companies they believe, like the Time Magazine article recognised, will not only experience and inspire growth in Africa in 2019, but beyond that as well.”
The ingenious Wonderbag, used by refugees and humanitarian interventions around the world, is simple to use and revolutionary and can and is changing lives.