During September Ford employees and numerous community members contributed and volunteered to better the life of the less fortunate in the name of ‘Global Week of Caring’. Over the past 10 years, in line with the Ford Motor Company‘s ‘Better World’ vision, each employee across the world has given their time and effort in a week-long display of caring.
The Ford Volunteer Corps and Ford Global Week of Caring are celebrating ten years of building a better world. Ford Global Week of Caring has been tremendously successful at focusing efforts and calling attention to volunteers wherever they are in the world. As the company has grown, employees are looking for more ways to give back.
Starting this year, we designated all of September to caring for others turning Global Week of Caring into Ford Global Caring Month. It’s an opportunity to create more projects, help more people and strengthen more communities.
Ford employees completed more than 9,000 volunteer projects in more than 40 countries, and invested more than 1 million hours of their time to helping others. In Sub Saharan Africa more than 940 employees spent over 6 700 hours on more than 30 projects.
“The initiative saw Ford employees, dealers and other volunteers participating across Angola, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Madagascar and South Africa,” said Ford Motor Company President of Sub-Saharan Africa, Jeff Nemeth. “Each of the projects we run touches people’s lives and brings real comfort and hope. They also make their towns, villages and cities better places to live.”
Volunteers contributed to various education, health, environmental sustainability and humanitarian support. In South Africa, Ford demonstrated its commitment by conducting a variety of projects, in Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Pretoria.
In Pretoria Ford employees helped to upgrade the facilities at a special needs school called Tshegofatsong in Mamelodi by improving the facilities for the children with learning and physical disabilities. Tshwaraganang Child Care Volunteer centre received a new solar geyser and rain water tank as well as gutters for their existing care centre. Several vegetable gardens were created for the different projects.
In Port Elizabeth, six shipping containers were converted to new, blue refurbished units. The Nelson Mandela Art School, Funduzufe Educare and Jeannie’s Soup Kitchen received two containers each. Containers were revamped into a classroom, office, a shelter for a day-care centre and into homes at the Blue Village also known as the container project in the Vastrap area.
In Angola, the Ford dealer, Robert Hudson and their employees rehabilitated the school and health centre of Obra da Divina Providencia in Luanda.
Ford volunteers Zimbabwe focused on environmental projects. The Ford dealer in Zimbabwe partnered with its customers to plant trees in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare.
In Kenya, Ford partnered with Kenya Cancer Association (KENCASA) to raise cancer awareness. The teams spent time with the patients and the KENCASA team for a week, participating in a fun walk held at the end of the week for patients and cancer survivors.
In addition to this, employees spent time creating jungle gym set-ups, painting existing buildings, varnishing desks at schools, supporting local organisations that educate children, feeding the hungry, finding ways to preserve our environment, building houses out of containers, and many other great initiatives.
“Education plays a significant role in our Global Month of Caring projects and throughout the year,” Nemeth said. “Local schools are in dire need of infrastructure and renovations; and skills development programmes need to be sustained. We also recognise the need to provide health services such as HIV counselling, mobile clinics and rehabilitation centres. This year non-profit organisations in Sub Saharan Africa received more than R600 000 ($50 000) in grants to continue the great work they do.
“Our work does not stop at the end of September and we have seen increasing numbers of our employees giving their time throughout the year. Our Ford Better World philosophy is more than just a series of projects, but permeates everything we do as a company,” concluded Nemeth.
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