JSE listed Allied Technologies Limited (Altech) has donated R600 000 to upgrade facilities at the Soweto Kliptown Youth Centre (SKY). The money was used for the refurbishment of a new dining room area, equipping a technology room and providing a girls dormitory and bathroom facility.
Altech became involved in the home following an approach to one of its subsidiaries – Altech Radio Holdingsby the initiators of the project, M-Net Cares, Touch Africa and its sister company, Red Cherry Media Holdings.
Touch Africa, a local Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) has been working with the centre since 2011, having previously provided upgrades to two kitchens and a generator for electricity supply. This is the second project in which Altech has partnered with Touch Africa.
Founded in 1987, the youth centre provides a shelter for children between the ages of one and eighteen years who require alternative or foster care due to abuse, neglect or abandonment, in addition to library facilities and meals for approximately 200 to 250 underprivileged residents each day. The centre also provides education support, arts opportunities such as visual arts programmes, storyteller workshops and performances, township theatre programmes, tourism programmes, sports activities, and girls empowerment and life skills classes.
Based in the heart of Kliptown where the Freedom Charter was signed in 1955, Bob Nameng, SKYs founder, was himself a neglected street child who was taken off the streets by a kindly foster mother. At the age of 16, and following the death of his foster mother, Bob founded SKY, one of the oldest surviving centres for youth in Soweto.
The need for such a centre grew out of his own observations of what was lacking for the younger generation of Soweto and his own tragic experiences. What began as small sessions with a handful of youths from the neighbourhood has grown into a sanctuary for local children and teenagers.
Today the centre provides hope and social services to those affected by poverty, abuse and abandonment. Children are referred to the centre by community members and the South African Police Services. There are currently 70 children living on the property. The day care facility accommodates 50 children and 100 children attend the pre-school facility. There are 12 staff members who take care of the children and eight volunteers who run the SKY centre. A close relationship has been forged with social workers and psychologists to ensure the continued well-being of the children.
The NPO registered centre receives no government funding and is reliant on donations from individuals and corporate organisations.
At a ceremony to mark the opening of the newly refurbished facilities, Johan Klein, Altech Group Executive Human Resources and Industrial Relations, had the following to say:
SKY gives people hope and it is Altechs aim to provide people with hope, for with hope, anything is possible. We see our participation in this initiative as fuelling the dreams and ambitions of our future leaders by providing them with the necessary facilities to ensure that they can achieve their aspirations.
The philosophy behind Altechs Corporate Social Investment programme is the continued sustainability of the initiatives it supports. While donations play an important part in uplifting communities, success can only be achieved through the active support and participation of the community. Project SKY is a perfect example of the private sector partnering with community organisations to ensure sustainable community initiatives, he concluded.
-ENDS-Notes to Editors:
Allied Technologies Limited (Altech) is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). It is focused on the Telecommunications, Multi-media and Information Technology (TMT) industries and employs more than 3 580 employees in South Africa and abroad.
As a leading South African multi-billion rand group, Altech is involved in the design, development and convergence of Telecommunications, Multi-media systems and IT solutions.
Touch Africa is a registered section 21 and NPO organisation and is involved in a number of projects throughout South Africa, ranging from school rehabilitation to initiating self-sustaining projects. The organisation is committed to social entrepreneurship and ensuring that the youth of South Africa have the opportunity to receive an education which will allow them to become economically viable and productive citizens.
For further information please contact:
Shenanda Janse van Rensburg
Group Executive: Marketing, PR & Communications – Altech Head Office
Tel: +27 11 715 9031
Mobile: +27 84 777 1977
Email: sjvrensburg@altech.co.za
www.altech.com
JSE code: ALT