For Volkswagen, South Africa is a country full of opportunities and partnerships – the company shows this in particular through its strong social commitment. Learn more about six exciting projects:
Volkswagen has been in South Africa for almost 67 years – a significant amount of time for any brand. The company has not only become the largest private employer in the Eastern Cape, but has also built enduring relationships with the communities around the country. The many projects that VWSA has launched under the "Volkswagen for Good" initiative shows just how far-reaching these are. We present six of the many impactful projects.
1 . Literacy for Kwa-Nobuhle
Illiteracy is a major problem in the Kwa-Nobuhle township of Uitenhage – which is why Volkswagen South Africa committed to combatting it in 2015. Together with the Minister of Education, Angie Motshekga, the "Volkswagen Community Trust" launched its "Literacy Programme", which aims to ensure that all school children in Uitenhage are able to read fluently by the time they turn 10. The programme culminates in an annual conference where stakeholders gather to exchange ideas and discuss the future of literacy in South Africa. This is supported by government at the highest level with the attendance of the Minister of Education.
Five Literacy Centres are planned
The first literacy centre was established in 2017 at Ntlemeza Primary School. The focus here is two-fold aiming to reach students as well as parents and teachers who are provided with everything they need to make learning easier for the children. At the beginning of 2018, the second literacy center at Mngcunube Primary School in Kwa-Nobuhle was opened – three more are to follow. For Volkswagen South Africa this means much more than social commitment, it is an investment in the future of the community which provides Volkswagen’s most valuable asset: its people.
2. Football with Kicking for a Cause
The Volkswagen Junior Masters is a valued football tournament for up-and-coming talents under the age of twelve, in South Africa. Here they show the scouts of major teams what they can do in hopes to be selected to join a regional or national team. But in 2017 the tournament was a bit more exciting than usual. For every goal scored, Volkswagen South Africa donated R500 to a good cause. With a total of 71 goals, a total of R35.500 – the equivalent of around EUR2.250 – was donated to the James Ndulula School in Uitenhage.
Unlike others before them, the "Kicking for a Cause" tournaments were not limited to the University of Witwatersrand football pitches but were played throughout the country. Not only the children, but also the parents and other supporters were involved in the tournament and made aware that many may have the talent but not the right equipment to become the football star of tomorrow.
3. Show of Hands – Employee Volunteerism at Volkswagen South Africa
This April, the employees of Volkswagen South Africa showed how much they can achieve by working together. In partnership with the organization Rise Against Hunger, they renovated the Human Dignity Centre for orphans in Port Elizabeth, painted walls, laid out a garden and packed 25.000 meals for children in need in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan.
The Show of Hands volunteer programme which relies on VWSA employees and their families, has been running since 2011 and each year they work together with various organizations, enabling the support of over 20 impactful projects.
4 . Scholarships for the children of VW employees
Excellent performance, additional tutorials and support in applying for a place at university – for eight years now, Volkswagen South Africa has been supporting the children of its employees. This initiative under the "Volkswagen for Good" brand is called "The Children of VW Bursary". Students who meet the criteria with good grades are sponsored to attend top-ranked schools in their region and receive additional lessons in mathematics and Science on Saturdays. With success: Among the 46 students who have been supported since 2011 are not only class representatives and year's best, but also many have gone on to study at university.
Together with the Rural Education Access Programme (REAP) initiative, Volkswagen South Africa provides an additional 15 students from rural areas around the Eastern Cape with financial support to give them the opportunity to study too.
5. The "Young Entrepreneurs Programme"
The “Young Entrepreneurs Foundation” (YE) fosters the entrepreneurs of tomorrow – children aged 7 to 15. The YE programme lasts about 30 weeks, takes place directly in the classrooms of the primary schools in Uitenhage and teaches the correct handling of money, amongst other life skills. At the same time, the so-called "minipreneurs" and "kidpreneurs" can set up their own micro-businesses in small groups and get inspiration for their future– they will most-likely open their own business later and become an important employer.
The project was made possible by the Volkswagen Community Trust of Volkswagen South Africa.
6. The loveLife Youth Centre of Kwa-Nobuhle
The loveLife Centre was opened in 2012 in Kwa-Nobuhle and has become a real success story and the first point of contact for the children and young people in the area. A safe haven featuring events and recreational activities as well as imparting important life skills. At the top of the list are health issues like drugs, safe sex and contraception. In addition to the sports field, there is a medical centre with on-duty nurse, a computer room, WiFi and its own radio station, where 22-year-old Mpumzi Maziko is a regular DJ and enchants the listeners with his deep voice.
A Life-saving Centre
Maziko is one of many so-called GroundBreakers who create the programmes at the loveLife Centre and look after its visitors. And he is sure that the centre saved his life after a rather dark phase. Owethu Danster, a former youth leader, is now studying Public Management and is about to graduate. But she still visits the loveLife Centre and says: "Once a GroundBreaker, always a GroundBreaker".
We already reported about the loveLife Youth Centre in Kwa-Nobuhle in this year's Volkswagen Annual Report. You can find the article here: Love life.