Vodacom staff in the Western Cape answered the call to serve on Mandela Day by completing the massive task of packing 9 000 food parcels for distribution to schools attended by children from impoverished backgrounds, in the outlying areas of the Cape.
Staff were divided into groups of 60 and asked to pack the maximum number of food parcels in 67 minute sessions spread over two days, culminating on Mandela Day. It was an ambituous target as each parcel contains 1 kg oats, 1 large bottle of peanut butter, 2 cans of pilchards, 2 cans of baked beans, 2 packets of samp, 2 packets of sugar beans, a peanut and raisin snack and a R2 Vodacom power bundle.
“In honour of our greatest citizen, Nelson Mandela, we all got together on a cold, rainy day before his birthday to spend time making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate as part of the Vodacom Foundation food security project,” said Steven Barnwell, managing executive: Vodacom western region.
“It was rewarding to see Vodacom staff work side by side packing food parcels. The energy and teamwork was awesome to witness. On behalf of the recipients of the food parcels I would like to thank all our staff participating over the two days. After all, it’s about all of us doing a little bit that will go a long way to make a difference in people’s lives.”
The 9 000 food parcels will be distributed by Vodacom employees to five schools in Worcester and to Strand Muslim Primary school next week.
Maya Makanjee, Vodacom’s chief officer: corporate affairs, said the company supported the meaningful participation of its employees in volunteering activities – the company gives employees two days paid leave to participate in volunteering initiatives and were encouraged to give 67 minutes of their time to honour Madiba’s legacy.
Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said the Foundation focused on food security, literacy and shelter and Vodacom had ensured close alignment with these by focussing its volunteering initiative on food security.
“Vodacom continues to be a valued partner in driving the Mandela Day ethos and Tata’s legacy forward. Food security is a vital part of the development journey for learners and we would like to challenge others to take a leaf out of Vodacom’s book to ensure the future of our youth.” Hatang said.