During December 2013, Vodacom donated 1200 food hampers to the St Clement's Home Based Care Project, a non-profit organisation based in Clermont, Durban that renders a supportive service to people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and orphaned and vulnerable children in and around the area.
The project was initiated in 2001, when the parish priest of the St Clement's Catholic Church, the late Rev Fr Michael Sibeko, observed that there were no support systems in place for people living with HIV/Aids in a community that was amongst the poorest of the poor, where unemployment was rife and more than half the deaths were Aids-related.
Vodacom's involvement began earlier this year when it identified the St Clements Home Based Project as part of its Mandela Day initiative. Its staff handed out an initial 1,200 food hampers to the people at the project.
After the Mandela Day initiative, the company identified a dire need in the community for these food hampers and has now made a concerted effort to build and maintain a working relationship with the people of the organisation and the surrounding community.
"Generous gifts from donors like you provide moral support needed to continue with our mission," said Zanele Mvune, a fundraiser for the St Clement's Home Based Care Project, in a letter of gratitude. "With your faithful contribution you've demonstrated your deep commitment to our work of feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and assisting the orphans."
The company has further extended its charitable reach by handing out 600 food hampers at the 1000 Hills Community Helpers in Inchanga. This was another organisation committed to alleviating the suffering of the elderly and children in distress because of HIV/Aids.
"We are committed to local community projects, especially those involved in uplifting and empowering the less fortunate," said Alberts Breed, managing executive for Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal.
He added that whilst organisations like the St Clements Home Based Project and 1000 Hills Community Helpers allow its staff to be empathetic, it also provides an opportunity for them to contribute meaningfully towards a good cause.
"Making an invaluable impact on other peoples' lives is a very gratifying feeling," he concluded.