The festive season is a time for family, friends and fun. It is a particularly special time of the year for children but the reality is that there are many underprivileged youngsters who do not get to experience the excitement of opening a little gift. Determined to bring a smile to a few of these kids’ faces, thyssenkrupp got into the spirit of giving by donating Santa Shoeboxes to the SOS Children’s Villages in Ennerdale.
For the past 13 years, Santa Shoebox has collected and distributed gifts to disadvantaged children across South Africa and Namibia. These Shoeboxes are packed with daily necessities such as stationary, toiletries and clothing as well as a toy and a sweet treat to brighten up a child’s day.
“As a long-time supporter of the Santa Shoebox initiative, we understand the excitement that these boxes bring to children and we were eager to help bring that happiness once again,” shares Kgothatso Ntsie, Marketing & Communications Manager at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions South Africa. “We are really grateful to our employees who openheartedly donated towards this cause. In addition to filling and wrapping nineteen shoeboxes, we also raised just over R4 000,00 for the Village. Taking this philanthropic spirit even further, our company generously sponsored school shoes to the value of R7 000,00 which we will soon be delivering to the SOS Children’s Village.”
Founded in 1949 in Austria and located in 136 countries, SOS Children’s Villages is an organisation that focuses on child care and protection. Locally, SOS Children’s Villages have eleven programmes in eight provinces across South Africa. The organisation’s alternative care and family strengthening programme enable children to grow in a caring family environment.
The Ennerdale Village is able to care for 100 children and is currently home to 83 children, with the youngest only nine months old. The Village comprises sixteen family homes with approximately six kids residing in each home together with a care mother. Focussed on ensuring that the children receive the full family experience, the kids take care of daily household chores and do their own shopping. The older children even receive a monthly allowance to buy their own toiletries in a bid to teach them how to be financially responsible. Taking the child-care focus further, the Ennerdale Village believes that they have a responsibility towards the children in the nearby communities. In line with this drive, the family strengthening programme, headed up by Sam Motsitsi, Director of SOS Children’s Villages Ennerdale has been making strong inroads.
On 29 November 2019, the thyssenkrupp team arrived at the Ennerdale Village, arms filled with Santa Shoeboxes and two large cakes, and eager to spend some time celebrating with the children. After taking
a tour of the home and handing out the boxes and monetary donations, the team spent some time getting to know the children and their care givers. When it was time to say goodbye, the thyssenkrupp team was left with a feeling of gratitude and humility. “It was so rewarding to see the children’s delight when all the Shoeboxes arrived; it makes you truly appreciate all that you have in your life,” notes Kgothatso.
Expressing his appreciation, Garth Gibson, Corporate Fundraiser National Office at SOS Children’s Villages South Africa, states, “We rely heavily on sponsorships to help us care for these children and are extremely grateful to thyssenkrupp and staff for the generous donations. It is truly the smaller things that make all the difference. We can’t say thank you enough.” Sharing these sentiments, Sam says, “I am very excited for the children. Thank you thyssenkrupp for your donations and helping us make a difference in the lives of these children. You are always welcome at our home.”
Wrapping up, Philipp Nellessen, CEO at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions Sub-Sahara Africa, says that the company is dedicated to uplifting communities across the sub-continent. “We are proud to be part of an initiative that makes such a valuable contribution to the lives of the less fortunate. We wish all the children at the SOS Children’s Villages Ennerdale a joyous holiday.”