February 4th, 2019 Pretoria, South Africa – Ford employees and dealers across Sub-Saharan Africa put the spotlight on community service and upliftment during 2018 by volunteering their time and efforts to support a wide range of projects as part of Ford’s annual Global Caring Month.
A total of 25 projects were conducted across the region with thousands of man hours dedicated to improving lives and assisting impoverished communities in South Africa, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique and Uganda.
œFord Global Caring Month is our flagship community initiative each year, and it was fantastic to witness the exceptional level of energy and enthusiasm from our employees, dealers and distributors that went into the 2018 projects, said Neale Hill, managing director of Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.
œWith our primary focus on supporting environmental, agricultural, clean water, educational and welfare needs, our Ford volunteers played an important role in uplifting and improving the lives of people in the communities in which we operate. This was achieved in a meaningful and sustainable manner, whether it was painting and equipping classrooms to help educate learners, or creating vegetable gardens to provide additional food security.
Education was the main focus of many of the projects completed in South Africa, with employees from the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria and the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth dedicating their time to improve crÃ¨ches, early learning centres, schools and skills development facilities in impoverished communities.
This was bolstered by the creation of vegetable gardens and the repair of hydroponic tunnels for schools and community feeding schemes, as well as the construction of recycling facilities and conducting environmental clean-up and education campaigns.
Ford dealers in South Africa also played their part, with Barloworld Ford in Tygervalley, Cape Town, painting and decorating shipping containers that are used as clinics and classrooms, as well as developing gardens around the facility. Ritchie Auto in Richards Bay set out to refurbish the local Autism Treatment Centre, and also set up a fully equipped computer learning centre.
In Sub-Saharan Africa markets, Ford and its local distributor in Ethiopia, Ries Engineering collaborated with The Muday Association on a project that aims to uplift and improve the quality of life for 1 050 single mothers and children in the local community.
Along with providing shelter, meals, clothing and medical treatment, the organisation’s training facilities equip the women with skills to create handmade products for sale, thus assisting them to become financially independent.
On the island nation of Madagascar, Ford’s local distributor MaterAuto joined forces with non-profit organization Tsarafara and 150 volunteers expanded the forest area in Andramasina to address the high level of deforestation. The crew planted 1 500 Eucalyptus and 1 500 Paulownia trees, and the NPO will continue monitoring the plantation while also assisting researchers with the development of essential oils and curative medicines from the Eucalyptus trees.
In Mozambique, Ford and distributor InterAuto assisted NPO Makobo in providing much-needed assistance at Lar dos Idosos do Bairro LuÃs Cabral to improve the living conditions of elderly residents at a nursing home for the underprivileged. A team of 40 volunteers joined hands to provide clean water, sanitation, security, and wheelchair ramps to make life better for all the elderly residents.
Ford and its distributor in Uganda, Cooper Motor Corporation (CMC Motors), partnered with the Katalemwa Cheshire Home of Rehabilitation Services (KCH) on a project aimed at uplifting and improving the quality of life for children and young people with disabilities. A total of 40 beds and mattresses were donated, rooms were refurbished and trees planted around the facility.
Ford Global Caring Month is the signature annual event of the Ford Volunteer Corps. Since its launch in 2005 by Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Ford Volunteer Corps members have contributed more than 1.5 million hours of community service in 50 countries, representing more than $40-million of in-kind community investments. During September, the Ford Volunteer Corps will tackle hundreds of projects in cities, towns and villages on six continents. Ford Fund contributed more than $700,000 in grants to purchase tools and supplies for many of the global projects in 2018.