Employees give back to adopted school
Port Elizabeth– General Motors South Africa (GMSA) employees volunteered their time today (11 September 2014) to ensure that learners at a disadvantaged Port Elizabeth school have a safer, cleaner learning environment.
GMSA encourages staff to get involved in its corporate social investment projects, and this year adopted Tjaart van der Walt Primary School. The school accommodates more than 1 000 learners from the lower-income area of Algoa Park and nearby Missionvale, one of the poorest areas in the city.
About half the pupils at the school are exempted from paying school fees, while the school has to employ four additional teachers and eight cleaners from its own funds. This puts a strain on the budget available for critical expenses such as much-needed repairs to fences that ensure the safety of learners, deputy principal Margi Bigge said.
GMSA came to their aid by erecting palisade fencing at the front of the school, and a group of 10 employee volunteers spent the morning at the school today – cleaning the library, planting flowers to beautify the school environment, and handing out snacks to the learners.
Ms Bigge said the school also had its own feeding scheme that assisted 124 learners daily, and gratefully received the GMSA team’s donation of 288 meal packs that feed six people each.
“As a responsible corporate citizen, GMSA cares about the community and environment in which we operate, and we constantly seek ways in which we can actively contribute and give back to society. We encourage employee volunteerism whereby staff can play an active role in improving the lives of the less fortunate and the vulnerable in our community.
“Employees give freely of their time and have the opportunity to engage with our community partners, while contributing to GMSA’s standing as a caring organisation,” GMSA Corporate Communications Manager, Gishma Johnson, said.
The Adopt-A-School programme is running for about five years now and is an employee-driven initiative. Previous beneficiaries include the Nkosinathi School for the Blind pre-primary class, St Reginald’s farm school in Kirkwood outside Port Elizabeth.