Project reaffirms BMW’s commitment to the long-term development of South Africa and the legacy of the Football World Cup.
Midrand, South Africa. BMW South Africa has offered its support to the South African Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (SABCOHA) to assist the organization’s School Holiday Camp Programme, further reaffirming BMW’s commitment to the long-term development of South Africa and the legacy of the FIFA Football World Cup™. The Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, will launch the project – alongside another SABCOHA 2010 project – today in Soweto.
The biggest international sporting event on earth, the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup™, will be held in South Africa from 11 June – 11 July 2010. An influx of 250 000 spectators is expected with an estimated 3 million fans expected to attend the matches. The event marks an historical occasion for the country but also poses some challenges with all South African schools closing their doors for the period.
This means approximately 18 million children in South Africa will be on an extended school break. Many parents and caregivers are unable to take extended leave during this period and are therefore faced with the challenge of finding a safe and secure place for their children to remain over the period, particularly in under-privileged communities.
BMW South Africa is involved in a number of educational and upliftment programmes in many under-resourced communities across the country.
BMW has also been a member of the Global Business Coalition (GBC) on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and a SABCOHA member for many years.
BMW South Africa’s Managing Director, Mr. Bodo Donauer, was pleased to be given the opportunity to extend the company’s support to this initiative.
“The Football World Cup™ is an incredible platform for the country and one BMW has always been fully behind, even if we are not one of the official sponsors,” explains Donauer. “BMW was the official vehicle provider to the Local Organising Committee from 2001 to 2004, when South Africa bid for the 2010 Football World Cup™ because we recognised that this tournament would leave a positive legacy for millions of South Africans. Our Group Chairman and CEO Dr. /Norbert Reithofer visited Soccer City earlier this year and reaffirmed this belief. And now, with our involvement in this project, I’m happy to restate our full support of the tournament and its objectives.
“Having said that we realise the difficulties many parents will face during this time, particularly those from under-resourced communities. Our Corporate Social Responsibility programme is not focussed on marketing or brand building but on the sustainable upliftment of communities,” he continues. “Education is a key weapon in this regard, particularly in terms of the fight against HIV and AIDS, so it was a natural decision for us to support a project which will continue to show benefits for the children of South Africa long after the World Cup is over. By pledging our support for the programme we are ensuring that our youth have safe and secure venues to attend during the five week period of the tournament and will learn, along with many other skills, how to combat HIV and AIDS at the same time.”
The SABCOHA School Holiday Camps, aptly named ‘Camp I Am’, are aimed at addressing this specific challenge. Designed as a day camp, under-privileged children will be offered a safe environment with fun and educational activities taking place over 19 of the 22 days that the children will be out of school.
“The project is called Camp I Am because we want our children to imagine all possibilities of what they can be,” explains SABCOHA’s 2010 Project Manager, Mrs. Kai Crooks-Chissano. “The program is a platform for experiential learning, youth development and fun. As a first-ever multi-disciplinary holiday camp in South Africa, it will focus on academics, athletics, creativity, social and life skills education and, of course, HIV and AIDS prevention.”
The programme will cater for 1 600 children between the ages of six and 13, across five provinces including Gauteng, North West, KwaZulu–Natal and the Eastern and Western Cape.
Well known youth organization Soul City, PlaySoccer, dance4Life, loveLife, and the South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA) have come under the SABCOHA banner to deliver a world class activity program for the children. Operation Hope, recently established in South Africa, and the United States’ leading non-profit social investment banking and financial literacy empowerment organization is also part of this initiative.
Children will participate in problem solving games, team building, youth oriented activities, soccer clinics, special events and celebrations.
“Education is foremost among our Corporate Social Investment projects and is one of the tools disadvantaged individuals can use to escape their circumstances,” explains Donauer. “It is also one of the key tools we use to address the spread of HIV and AIDS. ‘Camp I Am’ is perfectly geared towards demonstrating that you can learn, enjoy a healthy lifestyle and have fun at the same time.