As a company that cares deeply about the communities in which it operates, Engen has partnered with the Gift of the Givers to provide food hampers to 50 child-headed South Durban households to commemorate Youth Day.
In accordance with Lockdown 3 regulations, the collection of the pre-packed food parcels was limited to 50 people and took place on 16 June at Lamonville High School.
Adhering to strict health and safety protocols, child-headed households that benefited were identified by the Department of Social Development and the principals of Lamontville High School and Entukhukweni Primary School.
The food parcels were distributed by members of the Engen Community Stakeholder Forum (ECSF)
The ECSF is a constituted forum of community representatives that helps forge a supportive relationship with the Engen Refinery’s fence line communities in Austerville, Brighton Beach, Merebank, Merewent, Wentworth, Treasure Beach, Clairwood and the Bluff.
The ECSF create a platform to share information on matters of common interest with particular emphasis on social and environmental matters, Industrial Relations and B-BBEE, whilst also undertaking specific community projects as agreed by the ECSF.
Engen Refinery General Manager, Sykry Hassim says Engen’s caring spirit drives its desire to step up and take proactive measures to assist vulnerable child-headed homes battling the impact of the national lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic.
“We truly care for those impacted by COVID-19 and we hope our gesture brings some relief to vulnerable child-headed households this Youth Day,” adds Hassim.
Osbourne Shinga, a former Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) learner, who today is a member of the ECSF and helped co-ordinate the Youth Day outreach, commended Engen for their extensive community outreach in South Durban.
“Having attended the free supplementary Engen Maths and Science School classes in my matric year, I have had first-hand experience of the many benefits Engen affords local learners. Many of the graduates of the EMSS programme also receive bursaries to study at university and some are even employed by Engen.”
Continues Shinga: “Engen has had a major impact on residents in the area through their many skills transfer and training programmes, which have really benefitted the community, especially over the shutdown period, as many residents that attended free training and skills programmes have managed to continue working during these difficult times.”
Over the past decade, Engen’s free computer skills training school has transformed the lives of over 2 000 unemployed South Durban residents, boosting their prospects of finding employment.
During these uncertain times, Engen’s contribution to the fight against COVID-19 and the impact of the national lockdown includes a number of investments.
In June, Engen partnered with the Gift of the Givers to provide food relief to the South Durban community, distributing 1 000 food hampers to residents of Wentworth, Merebank, Merewent, Lamontville and Umlazi.
Furthermore, R2.5m fuel and medical testing equipment was passed to the Gift of the Givers to boost their humanitarian relief work, and R1 million worth of fuel was directed to the Department of Health to power the emergency response vehicles of frontline health workers.
Recently Engen also launched a campaign to support the fight against COVID-19 by educating local communities on safety measures to curb the spread of the virus. This was achieved by branding 35 spaza shops across the country with educational murals to convey important messages on personal safety.
In Gauteng, Engen fuel retailers brought some hope and relief to the people of Diepsloot by distributing food hampers and basic supplies (including blankets) to over 6 000 residents. A further 1 100 food hampers were distributed to residents in Alexandra and Tembisa.
“While we know it will take much more to alleviate the stress that many of our neighbours are facing, we hope our contribution will make a small difference to each person who receives the comfort of a helping hand as a result of our efforts,” adds Hassim.