Over the last few weeks, two stories emerged that brought a little warmth to the winter months. The first did this literally, as Atlas Copco Industrial partnered with Paballo Ya Batho to donate blankets to the homeless in the Johannesburg city centre.
Paballo Ya Batho is a non-profit organisation that provides soup and bread every Wednesday evening to the homeless men, women and children in Johannesburg’s central business district.
Atlas Copco first worked with Paballo Ya Batho in 2017 in a “store” initiative, in which Atlas Copco handed out clothing donated by employees, as well as food parcels to every needy person who arrived at the store.
This year Atlas Copco decided to do a blanket drive, and the company’s communications professional, Noluthando Zondo, got the ball rolling by sending out a communication to all employees requesting a donation of blankets.
“We actually ended up handing out only 20 blankets from Atlas Copco, as Paballo Ya Batho managed to achieve its target of collecting 400 blankets! It was tremendously rewarding to see the joy on the faces of the people who were so grateful to receive a blanket,” says Bongani Ndlovu, Atlas Copco corporate social responsibility manager and executive assistant.
“Atlas Copco is proud to have participated in this worthy cause and we hope that the blankets helped provide some comfort and warmth to some of the homeless people on the streets of Johannesburg this winter,” concludes group human resources manager for Atlas Copco, Wendy Buffa-Pace.
Hyundai Automotive SA donates sixth school library
The sixth library sponsored and equipped by Hyundai Automotive South Africa (HASA), in cooperation with the Imperial and Ukhamba Community Development Trust, was handed over to Heerengracht Primary School in Eldorado Park on Mandela Day.
HASA’s first library handover, as part of its corporate social investment initiative, was at the Southview High School in Lenasia. After that libraries were set up at several other schools in communities in the south of Johannesburg where these facilities were needed to enrich the education and the future of the learners.
The libraries are fully staffed and managed by the Trust to ensure that the programmes introduced for the benefit of learners achieve the desired results. While literacy levels remain poor at most South African government schools, this library initiative has shown a marked improvement in literacy at Hyundai and Imperial Ukhamba partner schools.
The nature and content of programmes being conducted through the libraries have increased year on year and now include a reading programme for learners in grades one to four; book clubs; spelling tests; “Mathletics”, which allows learners to log into the Mathletics company server and work through mathematical concepts up to mastery for the relevant stage of development; and Saturday and holiday programmes.
The library serves as a place where learners can study or complete projects in a comfortable environment. Learners waiting for their transport at the end of the day also use the library as a place to occupy themselves safely until their transport arrives to take them home.
The library assistants are recruited from communities surrounding the schools. They undergo a rigorous reading and writing skills test prior to being employed to ensure they will cope with the demands of the work. Once appointed, they are given in-service training on how to teach reading to little children. They also attend a computer training and first-aid course.