Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has dedicated extensive resources to assist communities and humanitarian organisations involved in helping the most vulnerable members of our society.
Ford has further extended its community support during this crisis by donating R500 000 to Save the Children South Africa – an organisation that promotes children’s rights, protects them from violence and cares for their health and nutrition.
“This year has been especially hard on non-profit organisations that do exceptional work to assist communities across the country,” says Neale Hill, MD of FMCSA. “Whilst enduring the COVID-19 lockdown the same as everyone else, these humanitarian organisations had the additional responsibility of caring for the most vulnerable and poorest children, who do not have access to basic hygiene or health facilities.
“During this unprecedented crisis, NPOs such as Save the Children South Africa have to had to deal with an exponential growth in food insecurity, allied to fewer resources and increased expenses. We recognise these challenges, and commend Save the Children SA and the various other organisations that continue to make a difference in peoples’ lives,” Hill adds. “We have been truly inspired by the work that Save the Children SA does, and trust that the R500 000 donation will help them reach more children in these fragile communities.”
Steve Miller, CEO of Save the Children South Africa, expressed his delight and gratitude in receiving the donation. “Save the Children South Africa continues to draw strength from partners like Ford Motor Company Southern Africa. Our partners have been our source of hope. We have seen the power of collaboration come to life, and we have seen companies across the country step up to support us to take care of the rights of our children during the worst global crisis of our lifetime. Thank you, Ford for the amazing contribution.
“The R500 000 donation will be used to enhance our efforts to prevent violence against children, improve early childhood development to give children access to high-quality education, and address adolescent sexual health and reproductive rights,” Miller says. “We work with the most marginalised children, including those susceptible to rights abuses, and those residing in low-income houses in rural and informal urban settlements, as well as children who have migrated to South Africa.”
Along with the donation, FMCSA is collaborating with Gauteng youth radio station, YFM, to highlight the amazing work being done by Save the Children South Africa. From 7 to 16 December, YFM will be running an extensive on-air and digital campaign to raise awareness regarding the plight of the country’s most vulnerable children, and to promote the work of Save the Children South Africa.
“As Joburg’s biggest youth radio station, it is critical for YFM to be involved with initiatives that elevate the well-being of young people,” says DJ Ankletap, host of YFM’s weekday breakfast show. “On a personal note, I have seen and heard the challenges that people have faced this year and I have consistently tried to make a difference, big or small, through my platform on Y Mornings. Partnering with Ford to assist Save The Children, is a touching and memorable way to end this year. YFM is proud of the association with Ford and Save The Children.”
FMCSA has a proud legacy of community upliftment and empowerment, and providing resources for those who need it most. Each year, the Ford Motor Company Fund provides grants to nominated NPOs as part of the annual Ford Global Caring Month. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic ruled out the volunteer programme that usually supports this initiative each September, but over R600 000 was disbursed to eight organisations located near Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, and the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, to support their important community projects.
During the national COVID-19 lockdown, employees at the Silverton Assembly Plant produced over 285 000 face shields – the majority of which were donated to the Department of Health to help protect frontline medical personnel and health workers. Additionally, loan vehicles were provided to a number of NPOs across the country to mobilise their COVID-19 response efforts.
In November, Ford embarked on a RangeHer Drives with a Mission campaign, which featured a convoy of Ford Rangers – all driven by female motoring journalists and influencers – travelling 4 300km across South Africa to visit schools and clinics in rural communities to donate specially designed Flow-bin handwashing stations, sanitisers, soap and face shields.
“This year has been extremely challenging, but it has also allowed us to put our best foot forward,” Hill states. “These projects reaffirm that Ford is resolutely committed to South Africa, and we are doing everything in a power to create a brighter future for the country and its citizens.
“Through these initiatives, we are showing how our locally produced Ford Ranger truly embodies our ‘Live the Ranger Life’ ethos, by empowering and enabling people to help others.”
About Save the Children
Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) is a child rights organisation that was established in 2013, and is currently involved in far-reaching projects across six provinces. Its primary work focuses on child protection, early childhood education, as well as adolescent sexual and reproductive health rights. In 2019, the organisation reached almost 167 000 children and over 31 000 adults.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SCSA rapidly adapted its existing work to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable children, and reached out to existing and prospective partners to provide contributions for its rapid response and recovery plan.
Save the Children South Arica, through partners and coalitions, delivered food aid, food vouchers, educational material, data, sanitary products and psychological support for frontline responders. It remains committed to improving access to reliable COVID-19 information for children, ensuring the provision of basic needs such as food, health, education and safety, ongoing identification of vulnerable children during the COVID-19 lockdown, and a strengthened recovery process for affected child care institutions and communities.
For more information on Save the Children South Africa, visit: www.savethechildren.org.za