By Zakiya Atkinson, following an interview conducted with Truworths
Truworths, one of South Africa’s leading fashion retailers, has a longstanding Social Involvement programme, which contributes to the upliftment of women and youth in South Africa.
Although their major focus is on improvement and renovation of hospitals, which serve disadvantaged communities, they are fully committed to smaller on-going projects in the areas of education, social development, arts and culture and sport.
One such project – Sisanda FunDaytion, is a good example of how Corporates and Public Benefit Organisations have partnered to achieve a shared vision.
Truworths has been a key supporter of Sisanda FunDaytion since its inception. They’ve been drawn to the NGO’s purpose which introduces impoverished populations of children to arts, culture, recreation, and places of interest, in their surrounding communities. They have utilized community involvement and volunteerism as a way to bring their employees together.
In a recent interview, Truworths employees shared the pride they felt working for a company that has been a channel for support to their communities. The company recently expanded their partnership with Sisanda FunDaytion, facilitating employees to participate in a Fun Day outing.
The day provided highlights for everyone, with excited employees and children from a disadvantaged environment sharing new experiences.
The initial shyness on meeting was soon overcome once the journey started and as the day unfolded and everyone relaxed and enjoyed all the events of the day, the friendships began to blossom.
By the end of the day there were many sad goodbyes. For many of the employees their paths had previously crossed with merely a hello; now they were merging as a team with shared goals and experiences. One member of the Truworths team expressed her longing to give back, but turmoil in figuring out where to begin. With just one Fun Day under their belts the volunteers felt like heroes. But most importantly, the lives of the children had been impacted with role models, some of whom had overcome many obstacles themselves.
They have an on-going relationship with Sisanda FunDaytion. Apart from provision of monetary sponsorship they also provide t shirts for the children to wear on their outings.
The company is so encouraged by the morale that this collaboration has built and hopes to further expand its team building and volunteerism through the Sisanda FunDaytion.