Volkswagen Community Trust

Volkswagen volunteers take action in support of Nelson Mandela Day

01 October 2015

In an effort to make everyday a Mandela Day, the Volkswagen Show of Hands volunteers dedicated their time and skills making story books and reading to Grade 3 learners from previously disadvantaged schools in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Dedicating more than 67 minutes, the 30 Volkswagen volunteers, led by MD Thomas Schaefer and Corporate and Government Affairs Director Nonkqubela Maliza, took four hours out of their Saturday afternoon to help reduce functional illiteracy. Some of the volunteers cut, stapled and packed story books, while others read and told stories to the 85 children present. The children were from Ilinge Primary School, Uitenhage Primary School and Phakamile Primary School, all schools in the Uitenhage area.

The highlights of the day was the donation of R30 000 worth of books and the handing over of three mobile libraries to the schools with a value of R20 000.

"4.7 million South African children are functionally illiterate and at VWSA one essential part of our key CSI initiatives is focusing on early childhood development. A significant aspect of that is reducing illiteracy through fostering a love for reading," said Thomas Schaefer VWSA Managing Director.

"Besides reducing functional illiteracy, we hope that through these libraries and books donated, we can create a culture of reading which should start early in these children's lives," added Thomas.

Besides the reading and outdoor activities on the day, all the children also had their eyes tested by Spec Savers. The International Nelson Mandela Day volunteer action marks the 13th employee volunteer project initiated by Volkswagen since the Show of Hands employee volunteerism campaigns were launched in 2011. Nearly 1,000 employees have participated in the campaign to date.

Celebrated on 18 July every year, the over-arching objective of International Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action and help change the world for the better. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere to "Take action, inspire change, and make everyday a Mandela Day."

"Volkswagen is proud to to have taken action for icon Nelson Mandela and we hope this project will inspire more positive action by our corporate and community neighbours," concluded Thomas.