Goodyear South Africa joins the call to #ActionAgainstPoverty for Mandela Month 2020


Goodyear South Africa has once again heeded to the call to impact lives in communities by participating in the celebrations for International Mandela Day. July 18 was declared Nelson Mandela International Day, and South Africans embrace the opportunity to celebrate former President Mandela's life for the whole of July. The celebrations included blanket drives with employee and company contributions as well as further company contributions to Goodyear's partner schools in Johannesburg and Uitenhage.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people around the world live and it has necessitated that we develop a repsonse plan that is geared at assisting communities, through our Corporate Social Responsibility partners. We understand that during this period, we could not go into communities to collectively give 67 minutes towards a cause but as a Company, we felt it would be important to identity partners in our communities who are are taking action against the fight against COVID-19," said Darren Hayes-Powell, Goodyear South Africa Group Managing Director.

Early in July, Goodyear sought to find initiatives that would impact the communities closest to its operations in Uitenhage and Midrand, Johannesburg, and this saw the birth of a partnership with the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber as well as United Way South Africa. The multi-national called on all employees to donate blankets and committed to match those donations with additional blankets as well as surgical masks for the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Ubuntu COVID-19 Fund and sanitary towels for United Way South Africa (UWSA).

"As a Company, we have managed to donate just over 500 blankets; which will be distributed by the Business Chamber and United Way South Africa," Hayes-Powell noted. Lynda Bleazard, Interim Executive Director at United Way South Africa, expressed her appreciation for generous donation from Goodyear's employees and the Company in the form of much needed warm winter blankets. "The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with unprecedented challenges in our country, on all levels, in all businesses and in all communities. United Way South Africa's business model of one of collective impact. We bring stakeholders together around a common cause, like COVID-19, because our experience shows that together we can create deeper impact for our most vulnerable in communities. Impact that is acceptable, relevant and sustainable," Bleazard said. The winter blankets will be distributed at UWSA's Woman's Day event this Saturday, August 8, 2020. Bleazard concluded by saying that UWSA is looking forward to further engaging with the Goodyear team. "This partnership is an opportunity to share information of our current impact programmes, to find opportunism for future employee engagement and to discuss programme support in education, health and enterprise development," Bleazard said.

Prince Matonsi, Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Operations Manager, said the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber is appreciative of the significant contributions and unwavering support from the business fraternity in the Nelson Mandela Bay in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. "Through the generous donations made to our UBUNTU COVID-19 initiative by various businesses, such as Goodyear South Africa, we have been able to provide lifesaving personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline healthcare workers, as well as other medical resources required according to the Metro's state of readiness report," Matonsi said. He further thanked Goodyear South Africa for their vital contribution to the UBUNTU COVID-19 Fund initiative. "We would encourage other businesses to reach out to the Business Chamber on should they wish to donate or volunteer towards the UBUNTU COVID-19 Fund initiative," concluded Matonsi.

In addition to the blankets,  Goodyear has donated a total of 32 laptops to its partner schools in Tembisa, Gauteng, and Kwanobuhle, Uitenhage. Hayes-Powell highlighted the importance of being part of building future leaders in South Africa. "Education is one of our focus areas and we believe in empowering children as the first step in our action against poverty. Over the years, we have aligned our resources to ensure that we are a part of building and inspiring a culture of reading and learning," he said. Goodyear has also donated a classroom container to Inxiweni Primary School which will be used as a library.

In an effort to support the schools as the learners and staff return to school, Goodyear donated face shields for the learners at both schools. Zoliswa Njiyela, Stephen Nkomo Primary School Princpal, expressed her gratitude on behalf of the learners, parents and staff, further highlighting the importance of keeping learners and educators safe as the academic calandar for 2020 continues. "Most of the learners are not wearing masks in the townships and we really believe this donation is going to help them to reduce the rate of infection. We are grateful for the efforts taken by Goodyear to ensure that that our learners and staff are safe during this pandemic," Njiyela concluded.

Goodyear is committed to creating an environment where employees are inspired by serving their communities. "Goodyear prides itself on being a good corporate citizen which is why it is important to us that we serve and empower the communities around us. It is also important to keep our employees energised and connected to the community. Mandela Month is an important date on our Corporate Social Responsibility calendar, and we are glad we could still do our part during this pandemic," concluded Hayes-Powell. is an award-winning Digital Media, Marketing, and Advertising Company est. 2015, is a Member of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA), and Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Ambassadors, with a global reach of over 10 million

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