Commercial ICT (a division of Hudaco Trading) heads drive to assist Child Welfare, associated charities
In these crippling economic times, charities are often hard-pressed to afford even the most basic items. Benefactors have either closed shop or tightened their belts, so donations have been drastically reduced or have dried up completely. In a surprising turn of events, a number of worthy charities recently experienced the joy of unconditional generosity through the efforts of a determined team of local businesses.
Charleen Rheeder, National Operations Manager at Commercial ICT (an Elvey Group company in the Hudaco Group of Companies), explains that the journey started during 2021 when she and her husband, Shane Rheeder (Business Lead at Commercial ICT), became personally involved with Alberton Child Welfare.
“There is a pressing need at a number of Child Welfare and related charities for items that make the lives of the beneficiaries, children and staff easier. In fruitful discussions with our client Pan African Shopfitters last year, we discovered that they, together with a multi-faceted team from the Hudaco Group, held the key to alleviating many of the deficiencies experienced by these charities,” says Charleen Rheeder.
A huge warehouse full of material used in various shop-fitting projects was made available by Pan African Shopfitters to offer various charities aligned with Child Welfare. “After meeting with Itumeleng Makwela, the chief social worker at Gauteng Child Welfare, we identified a number of recipient charities and invited them to the warehouse on 5 July 2021 to view the contents,” Rheeder continues.
Phase two of the charity drives was recently made available to Benoni Child Welfare, Meyerton Child Welfare, Vanderbijlpark Child Welfare, Kempton Park Child Welfare, Hope, Faith & Grace, Mother’s Nest Safe Home for Abused Children, 1 Million Strong and Corinthians.
CWSA (Child Welfare South Africa) is an umbrella body representing 164 child welfare affiliates, 30 developing organisations, 25 outreach projects and 206 communities. Collectively, CWSA reaches about 2 million children, their families and caregivers. It consists of 1 200 staff members and 3 500 volunteers. Its objectives are to:
- Protect the children in our country from all kinds of abuse;
- Make a difference in the lives of children;
- Establish networks and partnerships to ensure the safeguarding of our children;
- Be a credible, professional body for child protection; and
- Provide support and guidance to its member organisations.
Hope, Faith & Grace makes meaningful contributions towards the alleviation of poverty and the empowerment of people in local communities. Working closely with existing organisations, Hope, Faith and Grace Community Project aims to assist people mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically to become self-reliant and create sustainable futures for themselves.
Mother’s Nest Safe Home for Abused Children is a safe home for severely abused children. Children are placed through the Children Courts in the home’s safekeeping after being legally removed from their parental caregivers. Currently, the home cares for 14 children’s everyday needs.
1 Million Strong collaborates and partners with many organisations, institutions of learning, people of influence, communities and governments to ensure that they are able to impact as many young people as possible. The goal is to raise one million young leaders throughout the world who would be committed to making a difference in their communities.
“The charity drive initiative, launched by the Elvey Group and Pan African Shopfitters, truly defines the gift of purpose. Through our transformational programmes, we can equip young people with values and principles, assisting them in making life-changing decisions that will carry them through life. Grow Right Edge Solutions is proud to partner with 1 Million Strong on a journey of metamorphosis. These donations support us in providing the necessary resources to keep building our entrepreneurial hub, where our youth can in turn keep building on their hopes and making their dreams a reality,” says Michelina De Benedictis of Grow Right Edge Solutions.
Corinthians is a community-based NPO that merges sports and education, with great focus on building local communities and spearheading social transformation. The NPO believes that organisations and youth need to have a positive impact on people as well as the power of creativity and innovation to bring growth.
“Donating to Corinthians lessens the chances of a youth consuming drugs, joining a gang, breaking into someone's house and being a societal delinquent. In addition, donating to Corinthians improves the chances of new sporting professionals being developed, volunteers getting professional coaching licences, moral and character development in the youth and being part of an organisation that has a continental footprint. The donation we received has enabled us to upgrade our education centre with the furniture and create office space that can be rented out for additional income. We have also donated on two of the items to a local ECD, thereby strengthening our partnership with them,” says Jack Msibi from Corinthians.
Rheeder says that during phase one of the outreach programme, Commercial ICT and Hudaco Group sister company – Astore Keymak – assisted with the transportation of the goods where required by the charities and these services were supplemented by HP Transport.
With the planning of the multi-element phase two of the charity drive, Rheeder identified the additional needs of the welfare organisations. “We were privileged to assist NPOs with Microsoft Office 365 licences. We also realised that the Elvey Group has the skills to assist NPO organisations in bringing them up to speed on technology. Child Welfare Benoni, Child Welfare Kempton Park, Child Welfare Alberton and Child Welfare Simunye have requested assistance with the Office 365 licensing that CICT has made available in the Gauteng region. There are so many tools available that can assist NPO organisations to streamline their processes with cloud-based programmes,” says Rheeder.
Rheeder adds that while this alone is thrilling news, what is even more heartening is that Pan African Shopfitters has committed to providing access to an ongoing supply of material in the future. Commercial ICT and Elvey as a group are committed to ensuring that this material continues to reach the hands of those in need at these charities.
“During the execution of the second phase of the charity drive, we realised that the NPO organisations that attended the day also have so much to offer each other. We will arrange dates for these NPO organisations to meet with each other to build and educate our future youth,” says Rheeder. “The Elvey Group has now also started reaching out to its clients, and we are thrilled to say that they would also like to get involved.
“As another element of phase two, Elvey Group has invited Child Welfare South Africa, 1 Million Strong, Mother’s Nest, Corinthians as well as Hope, Faith and Grace to come to our offices during April for a live interview, to make our community more aware of the NPO organisations.”
Finally, Elvey Group will be visiting some of these organisations to educate and encourage the youth to work hard on creating a more stable future for themselves and for the country.
“Elvey Group will be planning more exciting things in the near future and strongly believe that giving back to the community is the greatest gift of all,” says Rheeder.