the HomeChoice Development Trust

the HomeChoice Development Trust

The group targets contributions of 1% of its yearly post-tax profits to support the work of the HomeChoice Development Trust. To date, the company has made donations totalling R8 million to the Trust.

The trust was founded in 2005 with its strategic objective to:

  • support pre-school and tertiary education
  • support job creation and capacity building for women in local communities.

These focus areas were selected in the belief that the way to bring about change in the socio-economic circumstances of a population is to empower women as breadwinners, enabling them to support their families and educate children to give them access to a better future.

The trust is managed by its trustees, namely Rick Garratt, Jasper Walsh, Elmori Bester and by invitation Shirley Maltz and Margie Garratt. In 2011 the trustees reviewed the strategic objectives for 2012 to direct funding into the field of Early Childhood Development. As such, the objectives of the trust going forward will be to:

  • support educare centres (pre-schools) in disadvantaged communities throughout the Western Cape, in both the urban and rural areas, and
  • focus disbursements on infrastructure upgrades, providing food and educational supplies, as well as the necessary training of early childhood development practitioners.
Year in review

During 2011 the HomeChoice Development Trust received donations from the company to the amount of R2,5 million. In turn, the Trust made disbursements totalling over R1,38 million to charitable organisations that support its vision. The remaining R1,12 million has been reserved for Early Childhood Development initiatives in 2012.

We are committed to investing in the social and economic development of our community and minimising the impact of our operations on our environment.
  • Community Chest of the Western Cape for projects earmarked within the field of Early Childhood Development
  • Early Learning Services Organisation (ELSO) which provides support and training to informal pre-schools in impoverished communities. Funds were used to support six pre-schools, 224 children, and train 21 early childhood development practitioners (teachers), as well as developing the pre-schools in order to qualify for government grants
  • Empilweni, a community-based mental health project providing support and counseling to children, adolescents and their families affected by violence and abuse with its goal of empowering families to help themselves
  • Goedgedacht Trust, an African-based charity focusing on two areas, namely helping children to escape poverty and caring for the environment. Its Path out of Poverty programme aims to help the poor rural children of the area find ways out of the cycle of poverty that has prevailed in the farming communities for generations. The HCDT donation is earmarked for the farm's educare facility
  • Grail Trust, a Community Development Programme aimed at building the capacity of marginalised community members in the Overberg District
  • LEAP Science and Maths School received funds to support their vision to transform educationally disadvantaged communities in South Africa through mathematics and science focused education initiatives. Partnering with a community, LEAP will provide its youth with the opportunity to access tertiary education opportunities through a holistic approach focused on quality secondary education, linked with the personal development of scholars
  • Rural Education Access Programme (REAP) assists matriculants from poor rural South African communities to access tertiary education. Besides providing assistance in accessing bursaries, REAP also focusses on mentoring and peer support, workshops and healthcare information, all aimed at helping these young people to succeed in their studies. In 2011, HCDT provided funding to support seven students with their studies towards degrees ranging from BA Arts to LLB. All seven students have performed well, and one has successfully graduated
  • Bulungula Incubator received funding to develop three educare centres in the rural wild coast of the Eastern Cape
  • Race Ahead Sailing to assist four sailors from disadvantaged communities achieve their dream of participating in Cowes Week.

In addition to the above, HomeChoice's corporate social investment activities for 2011 included raising funds for various organisations:

  • The HomeChoice Plus magazine donated R90 000 in community assistance prizes to deserving charities and schools.
  • HomeChoice staff participated in the Blisters for Bread charity walk, raising R28 510 for the Peninsula School Feeding Association.
  • HomeChoice supported Catholic Welfare and Development's Buckets of Love campaign, generating over 680 buckets of food, feeding 2 400 people during the Christmas holidays.
  • HomeChoice staff participate annually in the Sunflower Fund's Bandana Day as well as Casual Day, benefitting disabled South Africans.
Plans for 2012

To support the revised strategic objectives of the Trust, 2012 planned activities include:

  • Funding the extension of the Noel Stanton Educare Centre in the Elsiesrivier community, enabling it to accommodate over 100 pre-school children, including a baby care facility, an after-school care facility and a soup kitchen which will service the school and community.
  • Funding twenty additional educare centres for essential infrastructure upgrades, teacher training and equipment that will pave the way for government registration and subsidies, allowing more than 1000 young children the opportunity for quality education in their early years.

Other CSI initiatives include:

  • Increasing the HomeChoice staff bursary spend from R50 000 in 2011 to R150 000 in 2012. Opportunities for the group's customers to access INTEC bursaries will continue in 2012 with R125 000 being made available.
  • Supporting and encouraging employee wellness by developing a revised Wellness Calendar for 2012. Every month will focus on relevant health issues, educating employees and promoting testing (where necessary). The themes will tie into national and international health days. Examples of such initiatives will include participating in CANSA's Shavathon, free health testing on World Health Day, and free HIV testing during Red Ribbon Month leading up to World Aids Day.
  • Creating opportunities for and encouraging staff to participate in a number of events in Cape Town during the year as part of the HomeChoice Team. This will include the 2012 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, Blisters for Bread and the Discovery Cape Times Big Walk.

Jasper Walsh

Jasper Walsh
Chairman of board of trustees
16 March 2012
Cape Town

the HomeChoice Development Trust
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