SOURCE: Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Volkswagen of America, Inc.

August 30, 2012 10:30 ET

Volkswagen Employees in South Africa Help Center for the Homeless in Soweto

Volunteering Program "Great Show of Hands" Supports Soup Kitchen and School Project

WOLFSBURG, GERMANY--(Marketwire - Aug 30, 2012) - This year too, volunteers from the Volkswagen plants at Uitenhage and Sandton in South Africa have taken part in aid projects for the needy. Since May 2011, six projects in and around Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth have been supported by the Volkswagen Group of South Africa within the program "Great Show of Hands." The main emphasis of the program is on education, youth development, health and community well-being.

Under the motto of "many hands make light work," efforts this summer focused on two specific projects in which more than 110 employees participated. Each participant contributed five hours of their leisure time at the weekends. For the first time, work was carried out on two community projects at the same time.

In Gauteng, the Volkswagen volunteers helped the Thabile Boys and Girls Guide Centre in Emndeni, Soweto, a home for displaced people that had not received any funding for 13 years. The helpers converted a patch of dry land into a garden so that the center could grow its own food in the future. In addition, the center received a much-needed coat of paint and helpers assisted in the soup kitchen, which provided 600 portions of soup for the community in and around the center. NGO Food and Trees for Africa will advise the center on the sustainable cultivation of the garden.

In Eastern Cape, aid was provided for Limekhaya High School in KwaLanga, Uitenhage. Volunteers renovated 240 square meters of facilities and equipped them with study stations, computers, library infrastructure, reading corners, a children's edu-play area, as well as a 40-seater film theatre, creating a multi-purpose resource centre for the community.

"After more than a year of working closely with this school through the Volkswagen Community Trust," said Nonkqubela Maliza, Director of Corporate and Government Affairs of the Volkswagen Group South Africa, "we have been able to assess the school's capacity and needs in terms of mathematics, science and computer studies." Volkswagen South Africa and Volkswagen Community Trust are now cooperating to finance the upgrading of the school's science laboratory facilities and equipment, as well as the creation of the multi-purpose resource centre.

These two volunteer projects were based on the concept of International Mandela Day which seeks to inspire individuals to take action and help change the world for the better. The Volkswagen program "Great Show of Hands" was launched at the request of the workforce, which is determined to be actively involved in the comprehensive support of local communities by the Group.

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