Although Nelson Mandela passed away 7 years ago at the age of 94, he will be remembered for his contribution in the fight towards racial equality and freedom. In line with Aspen's 10th year of participation in Mandela Day, and in honour of this inspirational leader, the team in Brazil celebrated this annual initiative with a campaign that ran throughout July.
The @aspenpharmabrasil social media platforms were used intently to increase knowledge about Nelson Mandela and related facts and activities were published on a weekly basis.
As a consequence of COVID-19 and the dire impact that this pandemic has had on Brazil, participation in Mandela Day was somewhat different as opposed to activities hosted in prior years. While retaining the focus on promoting actions that inspire positive changes for humanity, due cognisance was also taken of the hygiene protocols dictated to stem the spread of coronavirus to ensure the health and well-being of the nation.
It was therefore fitting to support the Women of the Global South. This is a social impact company dedicated to the economic empowerment of refugee women. The institution facilitates economic empowerment and upliftment to nearly 50 women who use the multicultural sewing workshop to make fabric items that are sold to the public. Aspen purchased 480 masks for its employees, which are not simply fabric masks, but rather symbols of hope for better health against the pandemic, just as Mandela and Women of the Global South recognise the importance of being symbols of hope to those fighting for a better life.
On 17 July 2020, the Aspen Pharma Brazil team together with CEO Alexandre França, participated in a virtual meeting with Emanuela Farias, founder of Women of the Global South. Emanuela used the opportunity to share the story of the institution. She highlighted the manner in which refugee women are welcomed into it and the role that it plays in fostering their skills as seamstresses to provide financial and social support to the women, and in turn to their families, who are striving to improve their circumstances in the country.
The studio, which currently serves refugees from Angola, the DRC, Guinea Bissau, Zambia, Venezuela and Colombia also needed specific equipment. Aspen was humbled to be able to donate three sewing machines to assist with increased production as well as 20 chairs to provide comfort for the women as they work at their machines.