Ford Converts Metal Shipping Containers into Homes and Soup Kitchen for Bay’s Underprivileged Communities

BY SUPPLIED - SEPTEMBER 9, 2014

Several shipping containers have been transformed into homes and a community kitchen facility for underprivileged communities in Nelson Mandela Bay today as part of Ford’s Global Week of Caring.

In all, more than 13,000 volunteers from Ford operations in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America are contributing around 81,000 hours of expertise and labour to improve their communities this week.

The projects in Nelson Mandela Bay were spearheaded by Basil Raman, Production Manager at the Ford Struandale Engine Plant, and unveiled by Jeff Nemeth, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa  and government officials from the Department of Human Settlements.

The metal shipping containers will provide much needed housing to several households in the Vastrap informal settlement in Booysens Park, while the soup kitchen in Malabar has a capacity of serving 500 disadvantaged people a week.

Staff of the Ford Struandale Engine Plant were responsible for the conversion of the containers into community-uplifting assets with a purpose of addressing social inequalities.

“Ford Global Week of Caring is one of the many ways Ford and its employees are going further to improve the quality of life for people in the communities where we live and work,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services.

“Ford employees embrace the company’s legacy of caring and the importance of giving back. As Ford expands globally, our commitment to creating a better world grows with it.”

In addition to thousands of employee volunteers taking part in Ford Global Week of Caring, the company also is contributing R3,7 million nonprofit agencies to purchase the tools, supplies and materials needed to complete many of the community service projects.

Ford volunteers are putting a special emphasis on projects that support and protect water resources, a basic necessity for people everywhere. This is in keeping with the company’s corporate water strategy aimed at understanding and reducing water consumption at its global facilities and across its supply base.

Global projects with a water focus this year include:

  • Argentina: Install water pipes for rural communitie
  • China: Clean up coastlines and rivers
  • Germany: Construct an irrigation system at an environmental education center
  • India: Set up water purifiers for schools
  • Indonesia: Upgrade a sanitation system and install a water pump and filter for a school

Also on the Ford global volunteer to-do list: 

  •  Australia: Make repairs at a wildlife sanctuary
  • Brazil: Renovate children’s nursery facilities
  • Mexico: Remodel orphanages
  • Thailand: Conduct a recycling program and install recycled equipment at a school
  • Vietnam: Paint and repair schools

In the United States, more than 1,000 Ford employees will participate in 70 volunteer projects across 14 states throughout the week. This includes a Ford Accelerated Action Day on Sept. 11, when volunteers in Michigan and Ohio will participate in community service and other projects.

While the Ford Volunteer Corps is active throughout the year, Ford Global Week of Caring is the highlight of a year-round effort to flex the volunteer muscle of Ford employees, retirees and dealers to make a positive difference in the neighborhoods and communities where the company does business.  

 

Photo courtesy of www.pendeba.org