Ford Drives Change by Donating Vehicles to Innovative Social Upliftment Agencies

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Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is continuing its commitment to changing and improving people’s lives by donating three vehicles to support the commendable work of non-profit community organisations in Cape Town.

Two Ford Rangers, comprising a 3.2 TDCi SuperCab XLT 4×4 and a 2.2 TDCi Single Cab 4×2, valued at a combined R887 000, have been handed over to the Generation Social Fleet Holding Company – a collaboration that includes the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the US, the Young African Leader Initiative network and Generation Schools.

“The Generation Social Fleet is a network of social innovators across Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Africa who share Ford vehicles to deliver social impact solutions,” says David Berdish from the VCU School of Business. “These individuals work together to use these vehicles to reach the poorest areas across the region where residents have the lowest accessibility to nutritional food, safe housing and education.

“Through this shared-use initiative, we are able to build relationships amongst social entrepreneurs who use the donated vehicles to grow their markets for products or services. They play a vital role in improving lives in their communities with a specific emphasis on providing nutrition and education,” Berdish adds.

The system, developed and maintained by the Generation Social Fleet Holding Company, maps out the areas and communities most in need, reviews user profiles and their obligations, determines the optimal routes, locations and coordinating the use of the vehicles, as well as the necessary storage and maintenance requirements. “Receiving two tough and capable Ford Rangers for the Generation Social Fleet is a major boost for our project as we finalise this pilot in Cape Town and prepare for its launch in January 2020,” says Berdish.

The areas of Dunoon, Philippi and Khayelitsha have been identified by the organisation as amongst the poorest townships in the Cape Town metropolitan area and are the focal points for this shared-use service.

Andile Dube is one of the entrepreneurs who will benefit from this initiative, providing education to underprivileged youth through offering workshops and supplying free comic books for reading and entertainment. Asanda Tshingilane will source vegetables from community-based gardens and distribute these to underserved townships with one of the Ford Rangers.

Heather Wagner will rely on one of the vehicles to provide food for impoverished communities from her mobile food trailer, while Philip van den Burg will help women farmers get their fresh fruit and vegetables to the local market for sale.

SHE-MOVES Empowerment Programme
Another project supported by Ford and receiving a donated vehicle is SHE-MOVES (Strengthen Her: Mobilizing Ventures for Social Innovation) – a grants programme of the Ford Motor Company Fund that supports social enterprises benefitting women and children, while developing sustainable mobility solutions globally.

SHE-MOVES was officially launched in South Africa, Nigeria and India during 2019, and is designed to provide “Whole-Person Leadership” development and promote access to mobility. Administered by non-profit organization (NPO) Global Water Challenge, and run in partnership with World Vision International and Virginia Commonwealth University, the initiative combines philanthropy with social enterprise incubation models.

It aims to create positive change in line with five of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Good Health and Wellbeing; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; and Affordable and Clean Energy.

In South Africa, SHE-MOVES partnered with the Uhambo Foundation in Cape Town – a woman-led non-profit organisation that seeks to enable children with disabilities to live full and satisfying lives in their communities. It also supports parents and caregivers with skills training and empowerment opportunities.

In order to achieve these objectives, the Uhambo Foundation received a Ford Tourneo Custom, valued at over R580 000, to assist mothers of children with disabilities in rural farming communities with skills development and the creation of essential support networks. It will assist 216 identified community members and train stakeholders to support families of children with disabilities.

Additionally, mothers in five communities will be empowered to lead parent groups to support each other with Uhambo’s guidance. “We are extremely grateful to receive the Ford Tourneo Custom, which will assist us immensely in reaching out to more members of the community and help improve the lives of children affected by disabilities, particularly in the impoverished rural areas,” said Sarah Driver-Jowitt, General Manager of Uhambo Foundation, at the launch of this programme.

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