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In line with its commitment to improving education and empowering the youth, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has provided a new vehicle and 60 bicycles to assist local community organisations.  

On Friday 1 November, the company handed over a Volkswagen Caddy to the loveLife Youth Centre in KwaNobuhle, which is also one of the youth development projects of the Volkswagen Community Trust. The Centre, which offers various programmes aimed at supporting and empowering the youth of KwaNobuhle and other communities, was officially opened on 30 November 2012 following a R3 million investment from the Volkswagen Group.

The Centre has a significant impact in the local community as it reaches 25 schools and over 40 000 young people each year. The Caddy will be used to assist them in continuing their impactful, by transporting loveLife staff and sports equipment to schools and sports grounds.

The vehicle handover coincided with a visit from two board members from Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. Gunnar Kilian, Volkswagen Group executive board member for HR and Organisation, and Dr Andreas Tostmann, Volkswagen board member for Production and Logistics, visited VWSA last week to engage with employees and learn more about the work being done through some of the Community Trust’s projects.

Aside from the Caddy, VWSA also handed over 60 bicycles to various local beneficiaries as part of its “Blue Bikes” initiative, in partnership with Qhubeka. Five of the bicycles were given to loveLife’s groundBreakers, who are responsible for outreach to local schools and will use these bicycles to move around the community.

Of the remaining 55 bicycles that were handed over:

– 25 bicycles were given to learners of Zanolwazi High School in the neighbouring town of Despatch, so that they are able to travel to and attend extra classes on Saturdays;

– Five bicycles were given to the Despatch Community Policing Forum, to assist them in keeping the community safe; and

– 25 bicycles were given to the Rosedale Homework and Reading centre in Uitenhage, to assist young people in travelling to the centre for extra classes.

Speaking at the handover event, loveLife CEO Dr Linda Nkomo thanked VWSA for their continued support of the organisation. “Volkswagen’s investment has shown what can happen when corporate companies and organisations work together for the betterment of the community,” said Nkomo. “This sponsorship will enable us to do so much more than we are currently able to do.”

Thomas Schaefer, Volkswagen Group South Africa Chairman and Managing Director, said VWSA was proud to continue its support of loveLife and other organisations aimed at youth development. “In contributing to the development and empowerment of youth, we are investing in the future of our communities,” said Schaefer. “We hope our sponsorship can help these beneficiaries in reaching more youth and increasing the positive impact of their work in the community, and that we can continue to play our role in the upliftment of our youth.”