- Non-profit organizations in Pretoria and Gqeberha received much-needed funding to support their crucial community work
- More than R1.6-million disbursed to 26 projects by the Ford Motor Company Fund, beneficiaries nominated by Ford employees – thus living up to the Ford value of caring for each other
- From education and skills development programmes to feeding schemes, the grants provided an important lifeline for upliftment and relief efforts in impoverished communities
As one of the signature projects of Ford Motor Company Fund – the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company – Global Caring Month typically takes place in September each year, with a wide range of community outreach and upliftment projects led by Ford volunteers around the world.
“With the ongoing impact of COVID-19, we have once again been forced to change the nature of Global Caring Month from a hands-on volunteer-based community initiative to supporting various charities and NPOs through the issuing of grants,” says Neale Hill, President of Ford Motor Company Africa.
“Our employees still played a central role in Global Caring Month 2021 by nominating community projects in Pretoria, near the Silverton Assembly Plant, and in Gqeberha, close to the Struandale Engine Plant,” Hill says. “In doing so our employees lived up to one of the key Ford values of caring for each other, with 26 projects awarded grants from the Ford Motor Company Fund totaling more than R1.6-million, which is nearly three times the amount that was disbursed in 2020 and is indicative of the tough times people are facing currently.
“These projects focused primarily on education and skills development which are desperately needed due to the high levels of unemployment, particularly amongst the youth in South Africa,” he says. “The beneficiaries also included non-profit organizations addressing the COVID-19 crisis with so many people losing their jobs, and funding in short supply for the important work that these charity organizations perform in our most vulnerable communities.”
Each of the projects received grants ranging from R32 000 to R80 000 depending on their specific requirements, such as building or expanding education facilities and libraries, acquiring books, stationery and school clothes, and purchasing specialized educational devices for non-verbal autistic learners, as well as those with visual impairments.
Skills development initiatives included providing comprehensive sewing courses and business training to unemployed women, adolescent girls and students to help them start small businesses, and teaching school children how to plant seedlings in planter boxes to start their own vegetable gardens at home.
Providing much-needed food relief was top of the list of priorities for many of the NPOs, which are often the sole source of a solid meal for those in impoverished communities, orphanages and day care centres. Accordingly, purchasing much-needed kitchen equipment and groceries was made possible through the Ford grants.