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Ford injects life into SA communities


Last week, employees from Ford South Africa contributed more than 5 500 hours of expertise and labour to improve their communities. FMCSA, President and CEO Jeff Nemeth said the projects were part of a broader culture of sustainability in the company. "From improving homes that look after abandoned children with HIV, aiding with physical therapy for those with disabilities, to creating vegetable gardens for the elderly, employees and dealers across the region inspired us all in the ways they gave back."

Courtesy of: Ford Motor Company

* Twenty community service projects in South Africa
* More than 700 Ford employees, retirees and spouses volunteered their time for the ninth annual Ford Global Week of Caring
* Volunteers made a special emphasis on projects that support and protect water resources, in keeping with Ford Motor Company's corporate water focus this year

Global Week of Caring sees Ford employees band together from all parts of the world and these were only a few projects from Ford's operations on six continents - Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.

Employees from the Product Development division of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) in Pretoria installed an electrical geyser and a water reservoir at the Dunduzela Children's Home in Nelmapius. "The feeling from seeing their faces is hard to describe," said team leader for the Duduzela Children's home and Ford employee, Johann Ungerer. "All the hours and hard work was more than worth it and some of our team members want to make the work a more regular activity in their lives."

In addition to thousands of employee volunteers taking part in Ford Global Week of Caring, the company also contributed US$348,000 globally to non-profit agencies to purchase the tools, supplies and materials needed to complete many of the community service projects. Ford volunteers strived to put a special emphasis on projects that support and protect water resources as, a basic necessity for people everywhere. This is in keeping with the company's corporate water strategy aimed at understanding and reducing water consumption at its global facilities and across its supply base.

Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa that will take place later this month:

Mozambique: Supporting HIV positive mothers and children
Angola: Donating recycling bins and environmental training
Nigeria: Providing assistance to neglected public primary schools
Ghana: Coordinating a blood drive
"We consider ourselves as part of the communities we operate in," Nemeth said. "Social, environmental and economic sustainability are all interlinked and cannot be taken in isolation from one another. Our community service projects also give our staff members a chance to get in touch with the people who will benefit from our contributions to the economy."

While the Ford Volunteer Corps is active throughout the year, Ford Global Week of Caring is the highlight of a year-round effort to flex the volunteer muscle of Ford employees, retirees and dealers to make a positive difference in the neighborhoods and communities where the company does business.