The Teddy Bear Clinic, a child abuse safe haven in Soweto, whose plight was highlighted on Talk Radio 702, has been refurbished and upgraded with financial assistance from the Altech Group.
The leading South African high-technology group involved in the design, development, convergence, manufacture, installation and distribution of telecommunications equipment, multimedia systems and IT solutions, donated R500 000 for major renovations at the clinic.
At a ceremony attended by Director General of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ms Nonkululeko Msomi, Altech Group CFO Dr. John Carstens said that while the country was confronted by high occurrences of major crimes such as murder, armed robbery and rape, when innocent children become the victims of deliberate abuse, then such crimes become far more heinous.
Many of these children suffer in silence. Unseen and unheard, they bear the physical and emotional scars of lives shattered and dreams lost – a permanent reminder of societys failure to offer them a safe environment in which to grow and thrive. The impact and incidence of child abuse should shock each and every one of us to the core, and demand our action. They, after all, are our children, our countrys future. And it is for this reason that an organisation such as the Teddy Bear Clinic, which is a sanctuary for the benefit of abused children becomes so relevant, said Carstens.
He said when Primedia adopted the Teddy Bear Clinic as one of its community upliftment projects the Altech Group was easily swayed by Talk Radio 702 host and charity campaigner David OSullivan to get involved. While the downturn in the economy poses serious challenges for many companies, Altech is ensuring its investment in impoverished communities and other deserving causes remains firmly on track. In the reporting year ended February 2010, the company invested a total of R4.8 million in socio-economic development initiatives and has already approved projects to the value of R5.4 million for the year ahead.
David OSullivan, Patron of the Teddy Bear Clinic said his focus over the past year has been on improving the profile of the clinic and soliciting donations from the private sector. I am passionate about helping the incredibly dedicated and selfless people who work every day at the clinic, attending to children who have been sexually and psychologically abused, and providing support for the childrens families. The clinic staff deal with one of the terrible scourges of South African societychild abuse. They provide hope in a time of despair, solutions at a time when none seem possible. They are all remarkable people and are truly unsung heroes of society. I would like to continue to make their working environment as comfortable as possible, so that they can provide the best possible service to the people who walk through their doors, said OSullivan.
Senior social worker at the clinic, Daniel Radebe, said that by sponsoring the cost of renovations, Altech has ensured the clinic will boast a child-friendly environment where children can come and receive assistance in a comfortable place. We are blessed by consistent support from the business community. Eversheds has been a valued patron since 2000, providing financial, legal and administrative support as part of its corporate social investment programme. Two of the firms partners also serve as directors and Eversheds was instrumental in assisting the clinic in becoming a legal entity. I thank them for their support and the kindness their staff show the children throughout the year, concluded Radebe.
Note to Editors:
Altech is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). It is focused on the Telecommunications, Multi-media and Information Technology (TMT) industries and employs over 4000 employees in South Africa and abroad.
As a leading South African multi-billion rand high-technology group, Altech is involved in the design, development and convergence of telecommunications, multi-media systems and IT solutions. There is a strong focus on the convergence of these technologies and Altech is now also entrenched in the arena of secure technology solutions.
Altech has ongoing access to the latest technologies worldwide, while the groups own research and development programme actively encourages and promotes internal technology. www.altech.co.za
About the Teddy Bear Clinic:
The Teddy Bear Clinic is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring abused children are protected and rehabilitated. The Clinic provides therapy, counselling, assistance, love, comfort, safety and ongoing support to children who have been abused.
The Teddy Bear Clinic does not only work with children, but with parents and communities empowering them with knowledge and skills that can help put an end to child abuse. They also proactively approach schools to provide education to the learners and training to the teachers in order to prevent any abuse that may happen in their day-to-day lives.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Shenanda Janse van Rensburg: Group Executive: Marketing, PR and Communications
Allied Technologies Limited (Altech)
TEL: +2711 715-9023
FAX: +2711 715-9047
CELL: +27 84 777 1977
Pippa Rowles: Public relations and communications co-ordinator
TEL: +27 11 506 3212
CELL: +27 82 365 6732