Mandela Day School Library Programme receives a boost from BMW South Africa
Pretoria –Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” As a dedicated and engaged corporate citizen for the past 40 years, BMW South Africa has heeded this call by contributing to the BANGLE Initiative Mandela Day School Library Programme. As a result, two disadvantaged schools will be receiving container libraries stocked with over 2500 books ahead of Nelson Mandela International Day.
BMW South Africa last year donated former president Mandela’s BMW 7 Series Security Vehicle to the BANGLE Initiative after restoring it to an immaculate condition. The armoured BMW 7 series was given to the former President by the Bavarian car maker for use during his 46664 HIV/Aids campaign from 2004 to 2009. The car has now been sold through a private auction and the proceeds have gone towards delivering three more Mandela Day School Libraries, two schools of which have been chosen by BMW South Africa.
“With 90% of South African schools without libraries, there is a glaring gap in the resources necessary to educate young children. As BMW South Africa, we are happy to make a contribution to this excellent initiative as the country seeks sustainable solutions to its education challenges,” says Guy Kilfoil, General Manger: Group Communications and Public Affairs of BMW South Africa.
Bought by an avid South African car collector, who wishes to remain anonymous, Mandela’s former BMW 7 Series has been loaned by the owner to the Franschhoek Motor Museum, where it is on indefinite display. “It is important that we balance the preservation of history surrounding the car with the commercial reality of funding the next phase of the BANGLE Mandela Day School Library project,” says Robert Coutts, CEO of the 46664 BANGLE Initiative. “We are ecstatic that the car has found a home in a museum in South Africa.”
To kick-start the roll-out of the three libraries, BMW South Africa has identified the Refitlhile -Pele Primary School in Soshanguve and Boikanyo Primary School in Garankuwa as worthy recipients. “These schools, who collectively educate over 1 800 learners, are situated in communities surrounding BMW’s Plant Rosslyn, north of Pretoria, where the majority of our workers hail from,” says Kilfoil.
The official handover of the libraries was held at the Boikanyo Primary School on 17 July, where BMW’s Springbok Rugby Ambassadors Chiliboy Ralepelle, Pierre Spies and Victor Matfield, took time out of their hectic training and coaching schedules to join BMW in celebrating a legacy of giving, instilled by arguably the most compassionate and honoured statesman of our generation. Hlubi Mboya, a 46664 Celebrity Ambassador, was also in attendance to the children’s delight.
“The Mandela Day School Library Programme is a sustainable programme, where on-going monitoring and managing of these libraries is carried out by a number of organisations for the next 15 years to ensure that books are replenished and the library is functioning as it should,” says Coutts.
Since establishing a presence in South Africa almost four decades ago, BMW has become far more to South African society than simply a car manufacturer. Over time, the company has made an invaluable contribution by championing sustainable economic growth, better-quality education, disease prevention and community development.
“Through these kinds of initiatives, we believe BMW is making a positive contribution to society and reinforcing our commitment towards a better South Africa. This commitment is not founded upon hand-outs but rather on encouraging sustainable growth by offering communities the tools required to promote long-term development,” concludes Kilfoil.