Ford volunteers came out in force this year to support nominated community organisations in the Sub-Saharan Africa region (SSA) during Ford’s Global Month of Caring, which takes place annually in September.
Almost 800 Ford employees assisted a total of 30 non-profit organisations in South Africa. We also had dealer participation in South Africa, Mozambique and Kenya. Employees spent over 12 800hours dedicated to making people’s lives better and addressing environmental issues – with selected projects still ongoing.
In addition to the hands-on involvement of Ford personnel, the selected NPOs received much-needed funding to support these projects, with a total of $111 300 (over R1.5-million) disbursed by the Ford Motor Company Fund through Global Giving.
“It is a privilege for Ford employees and dealer staff to head out into their surrounding communities across the region during Global Month of Caring and make a meaningful impact, whether it’s painting a classroom, fixing a fence or planting a tree,” said Dr Casper Kruger, Managing Director of Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.
“Ford’s goal is to help build a better world for the communities in which we operate, and it is fantastic to see the commitment and enthusiasm of each and every Ford volunteer as they play their part in making this a reality. The unwavering dedication of the NPOs to their various causes is equally inspiring, and we are honoured to support their initiatives and help make a difference in people’s lives,” Kruger added.
The far-reaching projects tackled a wide range of issues, from revamping buildings at crèches, schools and community health and wellness organisations to creating sustainable vegetable gardens; assisting with much-needed maintenance at wildlife education and rehabilitation facilities; conducting environmental education, reforestation and clean-up campaigns; and providing skills development opportunities for the unemployed.
At Bright Beginnings, a day care centre located in Mamelodi East in Pretoria that caters for 83 vulnerable, abused children and those living with HIV/AIDS, Ford volunteers painted the classrooms, kitchen and toilets, and repaired the existing jungle gym. “Thank you so much to Ford for doing this for us, and you have carried me when things were not going well and I didn’t have much to offer the children,” said Shilova Mashaba. “I value the relationship I have with Ford, and no words can express how much I appreciate the support.”
The Guide Dog Association of Southern Africa also received a helping hand from Ford, with the donated funds helping a team of volunteers conduct essential maintenance of the kennels and facilities. “We are extremely grateful for the help, both physically and financially,” commented Juliette Powell, PR and Marketing Manager. “The funding means that we will be able to train another puppy for someone that will need a dog within the next year. Ford has helped us to help others.”
In Port Elizabeth, Ford employees conducted a clean-up campaign in conjunction with the Zwartkops Conservancy, and funded its impactful school environmental education initiatives. “We are extremely grateful to Ford, which is one our biggest sponsors,” said the organisation’s Dale Clayton. “Ford’s involvement and the grant received supports our education programme as well as the collection of refuse from the river, which enables our ongoing work to protect our natural resources.”
In collaboration with the Loop Counselling and Training Centre in Gelvandale, Port Elizabeth, Ford staff and learners upgraded the kitchen that supports the feeding scheme for the Fontein Primary School and surrounding community, and revamped its skills development and training facility. “We would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to Ford for their continued support,” said Loop’s Cecil Fondling. “With the funding received, we were able to upgrade the kitchen to continue with the feeding scheme, which supports the school and the community. We are also excited with the progress of our training facility. Thank you Ford from the bottom of our hearts.”
In Kenya, Ford and its local dealer, CMC Motors, initiated a long-term project with the Red Cross Society that involves establishing a tree nursery to support afforestation efforts in Migori. The objective is to establish a nursery with a capacity of growing 500 000 tree seedlings each year.
A community primary school in Maputo, Mozambique, received the special Ford treatment too, with support from the local dealer, InterAuto. The school accommodates almost 2 200 learners and 75 administrative staff, with extensive repairs and maintenance required for the ablution facilities, drains and water supply. The team also rehabilitated one of the classrooms with new windows, roofing, painting and lighting.