Momentum Metropolitan CSI Manager Charlene Lackay outlines the importance of giving back as individuals and how corporates like Momentum Metropolitan empower their employees to make it happen.
In the initial stages of the lockdown in April 2020, 28% of South Africans were going to bed hungry. By September 2020, this number increased to 43%. According to CSI Manager at Momentum Metropolitan, Charlene Lackay, while we were still trying to cope with keeping safe from the virus, we were also faced with suffering that involved our most basic human needs – the need to eat.
“The reality is that government support is simply not enough and non-profit organisations have never been more stretched,” decries Lackay. “As citizens we have no choice but to get involved and start contributing to the change that needs to happen.”
As one of South Africa’s largest financial services providers, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings has always been passionate about enabling its employees to be the difference they want to see in the world. Through the Momentum Metropolitan Staff Volunteerism programme, the brand enables employees to connect with and give back to their communities however they choose to. Lackay says this volunteer force identified food security as a primary issue with an immediate need, and so, they responded in kind.
"As corporates, it is our moral obligation to provide avenues for our employees to give back, and by doing so, companies get to compound the difference they make."
With the second wave only just behind us and a third wave possibly rearing its peak on the horizon, Lackay is adamant that every effort made by staff volunteers is well spent. Although the Momentum Metropolitan Foundation does not exclusively deal with the issue of hunger but rather focuses on youth empowerment, Lackay says the pandemic has exposed fault lines and deepened inequalities that need to be addressed.
"The need for volunteers and general support is becoming more critical by the day, which is why we want to show our support for our employees and the initiatives that they have spearheaded in these challenging times."
Lackay encourages all members of the public and corporates to invest in these life-saving initiatives.
Food for Life
Supported by Momentum Digital Solutions Personal Assistant, Seema Singh, Food for Life is an organisation that serves to eradicate hunger and malnutrition by providing free vegetarian meals to the disadvantaged and poverty stricken within South Africa. It currently distributes approximately 15 000 plates of food per day across the country.
How Seema helped:
She personally contributes and she helped to raise funds, which were used to supply meals and hampers to those in need.
She helps with cooking and cleaning at Food for Life.
She continued volunteering throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing vegetables at home and sending them to the organisation for cooking.
Elias Monare, Momentum Broker Sales Manager at Momentum, supports The 100+ Movement, an initiative created when 100 friends joined hands to play an active role in their community of Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria. Their purpose is simply: Doing good, serving others, transforming lives.
How Elias helped:
With the help of partners and members, 100+ Movement was able to donate 410 food parcels with an average value of R500 each, feeding over 2000 people.
Despite underlying health conditions that prevented him from being out in the field, Elias’ personal role was that of off-site coordinator and social media coordinator.
Acts of Love
Supported by Head of Wealth Training at Momentum, Jayson Naidoo, Acts of Love is a Public Benefit Organisation established in 2009 that aims to make a difference in communities. Jayson lives out the organisation’s slogan: “Changing the world – one person at a time – through acts of love.”
During the pandemic, Acts of Love helped distribute 180000 meals, 3300 hampers, close to 1500 blankets and over 3000 masks.
How Jayson helped:
Jayson helped pack grocery hampers for over 3000 families.
Acts of Love relied entirely on volunteers, like Jayson, to reach those in need in communities like Diepsloot and Tembisa, among others.
He also made a personal donation towards the Disaster Outreach Programme.
Impophomo Rushing Waters
Supported by Momentum Consult’s General Manager for Central Region, Keith Naidoo, Impophomo is a community-based organisation that serves the poorest of the poor. They do this through livelihood development, education, skills development, life guidance and the provision of basic essential needs like food and shelter.
How Keith helped:
During the National Lockdown, Keith jumped in to help, assisting with mobilising corporate sponsors and scientifically creating food parcels with dietary essentials that would sustain a family of four for at least 10 days.
Often, this work was done using Keith’s own resources to make it happen. Together, they identified the greatest need by working with community leaders and co-ordinating with police and authorities, and ultimately provided food for 5000 houses in nine weeks.