In an effort of making every day a Mandela Day, Volkswagen Show of Hands volunteers dedicated their time and skills making story books for and reading to Grade 3 children from previously disadvantaged schools in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Dedicating more than 67 minutes, the 30 Volkswagen volunteers including Managing Director Thomas Schaefer and his wife Wendy, took four hours out of their Saturday afternoon to help reduce functional illiteracy. Some of the volunteers cut, stapled and packed story books for the children, while others read and told stories to the 85 children present on the day.
The children were from Ilinge Primary School, Uitenhage Primary School and Phakamile Primary School, all schools in the Uitenhage area.
The highlight of the day was the handing over of three mobile libraries to the schools with a value of R20 000. In addition, R30 000 worth of books were also donated to the schools.
“4.7 million South African children are functionally illiterate and at VWSA an essential part of our CSI initiatives is focusing on early childhood development and a significant aspect of that is reducing illiteracy through fostering a love for reading,” said Thomas Schaefer, Managing Director: Volkswagen Group South Africa.
“Besides reducing functional illiteracy, we hope that through these libraries and books donated, we can create a culture of reading which should start early in these children’s lives,” added Schaefer.
Besides the reading and outdoor activities on the day, all the children also had their eyes tested by Spec Savers.
The International Nelson Mandela Day volunteer action marks the 13th community volunteer project initiated by Volkswagen since 2011 in their Show of Hands employee volunteerism campaign. Nearly 1,000 employees have participated in the campaign to date.
Celebrated on 18 July every year, the over-arching objective of International Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action and help change the world for the better. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere to “Take action, inspire change, and make everyday a Mandela Day.”
“Volkswagen is proud to have taken action for icon Nelson Mandela and we hope this project will inspire more positive action by our corporate and community neighbours,” concluded Schaefer
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