A long-standing support project for Saab Grintek Defence in South Africa is Children on the Move – located in the township of Atteridgeville, Pretoria West. It is a drop-in centre for orphans and vulnerable children that provides meals and a place to get social support. The programme hopes to influence the children’s sense of belonging and thus prevent “street kids” syndrome.
Children on the Move is a charity focusing on vulnerable children affected by HIV and Aids and it caters for more than 400 orphans and vulnerable children on a daily basis. They provide services such as providing breakfast, lunch boxes, prepared meals, assistance with homework, home visits, support groups, psycho-social and spiritual support as well as sporting and cultural activities. In many cases, the meal the children receive at Children on the Move is the only meal they eat that day. Before they leave, each child is sent home with a 1/3 loaf of bread to eat for dinner.
Saab Grintek Defence has supported Children on the Move in various ways over the years. In addition to donating clothing and food items to the NGO on behalf of its employees, twice a year food is brought and employees prepare a full meal for the children – which they also serve.
While additional sponsorship towards ensuring that the children have uniforms, blankets for the winter and some bread to take home each night, sustainable development can be seen in the bakery equipment that was sponsored. This equipment has helped create capacity for the bakery which can now bake enough bread not only to feed the children in the drop-in centre, but to supply to a few nearby shops and thus generate revenue.
Colleagues from Saab in Sweden, upon hearing of the plight of these children, also got involved in the cause and through deductions that was made to their salaries over a number of years, were able to donate over R100 000 to the organisation.
“We hope to conduct more of these charity drives in the future as the smallest donation can make the largest impact on any individual’s life. Change begins with the first one who is ready to make it. Together we can make a difference,” says Anne Lewis Olsson, Head of Communication in Africa at Saab.