The principle underlying Mandela Day is that everyone has the ability to make a positive impact by doing something in their own way to change the world and the world of those around them, says DSCT.

DSCT adds that, in order to do this, it has participated in the associated 'My 67 Minutes' initiative that encourages everyone to take 67 minutes one minute for every year that Mandela fought for human rights and social justice — out of their day to do something for someone else or for their community.

DSCT says that it decided to spread its efforts over Mandela Day and the following day in order to reach as many underprivileged households as possible. The programme was undertaken in partnership with TLC Outreach Projects, a non-profit welfare organisation based in Table View. The duo identified people in need of assistance.

The assistance came in the form of care packages comprising:
  • throw blankets
  • gloves
  • beanies
  • toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • face cloths, and
  • socks.
The whole company was involved in making a difference with around 150 employees assisting with assembling and distributing the packages to over 600 individuals.

This initiative forms part of DSCT's community programmes, which have been going on for some time as the company looks for opportunities to make an impact on people's lives. It strives to take part in community development across the country throughout the year, which is overseen by the Transformation Department.

With shipbuilding a young industry in South Africa, it also raises awareness of what DSCT does and the opportunities it can offer.

"Our community programmes are an important part of who we are," says Eva Moloi, HR and transformation manager at DSCT. "The majority of us who work at DSCT come from disadvantaged backgrounds and coming to work at Damen allows us to grow and explore new opportunities."

"These initiatives enable us to give something back," concludes Moloi.

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