General Motors South Africa (GMSA) cares about the community in which it operates. This became evident yet again when Kenrich Motors, a GM Dealership in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, through the GM Childlife Foundation, invested R150 000 to build a new multi-purpose classroom for the Lebone Centre.
The Lebone Centre is located in a previously disadvantaged area in Grahamstown and aims to work in partnership with the relevant communities to address the effects of poverty and help children to maximise their potential.
“We have been a motor dealership in this community for thirty years and we have been involved in numerous community projects and sponsorships over the years. But this has been one of the most incredible projects that we have been involved with and our relationship with the staff and children from the Lebone Centre has been fantastic,” said Dean Kent, Dealer Principal, Kenrich Motors.
The Centre is home to a pre-school programme, aftercare enrichment (ACE) programme, as well as a comprehensive literacy programme.
The ACE programme, an initiative run by the Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP) Trust, cares for vulnerable children by providing a nutritional meal and a structured programme after school that focuses on literacy, numeracy, life skills, physical activities and musical development at the Lebone Centre.
According to Annelise Maritz, Lebone Centre Manager, the ACE programme serves 20 vulnerable school children aged 7 – 14 years from the community surrounding the Centre. Children are identified in consultation with the local schools and Child Welfare, and many of them are in foster homes.
She said the previous classroom for Pre-Grade Rs (in the mornings) and aftercare and enrichment programme (in the afternoon) could only accommodate 15 children. However, with the new classroom they will now be able to accommodate 20 pupils for both these groups.
“This new multi-purpose classroom has made a huge difference for the children and staff. The classroom provides the children with a space of their own and it will allow us to offer educational programmes that will assist those with developmental delays and help with educational progress at school,” said Maritz.
Barbara Matthews, Chairperson, ICDP Trust had the following to say, “We continue to build relationships with the people in our neighbourhood and, increasingly, the Lebone Centre is seen as a resource for the community.”
“On behalf of the Trustees, my most sincere thanks goes to the General Motors Childlife Foundation and Kenrich Motors for all their support. Thank you for believing in us and the work that we do,” she said.
The involvement of Kenrich Motors is part of the national GM Childlife Foundation project that was established in 2010 by GMSA, its Dealer Network and GMSA Financial Services to improve the lives of children in poor communities. To date, there have been 39 projects completed through the foundation.
Ian Nicholls, Vice President of Operations, GMSA said, “The communities in which we operate as a company are incredibly important to us. The GM Childlife Foundation enables our Dealers to give back to the communities in which they do business. We believe we have made a significant difference in the lives of thousands of underprivileged children and we remain committed to continue supporting this wonderful initiative.”