The work of our Corporate Social Responsibility team in Johannesburg, South Africa, has had a particularly exceptional impact, and one that makes me proud to be part of such an amazing team.
Last year the team ‘adopted’ the Healing Word crèche based in the Zandspurit Informal Settlement. Back then it was a shack with just one toilet and one classroom for 24 children. Keen to make a difference to the lives of these children, we began several months of fundraising and planning. In October 2015 we were able to provide the first classroom quickly followed by a second classroom plus three new toilets, a kitchen, and a shaded fenced area for the kids to play in. The team rallied together painting and planting to make the kids feel at home – with a little help from the locals!
Last month the team paid a visit to the crèche to see how they were getting on. It was an emotional experience to see the children sitting at tables colouring in and being able to sit, learn and play within their age groups.
But what struck us most is the impact it has had on the surrounding community. Not only do these children now have a safe haven in which they can be educated, but it’s made a big difference to the local area. The land which surrounds the crèche, which previously was littered and unusable, has been cleared in order to make way for new houses. Patience, the owner of the crèche, told us that parents are now proud to take their children there and are even moving closer to it, which is amazing to hear.
While it seemed ambitious at the time, seeing the results of this initiative has inspired us to dream big for our 2016 CSR activities. Well done to everyone involved for making this happen.
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