At the recent Beyond Painting Classrooms Conference held in Johannesburg, Volkswagen Group South Africa’s (VWSA) employee volunteer programme, “Show of Hands” won the Beyond Painting Classroom Award – Partnering for Change category.
The Beyond Painting Classroom Employee Volunteer Programme Awards recognise and celebrate inspiring examples of employee volunteering initiatives that go beyond traditional approaches to employee volunteering. These are aimed at giving real value to business, volunteers and communities. By showcasing inspiring examples of employee volunteering, Beyond Painting Classrooms aims to inspire more organisations and South Africans to get involved in employee volunteering, and to contribute to creating lasting social change.
The main criteria for this award is to recognise employee volunteer programmes and initiatives which prioritise and successfully execute a partnering approach to employee volunteering. Volkswagen was selected among 24 entries nationally. The winner in the same category for Non-profit organisations was Symphonia‘s Partners for Possibility Programme.
Volkswagen was recognised for the holistic and comprehensive approach it takes in ensuring that the employee volunteer programme is working in synergy with all the other CSI programmes. Once the facilities of a selected beneficiary are improved, VWSA then works with its partners to introduce and implement interventions that are aimed at improving education outcomes in the classroom and extend the programme beyond just painting the classroom.
VWSA employees are actively involved in giving of themselves towards the development of their communities. VWSA encourages and facilitates volunteering by equipping employees with resources and opportunities to get involved. At the Show of Hands events, employees assist with installing libraries and reading corners, planting vegetable gardens, and improving existing facilities including ablutions in order to create an environment that is conducive for learning. Employees are also encouraged to mentor and act as role models to learners as part of the VW Mentorship Programme which partners with the Alexandra Education Committee. After the Show of Hands event is completed, VWSA partners with Nali’Bali, Edupeg, and Shine Literacy to help equip the teachers, caregivers and parents with the skills they need in order to support their children’s development in the classroom and at home.
“The Beyond Painting Classroom initiative has at the forefront of its vision a desire to encourage employees to be active citizens that are engaged in building a just, equitable and united South Africa. At VWSA we have the same desire. We cannot operate in a community without being involved in the general upliftment of that community from which we will hopefully source future Volkswagen employees, who have been given a good education. We contribute to this by supporting our various volunteer initiatives. I am immensely proud of my Volkswagen Family!.” said Thomas Schaefer, Volkswagen Group South Africa Chairman and Managing Director.