TRI-KES Donates Recycled Shipping Containers for TB Clinic in South Africa

TRI-KES, a designer, marketer and distributor of commercial interior finishes, including wallcoverings, coatings and fabrics, is donating recycled shipping containers outfitted for a tuberculosis (TB) clinic and laboratory in South Africa in conjunction with Baylor Research Institute, The Wilson Foundation and the Tshepo Trust in the much underserved community of Vaalwater, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

“The idea behind this donation to the community of Vaalwater, Limpopo Province, South Africa started from TRI-KES wanting to repurpose an old shipping container for its product display at HD,” says Ken Salyer Jr., president of TRI-KES. “In the U.S., it is trendy right now for shipping containers to be used for hip restaurants, hotels or boutiques and we thought it would be fun to do something similar with our trade show booth. It is amazing to realize in other countries, such as South Africa, shipping containers provide practical, social solutions to aid in providing basic human needs, like medical care. When we learned of The Wilson Foundation’s TB clinic/lab project we knew we wanted to team up with them.”

In conjunction with TRI-KES’ booth at HD, TRI-KES commissioned Dallas graffiti artist Jerod Alexander Davies (also known as DTOX) to illustrate the story of repurposing and giving back through art. Davies named the 3- by 3-foot piece, Compassion Blooms. TRI-KES had Compassion Blooms professionally photographed, enlarged the overall scale of the design and had it digitally printed for application onto its trade show display.

“The beauty of Compassion Blooms is that it captures and reflects the core of TRI-KES,” says Salyer. “TRI-KES is an environmentally and socially responsible company and in this case we are repurposing a shipping container for our HD trade show display and we’re repurposing and outfitting two 40-foot containers to be outfitted in South Africa for medical use, specifically tuberculosis. One container will be used for consultations and examinations and the other will be used for a TB lab. The digital reproduction gives the illusion of graffiti painted onto the container, while allowing us at the same time to feature some of our digital capabilities. We at TRI-KES are focused on the fine details for our customers so it was only fitting that Jerod did the same in his artwork. Customers who visit our booth will find it fun to see several of our most popular and/or new wallcovering patterns worked into the design itself.”

The Wilson Foundation is partnered with Baylor Medical Dallas, the University of Cape Town, and the Tshepo Trust to research drug-resistant TB prevalent in Limpopo Province, South Africa. “TB is the next step in community care as it is now killing more people than AIDS,” says John J. Canterbury III, executive director of The Wilson Foundation. “The research gleaned will be used to learn how to more effectively treat TB in South Africa as well as in the U.S. Our team will continue their work with no timeline with complete eradication the goal.”

Less than half of the African population has little or no access to basic medicines or vital medical equipment, including an actual medical clinic or hospital. The population of the African continent is estimated to be over one billion people. South Africa specifically is one of the most affected countries in Africa suffering from TB. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported an estimated 500,000 cases of active TB in 2011 throughout this country. About 1 percent of the population or 50 million people develop active TB each year. TB continues to be the leading cause of death in South Africa.

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