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Atlas Copco supports Manger Care Centre’s agricultural sustainability project

Atlas Copco Industrial South Africa’s strong outreach programme aligns with the organisation’s unwavering commitment to uplift communities through ongoing corporate social investment. “With such a great and growing need out there, we are constantly looking for deserving beneficiaries, always making sure that the projects in which we invest are sustainable,” says Marilyn Govender, Human Resource and Compliance Manager – Atlas Copco Industrial South Africa (Pty) Ltd. and Sub-Saharan Africa.

 “Atlas Copco has previously invested in Manger Care, assisting them in getting multiple sustainability projects off the ground. Moved by the tremendous work that is being done by this Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) and seeing how self-driven they are in rolling out tenable initiatives, we once again partnered with Manger Care,” continues Marilyn. “We decided to support one of their main sustainability projects, agriculture, assisting with the erection of vegetable tunnels,”

Based in Benoni on Johannesburg’s East Rand, Manger Care Centre takes care of substance abusers, transforming their lives by teaching them skills, giving them work on the premises and providing them with accommodation over the working period, with the aim of preparing them for reintegration back into society.

Manger Care Centre is also committed to teaching individuals in their care a better way of living their lives, focusing on what they need and providing them with the necessary tools and skills, even assisting them with the drawing up of CVs (Curriculum Vitaes). “This approach resonates with the Atlas Copco Group,” says Marilyn, “because we strongly believe that there is always a better way.”

Worldwide, the success rate of individual reintegration is 2,5 to 3%. The success rate at Manger Centre Manager is 30% which Centre Manager, Nadine Coates, attributes to the organisation’s commitment to and successful implementation of numerous sustainability projects. Nadine reveals that the institution has, in the last few years, executed its objectives so well that the Department of Social Development (DSD) endorsed their operation model (systems and sustainability programmes), describing Manger Care as a prime example that all NPOs around the country should follow. “We are really proud of this endorsement which spurs us on to do even more.” Nadine affirms that they have made positive progress with their model but concedes that there is still room for improvement. “It’s a project in progress.”

“As monetary donations have dropped dramatically, we decided to proactively implement several self-sustainable projects,” explains Nadine, adding however that they continue to rely on donations. “For example, we established a bakery where we teach individuals how to bake bread, biscuits, etc., selling the bread to the community. While it does not bring in a lot of money, it sustains us and, at the same time, we are teaching individuals new skills.” 

“We are an accredited AgriSETA training provider and we have the capacity to place ten individuals simultaneously on a NQF Level 4 plant-production course,” continues Nadine. “We’re a commissioned seedling grower and we do everything related to farming, even the tractor work. Individuals leave us with a qualification that arms them with all the necessary farming skills to enable them to start their own farms.” According to Nadine, this project has been a huge success with many individuals establishing farms in and around the area. “We assist them in finding suitable farm land and also help them with irrigation, seeds, etc., to ensure that their farms are sustainable. Agriculture is an extremely important project for us and we are most grateful to Atlas Copco for their valuable support,” concludes Nadine.

Tirisano Trust oversees all Atlas Copco’s corporate social investment projects and trustees also participate during beneficiary hand overs as part of their assessment of the organisation’s progress in this space.

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