The Nelson Mandela Foundation’s mission is to contribute to the making of a just society by promoting the legacy of Nelson Mandela, providing an integrated public information resource on his life and times, and by convening dialogue around critical social issues.
With our aligning values, we have formed an exciting partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa. It’s important to us to share a local, relevant story of change with our team members and customers, while empowering youth and creating sustainable futures for the people of South Africa.
Through this partnership, the Cotton On Foundation will be focusing on critical programs, which also cover our four pillars of education, sustainability, health and infrastructure.
In line with our strong belief in education, the Cotton On Foundation will donate libraries made from shipping containers to five schools in need in South Africa; Bovet Primary and Batsogile Primary in Johannesburg, Valley Primary in Cape Town, Cowan High School in Port Elizabeth and Thekwini Primary in KZN. By the end of May 2015 4,800 students across the five schools will be given access to much needed reading and learning material.
The selected schools are considered amongst the most impoverished due to their lack of access to basic essentials that enable student learning. Each school is located in an over-populated township, with a majority of its population living below the poverty line. Many of the students come from child-headed or single parent homes, with the primary care taker being unemployed.
South Africa’s Department of Basic Education feeds over two million students across 22,000 quintile 1,2 and 3 schools a staple meal at least once every school day. While this is incredible, the challenge facing South Africa’s most vulnerable children is that there is no guarantee they’re receiving the required nutritional intake during school holidays.
The South African school calendar only accounts for 211 school days in the year, which means that students who are dependent on their daily school meals have no means of sustenance for the remaining 154 days. Food security during school holidays is a very real concern; many students experience hunger, and return to school with resulting levels of malnutrition.
The food parcel project is focused on those students and families from selected rural schools who are currently benefitting from the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP). We will help deliver food parcels to 240 students during the school holidays, ensuring sure they remain healthy and able to concentrate during the holiday period.
Caring4Girls is a sanitary towels and menstrual hygiene program for underprivileged girls, mainly in rural communities. The project aims to provide puberty and menstrual hygiene training to underprivileged girls, support them with sanitary towels for a minimum of one year and provide each girl with a menstrual hygiene booklet.
So far, over 67,000 sanitary pads have been donated to girls in rural communities. Thanks to key partners, a booklet aimed at educating girls has been printed with over 100,000 copies distributed to date.
We still have a long way to go, but the Cotton On Foundation is committed to continuing to support valuable programs like this for the long term.
In honour of the passing of Nelson Mandela, Cotton On Superstores held collection boxes for customers to pledge their support by donating second-hand children's books, which would go towards the Mandela Day Literacy for Leadership Project and the container libraries donated to five schools in South Africa.
Proceeds from the sale of Cotton On Foundation product throughout our stores in Asia have supported a new education facility in the remote region of Phitsanulok, Thailand, constructed in partnership with Operation Hope.
The centre supports disadvantaged youth, providing opportunities to learn important life and literacy skills and equipping children with the means to find employment to support their families as they grow older.
Learn more here.