Ford South Africa is reaching out to young women for Mandela Day this year by supporting a project that will be providing 67 000 learners with locally-made, eco-friendly reusable feminine hygiene products.
Ford donated R1-million to the Afribiz Foundation in support of the non-profit organisation’s outstanding, ongoing efforts to supply sustainable sanitary health to girls in secondary schools – thus helping to fulfil Madiba’s legacy of empowering the youth through education.
Through this donation, learners at 77 schools in Pretoria and a further 18 schools in Port Elizabeth will receive a pack comprising four reusable sanitary pads and a vanity case – with over 268 000 pads having been specifically made for this project.
“Nelson Mandela believed firmly in creating opportunities for the youth through education, just as Henry Ford maintained that education is a pillar of success,” says Neale Hill, Managing Director, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “This remains our philosophy, and in keeping with the spirit of Mandela Day and the upcoming Women’s Month in August, we are proud to support this fantastic initiative run by Afribiz Foundation to empower these young women with dignity.
“An estimated three-million South African girls miss three to five days of school a month due to a lack of access to sanitary products. This programme will enable these young women to face the world with confidence and get the most out of their education, thus giving them the best chance of achieving success,” Hill adds.
This project forms part of Ford’s wide range of outreach programmes which aim to make a valuable contribution to the socioeconomic and environmental sustainability of the communities in which it operates.
Some of the key other initiatives include Ford’s Resource in Engagement Centre (FREC) that provides free job training and skills development for people in Mamelodi, the Enactus Ford College Community Challenge that empowers university students to develop sustainable community upliftment projects, and the Ford Wildlife Foundation which supports a number of high-impact environmental, conservation education projects across Southern Africa.
Additionally, Ford’s annual Global Month of Caring in September sees company employees across the world volunteering their time and expertise to assisting communities and non-profit organisations in improving the lives of others, with financial assistance for the projects provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund – the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company.
“At Ford, we believe that every day should be a Mandela Day, and it shouldn’t be limited to just 67 minutes once a year,” Hill states. “Everyone has an important role to play in making a difference in the lives of individuals and communities around them, and Ford is committed to pursuing a greater purpose as we impact people’s lives in a positive and meaningful way, and make the world a better place.”