SAULSVILLE, PRETORIA –  Nissan South Africa (Nissan SA) marked Child Protection Week with the handover of a Nissan Primastar to the Leamogetswe Safety Home in Saulsville today. This followed a plea to the automotive manufacturer to supplement funding of R100, 000 from the Tshwane Department of Social Development towards the cost of a vehicle for the home’s transport requirements.    

Established in 1999 in response to high numbers of homeless and vulnerable children and youth in Pretoria and surrounding areas, Leamogetswe is a refuge for around 60 children – abandoned, abused, neglected and orphaned - from the townships of Atteridgeville and Saulsville.

In taking ownership of the nine-seater Primastar, Leamogetswe founder and project director Matlakala Makhubela said that the vehicle would be of great assistance ferrying the children to and from school and on group outings.  “As a NGO that relies largely on goodwill, we are delighted and grateful that Nissan topped up the government funding, making it possible to receive this brand new vehicle.”

Apart from providing for the children’s nutritional, social and educational development needs, the home is also a temporary shelter for women at risk from abusive relationships.

“Communities need and rely on people like Mrs Makhubela and we had no hesitation in granting her request,” said Nissan SA’s general manager of Corporate and General Affairs Wonga Mesatywa. “We admire the work that she is doing for needy children and others in this community and we take great pleasure in handing over the Primastar which we know she is counting on to taxi her young charges safely and comfortably to and from their destination.”

Leamogetswe’s primary role is to accommodate and care for children and youth under the age of 21, as well as women (mainly young mothers) from abusive backgrounds, providing them with skills, confidence and the ability to reintegrate into the community. This is achieved through a number of programmes including child-care development, extra-curricular activities. self-help projects for women and food gardening. Staff development for the eight fulltime employees and seven volunteers – through formal training and skills transfer among qualified and unqualified employees - is also a priority as is the home’s community outreach programme to raise awareness of women and child abuse.

Nissan SA recently handed over a Nissan Bakkie to the St John the Baptist Clinic in Winterveldt.The handovers form part of Nissan SA’s corporate social responsibility programme which is involved in a number of education, health and humanitarian initiatives both close to the company’s Rosslyn-based manufacturing plant and further afield.

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