This year the ETL Foundation took the decision to assist teenage schoolgirls with dignity packs made up of sanitary towels, deodorant, hand cream and sanitary wipes. The school of choice was Ekuphumuleni Combined School in the rural area of KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga. One hundred and twenty young girls would receive brightly coloured drawstring bags filled with at least a year’s worth of products.

Our initial planning to distribute 80 dignity packs grew when Dis-Chem decided to contribute to the initiative. We received far more sanitary pads than were purchased. As a result, we were able to extend the gifting to a neighbouring school, Khuphukani Primary School, thereby including a further 50 girls in the scheme.

On 28 August 2020, Moses Maliba, Dianne, Oupa and Dalson, drove to Mpumalanga to hand over the dignity packs. We were greeted with great enthusiasm by the principal of the Ekuphumuleni School, the teachers, and the leader and members of the community. After a little ceremony with the school dignitaries, we were treated to a show by the pupils especially written and arranged for the occasion, whereafter the girls were each gifted with their packs.
At Khuphukani Primary School, a short distance away, we were greeted with a welcome dance by the pupils. After the handing over of gift packs, the pupils were thrilled to show us their rendition of the Jerusalema dance! From the outset of our visit, our trip was made worthwhile by the welcoming smiles of shy pupils! It was a privilege to be able to partake in an initiative where it would make a rural schoolgirl’s life easier. Too often school girls in the rural area miss out on school days due to the struggles they endure due to the lack of affordability of feminine products. To be able to bless another in some small way, gives much joy to the giver, as well as the receiver.

The economic damage of the lockdowns could be more long-lasting, and this is the real risk to families that have been pushed below the poverty line.  The Covid-19 pandemic represents a biological onslaught the likes of which our generation has never seen. While the coronavirus can infect anyone, it is becoming clear that social and race groups are likely to experience both the virus and its repercussions differently. Evidence has shown that poorer communities are more likely to be adversely affected. Understanding the impact Covid-19 will have on the poor in SA widely acknowledged as one of the most unequal countries in the world, a well-considered humanitarian response becomes critical.

Intervention by ETL Foundation
As a responsible citizen, ETL Consulting through the ETL corporate social responsibility leg (ETL Foundation) initiated a food parcel distribution drive to support the residents of Khutsong during these hard economic times. The Foundation then committed R20 000 per month for the next six months to provide food parcels to 40 needy beneficiaries at R500 per person in the Khutsong area as part of giving back to the community. Over a period of six months, the initiative is aimed at feeding 240 vulnerable families.
The first batch was distributed in Khutsong Community Hall on the 07th of April 2021 for the beneficiaries identified by ETL Consulting from Khutsong Hostel and the rest of Ward 7. Subsequent monthly distributions were carried out and are still running until September 2021 with the help of Merafong City Local Municipality assisting in identifying the beneficiaries.

ETL Foundation is also a proud sponsor to Cupcakes of Hope, a non-profit organisation who helps to raise awareness and funds for families in need of medical assistance. Their main event is hosting SA’s National Cupcake Day 4 Kids with Cancer, an entirely community-driven project.
Every year, Cupcakes of Hope aim to raise over R2 million to help with the monthly costs associated with the medical treatment and related expenses of over 100 families affected by childhood cancer that belong to the Cupcakes of Hope family.

ETL was fortunate enough to win a prize in the fund raising event, and chose to pay it forward by donating the PlayStation 4 prize to a young man, Jordon Tromp. Jordan is a cancer survivor and an avid game player! He received the prize for his 16th birthday
and a couple of us, Dianne and Khulu, were fortunate enough to meet him and partake in his birthday festivities. Jordan was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour on his spine at the age of 4 in 2008. After a laminectomy, he was left paralyzed from the waist down.
After countless chemotherapy sessions, and later radiation, Jordan overcame the cancer. However, as a result of the tumour that damaged the spine, Jordan was
left with deformed feet. In August 2019, Jordan had a huge operation on both his feet, the operation lasting 9 hours. This has helped Jordan to walk again with crutches after being in a wheelchair for a very long time. The ETL Foundation is proud to be able to sponsor deserving organisations like these and will continue to give back to the community whenever and wherever possible.