By: Mpofu Sthandile.
Ford South Africa has a multitier CSR program that saw the organisation donating approximately R26-million towards various community projects and initiatives over the course of 2022.
With a growing wealth gap, income inequality and other structural barriers limiting educational and economic growth opportunities for many South Africans, Ford’s CSR projects focus strongly on education and economic upliftment.
“As an active corporate citizen, Ford is committed to proactively addressing the many social and economic challenges that many South Africans are confronted by daily. Corporate social responsibility is an integral part of the way we do business at Ford, it endorses our steadfast commitment to the country,” says Neale Hill, President of Ford Motor Company Africa.
Some of the projects Ford contributed towards in 2022 include:
Thembekile Mandela Foundation
Ford SA partnered with the Thembekile Mandela Foundation, an NPO, and Veldskoen South Africa, a footwear manufacturing company to celebrate Mandela Day. Ford’s donation of R494 488 was used in the manufacturing of school shoes and purchasing of school bags for learners at the Clarkebury Agricultural School in the Eastern Cape.
“We applaud the Thembekile Mandela Foundation for embodying and continuing Madiba’s selfless commitment to helping others and focusing on education as the key to building a brighter future for the people of South Africa,” says Esther Buthelezi, Transformation and Government Affairs Executive Director of Ford Motor Company. “This project exemplifies our Ford+ values of caring for each other and developing great talent that will take us into the future.”
Rally to Read
Ford has a long-standing affiliation with Rally to Read that extends over 23 years. A donation of R1.36 million by Ford SA was aimed at improving literacy and education in underprivileged communities. The Read Educational Trust partnership with Ford is an ongoing initiative which provides teacher training and school resources to improve literacy – from the foundation phase to the intermediate and senior phases of the schools.
The Science2Go initiative is run by the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education Trust (CASME) in collaboration with founding project partner Mahle Behr South Africa. Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, is supporting the project for a period of three years, with an initial grant of R1.4-million in 2022. Additionally, Ford South Africa donated a locally built Ford Ranger pick-up that is being used as the mobile science laboratory and resource centre.
“Science2Go is an initiative by CASME and Mahle Behr to bridge the gaps in science teaching and learning in public schools,” says Henre Benson, director of CASME. “The Science2Go Mobile Resource Centre is a cost-effective solution to address the lack of access to scientific educational resources in rural and peri-urban public schools that either lack the funds to provide adequate laboratory equipment or do not have any laboratories at all. It not only brings much-needed resources, but also experienced facilitators to build teachers’ capacity and skills.”
The Enactus World Cup
This event presents a platform for South African students to showcase their entrepreneurial projects that are making an impact on the Global Goals in their respective communities. Ford SA is one of the gold partners of Enactus South Africa and has supported the programme for many years. Every year Ford Motor Company Fund and Ford South Africa support Enactus through the annual Ford College Community Challenge (C3), providing grants of $5 000 to each of the four local projects to implement their creative community upliftment initiatives.
In addition to the annual Ford C3 grants, Ford funded R953 000 to support the Central University of Technology student’s travel to the Enactus world cup in Puerto Rico, where they represented South Africa.
Gift of the Givers
Towards the beginning of 2022, Ford South Africa and Ford Credit donated R350 000 to the Gift of the Givers Foundation, to aid the construction of a new nursery classroom and early childhood development (ECD) centre at Weenen Primary School in the outskirts of KwaZulu-Natal.
Before the new construction, the nursery school children were taught in an environment with poor ventilation and lighting. This served as an unconducive space for the young minds to learn and grow. This newly constructed classroom at Weenen Primary School can now accommodate 45 nursery learners, furnished with multiples windows that provide fresh air and sunlight.
Donations of Engines and Mechanical components
Ford’s donation programme supports skills development and training at technical high schools and TVET colleges across South Africa. Last year, Ford donated a total of 101 engines, 700 turbo chargers and 1778 fuel pumps to various institutions across South Africa that will be used for training purposes. The complete value of these donations amounts to R10-million.
Ford Wildlife Foundation
Conserving the nation’s ecological environment is a key area of Ford’s CSR vision. Ford has loaned 27 Ford Ranger vehicles to multiple partner organisations of the Ford Wildlife Foundation (FWF). This loan agreement provides mobility for FWF’s conservation partners, allowing them to reach distant locations to implement their respective environmental projects.
“The Ford Ranger Double Cab 4×4 bakkies provided by the FWF are used by the project teams to access remote and often difficult-to-reach areas. The vehicles are an essential tool to help conservation organisations protect threatened species and ensure the rich biodiversity of the region. This initiative strengthens our commitment to caring for the environment,” explains Lynda du Plessis, FWF Manager.
“Ford believes in South Africa, and we look forward to another year of caring for each other through our extensive CSR initiatives. We want to make a real and sustainable difference to the South African landscape in which we operate,” says Duduzile Nxele, Corporate Communications Manager.
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