Rheinmetall's social commitment in South Africa
"Bundles of Joy" day care centre opens its doors
All young children deserve a start in life that provides them with access to early education and the chance to form the root system necessary for the best-possible development of their own potential. But these opportunities don't exist everywhere.
As an employer with a strong sense of social responsibility, Rheinmetall in South Africa is especially active in looking after the wellbeing of children in the vicinity of the company's Somerset West location, many of whom grown up in difficult circumstances. Playing and learning are equally important at the new "Bundles of Joy" day care centre, which has now commenced operations on the company grounds, close to the headquarters of the Group's South African subsidiary Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd.
The day care centre is an Early Childhood Development Centre, or ECDD, where 150 children ranging in age from three months to six years are looked after. The care provided is geared to children from disadvantaged families from neighbouring townships and districts as well as the children of Rheinmetall employees. Rheinmetall has provided around 11 million South African Rands in financial resources for the project.
"Bundles of Joy" opened its doors back in September 2020. However, limitations on social gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic have thus far prevented a formal opening ceremony from taking place. This will be held once all of the children and their families can take part.
The centre is housed in a generously dimensioned facility with some 300 square metres of space. It provides the children with an attractive, brightly coloured setting where learning is fun.
"Bundles of Joy" has two kindergarten areas and six individual classrooms.
Children need to move, which is why the facility also features some 600 metres of outside space where they can run around and play.
There's a kitchen, too, of course, as well as
a first aid room.
The centre's underlying educational concept is just as expansive.
Christel Stemmet, principal of the "Bundles of Joy" day care, says:
“It is our pledge to nurture these young lives – they are the future."
"We have the opportunity to bring hope and invest in the community, by ensuring that these children thrive in the right environment. With a dedicated team of ten passionate teachers and assistants, we focus on children learning through play, equipping them to become critical thinkers and to develop their own skills.”
As a charitable, non-profit organization, the day care centre is completely in the hands of the community of Macassar. It reflects Rheinmetall's strong commitment to the socioeconomic development of the region around its Somerset West site. Moreover, as well as providing for the care and wellbeing of children of various social backgrounds, the project has created 24 new jobs in the region. Rheinmetall employs around 1,300 men and women at its Somerset West plant, with a total workforce of approximately 2,500 at five locations in South Africa.