Blog: Culture & Careers
July has been a busy month for the Johannesburg office as we used our WE volunteer hours on Mandela Day and participated in the annual Walk the Talk initiative in aid of the Adopt-a-School Foundation. It was amazing to see the team come together and give back, while having fun at the same time.
It’s not often that we can take time out of our busy schedules to get together and make a difference (MAD), but on Mandela Day, more than half of the Jo’burg office took the morning off to volunteer at Ikage Primary School, in Alexandra. In just over three hours, we managed to plant four WE-sponsored vegetable patches and paint a long perimeter wall, which had recently collapsed, exposing the school and inviting neighbouring squatters onto the property.
Ikage used some of its limited budget to build a new wall but was looking for volunteers to assist with painting it. WE-ZA stepped up to the task and, with a huge tea
Meanwhile, the existing vegetable garden needed replenishing, which presented an opportunity for my colleagues with green fingers to plant beetroot, carrots and spinach. In no time, four garden beds had been prepped and filled with veggie seeds that will provide food for the children by the time summer comes around. For some Ikage children, the one meal
they get at school will be their only food for the day, and the vegetables the school grows ensures they’re getting the right nourishment.m effort, managed to paint the 2.4m x 15m wall in just three hours, leaving the principal incredibly happy with the result.
It was a hugely successful morning out as we managed to achieve a great deal in a short time and were able to honour our late great leader, Nelson Mandela, by volunteering time on a day that has become synonymous with giving back in South Africa and throughout the world.
This is the second year we’ve volunteered hours at Ikage Primary School and the third year we’ve volunteered hours
through Adopt-a-School. The foundation is a non-profit organisation that supports the creation and enhancement of a conducive learning and teaching environment in disadvantaged schools.
Now in its 15th year, the 702 Walk the Talk saw a record-breaking 50 000 walkers brave one of the coldest Sundays of the year to take to the streets of Jo’burg. This year, talk radio station 702 encouraged participants to walk for a cause and so 12 members of the Jo’burg team walked distances of either 8km or 15km in aid of Adopt-a-School.
It was a fantastic morning out and an opportunity to see some of Jo’burg’s iconic spots, such as the Mandela Bridge, Constitutional Hill and Wits University. The Walk the Talk has become one of the highlights on the athletics calendar in South Africa and was the perfect opportunity for the Johannesburg team to claim a WE athletic sponsorship to support employee participation in a charitable walk.
This is hopefully the first of many charitable races our office will be participating in as part of our recently established #WEFit programme, which encourages employees to exercise as a team for fun and good health.
Watch this space for more Make a Difference activities from the Jo’burg team over the next few months.