Volkswagen Community Trust

Volkswagen employees roll up their sleeves at the frail care centre

25 July 2023

In honour of Mandela Day, more than 200 Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) employees and their loved ones converged at the Gelvan Park Frail Aged Home in Gqeberha's northern areas to spruce up the frail care facility. The Show of Hands volunteers painted the exterior walls of the building, created colourful murals and artwork and cleaned up the garden, while the VWSA corporate wellbeing team offered medical check-ups to the residents.

Gelvan Park Frail Aged Home accommodates 100 frail residents from disadvantaged communities. The facililty, which was established in 1979, is one of the largest frail institutions in the Eastern Cape. Besides a government subsidy of R2 000 per resident, no funding is received for maintenance. Volkswagen Community Trust Manager, Vernon Naidoo, said the non-profit organization (NPO) was selected based on its dire needs after a due diligence study was conducted. "We realised that this was one of the few facilities that accommodates frail older persons from impoverished communities. And with our focus on health, community and wellbeing, our involvement in this project helps to improve the quality of life of older persons," said Naidoo.

Leading up to Mandela Day VWSA's maintenance contractor identified all the areas of the facility that needed repair. Employees and their loved ones painted exterior walls, cleaned the garden and crafted bright murals and artwork, creating a pleasant and soothing ambiance.

Show of Hands provides an opportunity for employees to participate in initiatives which the company supports. "Through this collaborative endeavour employees and their loved ones not only positively impact the lives of those they serve, but also create a bond rooted in compassion and the desire to create a better world," said Nonkqubela Maliza, VWSA Corporate and Government Affairs Director.

Maliza's sentiments were echoed by Martina Biene, Chairperson and Managing Director of VWSA who formed part of the gardening team. "We care about the communities in which we operate and where our employees live. We are committed to restoring the dignity and supporting especially the vulnerable in our communities," said Biene.