This year, Volkswagen Group South Africa mobilised over 110 volunteers from both their Uitenhage and Sandton offices into action through the Volkswagen ‘Great Show of Hands‘ Programme. The volunteers gave up five hours of their weekend to help community developments, for the first time simultaneously, in both the Eastern Cape and Gauteng regions.
The Volkswagen ‘Great Show of Hands’ Volunteer Programme, which was launched in 2011, is an employee volunteer campaign that was established in response to Volkswagen’s employees request for the opportunity to play a hands-on role in the company’s annual multimillion rand investment into development of local communities.
Since inception, there have been six volunteer projects in the Nelson Mandela Bay area which have focused on areas of education, youth development, health and community well-being.
The sixth project in the Eastern Cape, saw Volkswagen volunteers help the Limekhaya High School in KwaLanga, Uitenhage take things to the next level by donating their time and resources towards the creation of the school and community resource centre.
“After more than a year of working closely with this school through the Volkswagen Community Trust, we have been able to assess the school’s capacity and needs in terms of Mathematics, Science and Computer learning,” said Nonkqubela Maliza, Director of Corporate and Government Affairs at Volkswagen Group South Africa.
The research resulted in a Volkswagen Group South Africa and Volkswagen Community Trust joint funding solution to upgrade the school’s science laboratory facilities and equipment, as well as the creation of a multi-purpose resource centre.
In five hours, 70 volunteers achieved the task of renovating and outfitting a 240m² centre with study stations, computer hub, library infrastructure, adult reading corner, children’s edu-play area, as well as a 40-seater theatre for audio visual content and films.
The second ‘Great Show of Hands’ volunteer project in Gauteng, had the volunteers donate their time to The Thabile Boys and Girls Guide Centre in Emndeni, Soweto which is home to displaced people. This self-reliant centre has not received any funding for over 13 years.
The volunteers got to work by turning an arid piece of land into a fully functional garden which has enabled the centre to grow their own food. Volkswagen Group South Africa volunteers also assisted with giving the builing a much need coat of paint as well assisting in the soup kitchen, which served more than 600 cups of soup to the community in and around the centre.
Food and Trees for Africa will continue supporting the staff at the centre by teaching them sustainable ways of caring for their garden and using natural resources wisely.
These two volunteer projects were based on the concept of International Mandela Day which seeked to inspire individuals to take action and help change the world for the better.
Name of Volunteer Programme – Volkswagen Show of Hands
Initiated – May 2011
Volunteer Events since inception – 6
No. of participating volunteers to date – 600
Volunteer Action Focus – Education, Youth Development, Health
& Community Wellbeing