CSR programme gives way to 900 new jobs in Vaal Triangle

Annette Willemse -- Tue, 01/27/2015 - 16:23

CSR programme gives way to 900 new jobs in Vaal Triangle

In less than two months after the completion of the ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) Sustainability Accelerator Programme - in conjunction with the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal), one of the participating organisations have been secured funding in access of R7 million from the Gauteng Department of Health.

The project will focus on all the hospitals, clinics and health care providers within the Sedibeng region and will provide employment, on a five month contract, to 900 previously unemployed people in the Vaal Triangle.

More about Hands of Hope

The organisation, Hands of Hope, represents a non-profit organisation (NPO) and specialises in home based care whilst also rendering counselling and HIV/Aids testing services within the Vaal Triangle region. Hands of Hope is recognised by the Gauteng Department of Health since 2007. The organisation was founded by Rev Kalusi Isak Hlalele in 2005 in Tshepiso extension 3.

The main objective of the organisation is to provide outreach services to young and unemployed people through awareness campaigns, information dissemination and community engagement. Other services include HIV counselling and testing, screening for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as information pertaining to sexual health.

In 2014 two of the organisation’s staff members were nominated to take part in the first-ever AMSA Sustainability Accelerator Programme at the Vaal Triangle Campus. The programme – which represented a first-of-its-kind initiative in South Africa, encapsulated an eight month practical educational empowerment programme aimed at individuals working in the non-governmental (NGO), and non-profit (NPO) environments and who drive social development projects on behalf of their corporate funders.  The aim of the programme was to develop these organisations into effective entities that can manage themselves and their projects in a manner that will ensure sustainability and longevity – something Hands of Hope can now attest to.

Programme a turning point towards success

According to Kalusi Hlalele, Project Manager of Hands of Hope, the AMSA Sustainability Accelerator Programme empowered the organisation with much needed skills such as proposal writing, presentation skills, and practical tools needed to ensure impact and sustainability. “I can’t thank ArcelorMittal South Africa and the Vaal Triangle Campus enough for unlocking the door to success for us,” says Hlalele and adds that he can’t wait to see how the organisation evolves even further during the course of the next five months.

The awarded contract from the Gauteng Department of Health will see Hands of Hope deploying individuals to assist with cleaning, queue marshalling, filling and gardening within the healthcare sector of the Sedibeng region. Special emphasis is given to unemployed youth (under the age of 35) and as such this initiative will contribute immensely to the alleviation of poverty and unemployment amongst the youth of the region.

More about the AMSA Sustainability Accelerator Programme

The AMSA Sustainability Accelerator Programe represented a first-of-its-kind initiative in South Africa and encapsulated a practical educational empowerment programme aimed at individuals working in the non-governmental (NGO), and non-profit (NPO) environments and who drive social development projects on behalf of their corporate funders. The vision of the programme was to develop these organisations into effective entities that can manage themselves and their projects in a manner that will ensure sustainability and longevity.  The programme was a joint initiative between ArcelorMittal South Africa and the Vaal Triangle Campus whilst the programme was coordinated through the Campus’s Centre for Continuing Professional Development (CCPD) and the School of Behavioural Sciences within the Faculty of Humanities. The first edition of the AMSA Sustainability Accelerator was launched in April 2014 and concluded in December of the same year.

This is according to Mr Ederick Stander – a project manager and lecturer at the NWU Vaal, following the successful launch and implementation of the ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) Sustainability Accelerator Programme in 2014.  According to Stander the progamme proved to be a unique contribution within the CSR space in South Africa.  This comes after the release of an Executive Feedback Report detailing the highlights and impact of the programme.

“The report reveals the level of success achieved through the programme and most importantly, it also indicates how the Vaal Triangle Campus continuously delivers upon its mandate of enabling societies to thrive,” explains Stander.

AMSA Sustainability Accelerator – a success story

 “A total of four different certificate courses were offered as part of the programme and the pass rate of the participants across all four of the courses averaged 95%,” says Stander and adds that the programme provided real impact and outcomes that will translate into sustainable gains for communities in the Vaal Triangle region.  “The programme saw 20 individuals being equipped with a total of 76 new certificates between them. They will not enter the market place and have the required skill set to operate their organisations in a manner that will greatly benefit their communities.”

Participants taking part in a group discussion Participants during a site visit to ArcelorMittal - Vanderbijlpark