The outreach activities take place on Friday, 6 July and form part of L’Oréal’s annual Citizen Day programme – a global L’Oréal corporate social responsibility initiative that sees L’Oréal staff actively working to help uplift local communities.
The Ethembeni Children’s Home in Doornfontein is an initiative of The Salvation Army. It cares for up to 60 children, from birth to three years, that have been removed from abusive households or abandoned due to being infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. The home is subsidised by government, but relies heavily on funding to survive, as the cost to keep a child at the home exceeds R3 500 per month.
This year L’Oréal staff will divide their efforts between two projects – an outing to the Johannesburg Zoo for all the Ethembeni toddlers (18 months to three years) followed by a special zoo picnic, and upgrading the home’s dining room.
“We don’t have the funds available to take the children for outings, so a day at the zoo is a real treat for the kids and will go a long way to adding some much-needed cheer to their lives,” explains Ethembeni Children’s Home administrator, Captain Heather Rossouw. “The same is true for upgrading parts of the home; we really need funds to do this, so L’Oréal stepping in to help revamp our dining room is a blessing.”
Another children’s haven that will receive a mini-makeover is Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng in Olievenhoutbosch, Centurion. The venue first opened its doors in 2001 as a nursery and pre-school catering for children aged six months to six years from the local community. In 2004 the school expanded its services to include a place of safety for abused children, children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and mothers and children at risk.
As part of their Citizen Day work, a volunteer team will help refurbish the residence, including painting the various rooms.
Staff from L’Oréal’s Midrand manufacturing plant will also focus on assisting the country’s children when they dedicate their time to help Stop Hunger Now SA, a hunger relief organisation that aims to provide food for South Africa’s destitute people. The programme’s efforts include children, where it works with Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres to ensure at least one nutritional meal per learner per day. As part of their efforts, factory staff will help pack 54 000 meals for those ECD centres supported by the programme.
“The challenge of fighting hunger in Southern Africa requires resourced citizens helping less resourced members of their community with a hand up, not a hand out. As Stop Hunger Now SA, we are proud to have L’Oréal staff playing their part to help our country’s most vulnerable citizens – hungry preschool children,” notes Irene Rügheimer, Stop Hunger Now SA national promotions manager.
L’Oréal’s position in the beauty industry stands it in good stead to assist the local cosmetic industry’s social responsibility initiative, the Look Good…Feel Better programme, of which it is a founding member.
The programme is dedicated to helping women undergoing active cancer treatment, overcome the distressing appearance-related side effects of their treatment. It aims to improve their self-esteem, self-confidence and quality of life through national beauty workshops that teach them how to make the best of their appearance.
As a programme partner, L’Oréal supplies products to be used in the workshops and recently helped develop a new hair component to the programme. This year a group of L’Oréal staff will take that support a step further by assisting LGFB volunteers at a workshop in Benoni.
“We truly value the special relationships between LGFB and our members, and are proud to be included in L’Oréal’s 2012 Citizen Day,” says LGFB programme director Margaret Hewson. “Our workshops are really making a difference; the spirits of these brave women literally rise as their self-esteem is restored and they recognise themselves in the mirror again. It’s also amazing to see how they begin to confidently share with one another thus creating a new and very important support system, reiterating that they’re not alone in their fight against cancer.”
Extending its outreach efforts further to women in need, L’Oréal will also spend a day at the San Salvador Home for women with intellectual disabilities in Hyde Park. The home offers a safe, protective and caring sanctuary to 58 women over the age of 18 who are all encouraged to reach their full potential, despite the physical, mental, emotional and social challenges they face. It also includes an upliftment, job creation and education programme.
A group of volunteers will paint the home’s entertainment room, including a special blackboard wall, to help create a stimulating environment in which the women can flourish.
“Despite their considerable challenges, these women love life as much as we do, and creating a nurturing environment is key to their wellbeing. The brighter entertainment room will help make this a more stimulating space while the new blackboard wall will be the perfect outlet for their creative expression. These changes will definitely help our women thrive,” says San Salvador Home general manager, Louisa Botha.
“It is us, as a company, who feel honoured to have the opportunity to help these organisations in this way. Good corporate citizenship is not about merely donating money, it’s about actively getting involved, giving of your personal time and energy, and physically being part of the change you wish to see in your world. I’m extremely proud of our staff for heeding our call to help out in this manner,” concludes L’Oréal South Africa MD, Bertrand de Laleu.
Latest stories in Publicity News: