South Africa

Aspen South Africa Operations - Port Elizabeth:

Aspen’s team in Port Elizabeth selected three projects for their 2013 Mandela Day activities. These included the Missionvale Care Centre, the Echo Foundation and the Sinethemba Children’s Care Centre.

Missionvale is an interdenominational, non-profit organisation that operates in the extremely poor informal shack land of Missionvale outside Port Elizabeth. This centre provides love and care to the poor and destitute with particular emphasis on those living with HIV/Aids. Approximately 130 000 people receive daily sustenance from the Centre which offers a range of facilities including education, medical care, social services and nutritional programmes. Nearly 1500 basic meals of soup and bread are provided to underprivileged members of the community each day. The Missionvale Care Centre also provides much needed clothing to some 600 families each month.

A team set to work early in the day at the Missionvale Centre where maintenance work was carried out, ceiling boards repaired, and compost bins constructed out of dis-used wooden pallets. In addition to feeding the hungry, the Aspen team also handed over donations of clothing, food, cleaning products, toiletries, blankets, chairs for the children and glucose test kits. Entertaining activities were also arranged for the children who thoroughly enjoyed the sports and games, reading corners and the love and attention that they so freely received. Practical supplies were also donated to Missionvale such as discontinued empty infant formula cans that are used to serve food in as well as 5l water bottles.

There is an increasing need to care for the elderly who either have no families or have been abandoned or neglected by their families. The Echo Foundation in the Walmer Township is such a facility that provides a home and care to 15 frail elderly residents who are unable to take care of themselves. The Aspen team visited the aged members of the community and shared gifts of toiletries and cleaning products, crockery and cooking equipment, buckets, blankets and rugs with them in addition to supplying glucose test kits for use where needed. Earlier in the week the clear bathroom windows were also sandblasted to provide a little privacy for the residents.

The Sinethemba Children's Home is situatued close to Aspen in Korsten, Port Ellizabeth. Siqnoria Qolani, an orphaned lady herself, who came across the abandoned old police station buildings and found young children hiding beneath the floorboards, established the facility. Sinethemba is now a home of safety for 26 abandoned children who are aged between 1 and 18 years. After returning from school, the kids were delighted to be met by the Aspen team who came along in their droves to replace doors, lay concrete for a gate that was being installed along with gutters and a Jojo tank. Damaged plug fittings were also repaired and broken lights replaced. The new lawnmower will indeed be put to good use to help maintain the garden. The kids reveled in the fun that was provided by the jumping castle and games and they were all very grateful for the donations of clothing, toiletries and cleaning materials. The party packs were a welcome treat as were the cupcakes which they heartily enjoyed.

The 2013 Mandela Day initiative proved to be even bigger, better and more well-supported than ever for Aspen in Port Elizabeth, with employees and families; customers and suppliers; and sister sites participating in the day in various forms.

Aspen wishes to thank every person, group and company who supported the event this year including:

DB Fine Chemicals, Advanced African Technology, ProPrint, Medi-Centre, Uniprint, A&S Printers, Akulu Marchon, Glass and Aluminium, All Round Engineering, MQ Developments, Wright Security, First Garment, CB Agencies, Business Connextion, Merck, Enviroserv, Rubicon, Beacon Lighting and Britepak.


Aspen South Africa Operations - East London

There is an increasing need to care for the elderly who have no families or who are abandoned or neglected. The Aspen team in East London selected the DJ Sobey Old Age Home as their primary beneficiary, with the aim of being a central support facility for the aged from disadvantaged communities within the greater East London/Buffalo City area. Their mission in achieving this is to provide quality care and support services for the poor elderly folk, to care for the frail and sub-economic aged people; and to provide day and night care, advisory services as well as a source of information for the elderly.

The DJ Sobey Old Age Home is situated in Buffalo Flats and caters for 75 elderly people who are drawn from all racial groups. The ages range from 60 – 98 years old and about 30% of the residents have been abandoned and are destitute while some have been sexually abused. In most cases they are never visited or taken home to their families.

Riccardo Petronio, Aspen SA Operations General Manager in East London said, "Our Mandela Day 2013 initiative at the DJ Sobey home for the elderly turned out to be a wonderful opportunity for our employees to demonstrate our entrepreneurial spirit and live the Aspen values whilst making a positive contribution to the community."
"Beautifying the Garden at the facility turned out to be the main initiative on the day and an experience that required a high level of commitment, teamwork, and innovation. After standing back and looking at the result at the end of the day I can safely say that Excellence was achieved.
At some stage during the course of the day Abigail, the matron at the facility, called me aside and expressed her appreciation for what the Aspen team were doing and more importantly how they were going about it. She claimed that in her view this had been one of the biggest initiatives at the home and at that point I knew we had achieved what we had set out to do."

"Our suppliers did a wonderful job of partnering with us on this initiative. Thank you to Gridnic, RTS Electrical, PEG Labelling, Border Mechanical, and ACS for assisting with the more technical requirements at the home."

The Aspen team’s Mandela Day activities at the home included attending to the garden, repairing all the benches, lighting repairs, curtaining, organizing a sewing room, painting a mural, clearing garden refuse and rubble, new gate and washing lines, repairs and maintenance to the cold-room, installation of a music centre, washing windows and walls and serving tea and cake to the residents.

In addition, Aspen's East London team also elected to support God’s Heart Desire situated at Khayeitsha. The centre is run by Buyiswa who quit her job as a trainee manager to start the centre in her own yard with no financial support. The centre houses about 35 children from all walks of life ranging from abandoned children, street children and abused children, with the oldest aged 17. The children attend schools where they are not required to pay school fees. The Aspen team is taking care of some of the centre’s most pressing needs such as food, clothes, bedding, furniture, toys and a jungle gym.