Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone gets valued Citizens NOD

Dec 10, 2014

Bridgestone has been singled out for a special nod by the Valued Citizens Initiative. The tyre maker has been supporting VCI's Bridging for Life programme which provides extra skills training for secondary schools students.

"Our sincere thanks go to Bridgestone for trusting our integrity to deliver the Bridging for Life Programme," said VCI's Carole Ngono. "The programme strives to empower secondary school learners with life skills to prepare them for higher education and training. This is important in South Africa, where university dropout rates are high by international standards," she said.

The beneficiaries of the programme were Grade 12 learners at Ikatisong Secondary School who were taught a range of skills in a curriculum which covered decision making, problem solving, communication and many other skills needed to progress in the post-school environment. One of the projects addressed the importance of teamwork, and this resulted in a poverty alleviation drive in which money was raised by recycling paper. The income was used to purchase seeds for the school's vegetable garden which now supplies the the Ikatisong feeding programme to ensure learners from disadvantaged backgrounds are able to enjoy a balanced meal at the school.

The knowledge gained was also passed on to grade eight and nine learners who will continue the programme when this year's matrics have moved on.

VCI's 2014 programme included a workshop with Bridgestone PR Manager, Desirée van Niekerk, Human Resources Manager Wimpie Greyling and Area Manager Sipho Sithole, where Ikatisong learners were able to interact with the trio, and hear their stories. Sithole, who started with Bridgestone as a machine operator, has developed himself academically and will complete his BComm Economics in 2014. "I advised the learners not to limit themselves, because education plays a vital role in their lives," Sithole said. "They need to define their goals and gain a better understanding of job preparedness."

Commenting on the feedback provided by VCI, Bridgestone's van Niekerk said she was very pleased with the positive results the Bridging for Life programme had delivered. "We feel that supporting this programme has made a genuine difference in people's lives," she explained. "The learners who have been through the programme have made great steps towards self-management and taking responsibility for their futures," she concluded.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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