“History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children.” – Taking these famous words by former president Nelson Mandela to heart, children were at the centre of the Mandela Week celebrations hosted by Isuzu Motors South Africa across South Africa this week.

In remembrance of the late great stateman’s birthday week, Isuzu reached out to some of the most vulnerable members of our local communities: children and the elderly living in Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg.

The Mandela Week festivities kicked off on Tuesday, July 16, when Isuzu Motors South Africa donated much needed mathematics and literacy textbooks to Normoyle Primary School based at the Missionvale Care Centre in Missionvale. Normoyle Primary School is an independent school which serves the impoverished community of Missionvale.

“We are extremely grateful to Isuzu for this incredible gift. Their support means our pupils will have the resources required to perform at their very best, and our hope is that they will use this as tools to pave their way out of the cycle of poverty they have been born into. Through our school we are also active in developing the importance of maths, and Isuzu has made this possible,” said Missionvale Care Centre Marketing Manager Linda van Oudheusden.

In line with 67 Minutes for Madiba, Isuzu also donated 67 warm blankets to the Missionvale Care Centre. “These are given to families who are in need, often bed-ridden patients, elderly and sickly

people. The blankets are a huge comfort and so deeply appreciated by those who receive them. Isuzu is a treasured part of our Missionvale family! We are in this together, to make a difference in one life at a time, and collectively to change the future through our shared commitment,” said Van Oudheusden.

Isuzu’s next stop was at Qhamani Pre-school in Zwide where the company donated mattresses, toys and stationery. Close to 60 children, aged two to five years, from Zwide, New Brighton, Missionvale and Joe Slovo attend the school. Employees did gardening, face painting, reading and amused the kids with an educational puppet show, teaching them about the importance of keeping your environment clean. The principal, Nonzane Mbana, said the donation was a great help. “Our little ones share mattresses, stationery and learning equipment. This donation gives each child access to sufficient learning resources,” she said.

Nestled next to Qhamani Pre-school, is the Ekuphumleni Home for the Aged. Here Isuzu employees opened their hearts and pockets and donated toiletries and adult nappies.

And in partnership with Gift of the Givers, Isuzu moved to the retirement homes of Schauderville where they distributed grocery parcels to each resident.

Johannesburg based employees followed suit and donated clothing and non-perishable food items to Wings of Inspiration Care Centre, a Gauteng-based organisation working with underprivileged children, orphans and families.

Shane Peyper, Wings of Inspiration representative, said the organisation supports a local children’s home, playschools and soup kitchens. “We don’t say no to anybody. We help them all – families, children, homeless people and the destitute,” said Peyper.

Isuzu Motors South Africa Corporate Communications Manager, Gishma Johnson, said community outreach is entrenched in the company’s vision. “We care about the community

in which we operate and believe in making an impactful contribution. We further encourage our employees to get involved in community programmes,

“Through our employee volunteerism programme, Isuzu Cares, I care too, employees volunteer their time or contribute in cash or kind towards a worthy cause,” said Johnson.