Others call them moms, sisters, aunts and daughters – Vodacom calls them heroes. The mobile network operator in the country celebrated the “hidden figures” or women, who make a positive impact in the communities they serve. In a bid to further strengthen its relationship with the various NGOs it supports and funds, the network operator hosted these heroic women at an intimate breakfast in Johannesburg. The breakfast further underlined Vodacom’s commitment towards Education (SDG goal #4) and Gender Empowerment (SDG goal #5) during Women’s Month.
Through Vodacom’s funding and support, these women-led NGOs are able to focus on addressing numerous societal ills. The NGO’s dedicate their time and energy towards ensuring holistic health care for parents and children with facial conditions, safeguarding abused children, ensuring their growth, development and well-being, caring for the blind as well as administering lifesaving cardiac intervention and surgery.
Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs at Vodacom, said – “As their partner of choice, we salute these remarkable women, who have dedicated so much of their time towards working tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of fellow women and children in need. These women inspire us to do even more to protect our women and children as we work to advance sustainable development in South Africa. This is an act that the country should be focused on, not just during Women’s month, but each and every day. We hope that they will inspire all South Africans to do even more in their communities.”
Present at the breakfast were representatives from the various entities, including:
- African Children’s Feeding Scheme (Phindile Hlalele), which has been focused on children’s growth, development and wellbeing
- Orlando Children’s Home (Miriam Mazibuko, Executive Director), which was established in 1940 for children in need of care in Soweto
- Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation (Tumi Sisulu, CEO), which facilitates lifesaving cardiac intervention and surgery
- New BeginningZ Baby Haven (Tahhiya Hassim, Founder) – a place of safety for abandoned, abused and neglected babies and toddlers
- The Smile Foundation (Moira Gerszt) which has a holistic healthcare vision for parents and children with facial conditions
- Women and Men Against Child Abuse (Boogie Dlamini), which is committed to fighting for the rights of the child and to end the abuse of children as well as
The South African National Council for the Blind (Angelina Khupe), which was established in 1929 and has the objective of coordinating South African organisations for the blind, being the national blind representative body, advocacy and the promotion of the rights of persons with visual impairments.
Vodacom Foundation believes that digital technologies can address some of the country’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. By utilising its technological resources, the mobile network operator believes that it can mobilise social change to improve people’s lives today, for a better tomorrow. For over 19 years, Vodacom has been giving back to the community by connecting for good and contributing to social development by using technology resources to make a difference in the lives of others.
“Vodacom is committed to giving back to communities, through partnerships with government, industry leaders and other technology providers. We drive sustainable initiatives that help alleviate some of the country’s most pressing social challenges. This Women’s Month, Vodacom acknowledges and pays tribute to all the women-led NGOs we work with. We believe that women are a powerful voice for positive change,” says Netshitenzhe.
Vodacom Foundation’s women-led NGOs seek to ensure that women and children are granted equal rights and opportunity, and are able to live free of violence and discrimination. In doing so, the network operator is echoing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 5, which believes that by taking action against these pressing global injustices, every part of the world can make progress towards sustainable development by 2030.