Johannesburg, 19 July 2023 – In their ongoing dedication to uplifting the community, bp Southern Africa (bpSA) and Castrol came together today to allocate a day of service to two schools, Tshepisong Primary School in Soweto and Tsakani Primary School in Kagiso. In celebration of Mandela Day, the companies’ staff members volunteered their time and efforts to give back to the schools and their students.
bpSA and Castrol are amongst the multitude of South African organisations that are making contributions in honour of Mandela Day. This day, dedicated to humanity and addressing the profound societal challenges communities face, serves as a call for transformative action and aligning with Madiba’s enduring legacy of transformation.
“Education is central to our transformation agenda. We believe in equipping learners with the resources they need to ignite a love for learning, enabling children to reach their full potential and excel. This year, we are dedicating Mandela Day to Tshepisong Primary School, where we are speaking to the learners and donating items to address the needs of both the school and pupils,” says Mauricio Garcia-Ramos, Head of Castrol Africa. “Our joint team will also partner with the Adopt-a-School Foundation to paint Tsakani Primary School’s play areas while also presenting pupils with snacks.”
In the Castrol-led initiative at Tshepisong Primary School, the teams donated packs of sanitary pads to address the challenges female learners face when it comes to menstrual hygiene. In March this year, I_Menstruate, a movement that seeks to get rid of period poverty in South Africa, launched a research report on menstrual hygiene management in SA schools. It was found that 83% of girl learners do not have regular access to menstrual hygiene products at school and at home.
To promote a healthy lifestyle, facilitate sporting engagement and encourage pupils to discover their sporting talents, the team also donated sports equipment to the school. School shoes and jerseys were also provided to get the students through the cold winter months.
To add a little joy to pupils’ Mandela Day experience, the teams made sure that everybody received a party pack.
“Over the years, Castrol has strived to make a substantial impact on the lives of individuals and the communities in which we operate, with the ultimate purpose of fostering sustainable socio-economic development,” says Garcia-Ramos.
bpSA invests significantly in initiatives specifically aimed at developing infrastructure and educational programmes in under-resourced schools. By collaborating with various stakeholders, including the government, private sector, and educational institutions, the energy company actively contributes to enhancing the educational experience and empowering students for a conducive learning environment.
Through this donation, bpSA reiterates its steadfast approach to investing in education as a crucial foundation to sustainable development and societal upliftment.
Other bpSA educational development initiatives include:
- The Energy Mobility Education Trust which contributes towards the critical disciplines of Science, Technology, English and Mathematics (STEM), while developing a pipeline for universities, through successful partnerships with Wits University (Targeting Talent Programme), University of Stellenbosch (U-PREP), Rhodes University (Nine-Tenths) and Star Schools.
- The Nthuse Foundation is a non-profit organisation which supports children from disadvantaged backgrounds, placing them on a programme which will enable them to grow.
- The Learner Focus Week (LFW) is a Department of Energy (DoE) flagship project which bpSA partakes in to support in career awareness in the energy sector.
- The Graduate Programme offers several opportunities for students and recent graduates, empowering them with invaluable workplace skills and employment placements.
“We believe small consistent actions can make a difference towards reducing inequality and enabling one more child to get through school for a brighter future,” concludes Garcia-Ramos.