Momentum Metropolitan Holdings recently honoured its employees at the fourth Lesedi Awards, an annual recognition event for employees who undertake charitable, volunteer work.
The Awards are about celebrating how actions can make a difference and spark hope in the communities that need it. The event was held in central Pretoria on Wednesday 20 November 2019.
The Lesedi Awards are unique in that, it is a stand-alone, corporate volunteer recognition programme. Most volunteer recognition programmes are structured as a subset of corporate recognition.
The awards have grown exponentially since they were launched in 2016. That year there were 85 nominations and a total of 21 beneficiaries which were helped. This year those numbers increased to 684 nominations and 37 organisations which benefited from volunteerism. Nominations are received from colleagues across the company.
Speaking at the awards Momentum Metropolitan CEO Hillie Meyer said: “Volunteerism is an important part of our corporate culture and we encourage our employees to make a difference in the communities in which they live and work. Every year we are amazed at the work our people do, the initiatives they choose to focus on and the challenges they undertake. So many people have been helped. It is phenomenal work that is helping to shape the future of our country.”
The company’s culture empowers employees to offer services in many different ways. Employees are encouraged to volunteer their time, donate goods and offer their skills to a wide range of non-profit organisations. The company has also partnered with online platform forgood, a matching service between volunteers and organisations in need, to make it easier for employees to match with organisations they care about, all around the country. Employees also contribute through skills-based volunteerism that gives NPOs access to professional services and through match-funding and payroll-giving directly to their communities.
Charlene Lackay Head of CSI for Momentum Metropolitan said: “Our purpose as a corporate is to enable the aspirations and dreams of individuals and communities and to champion those who partner with NGOs and organisations to make a difference. It’s important to celebrate the people with the heart to serve and give in a way that is not about getting a paycheque or a bonus. The Lesedi Awards celebrates this culture and how inspiring our people can be. I am immensely proud of what these individuals and small groups of people have accomplished”.
The awards have seven categories and an eighth grand prize-winner of the Lesedi Spirit of Volunteerism award is selected from those seven winners.
There are eight Lesedi Awards categories and the 2019 winners of these categories are:
- Lesedi Exceptional Business Leader – Simon Sibeko from Momentum
Simon is a board member of the Christ Church Christian Care Centre. He has been consistent in his support of 5 C’s over many years, getting colleagues to support the centre as well. The Centre gradually grew to support children at risk and orphans with education, food, clothing, health and accommodation. The care centre also supports traumatised children with therapy and counselling, children affected by and living with HIV/AIDS, and is a place of safety for abandoned, physically and sexually abused or economically deprived children.
- Lesedi Volunteer Team – Haditchi2 and Cubicles from various Momentum Metropolitan business units
The Haditchi2 and Cubicles collaborated on the Momentum Metropolitan The Cube Challenge to help Vuka Skhokho, a NGO that dismantles the drug trade in schools and provides support structures for young people in disadvantaged communities. The team won R25 000 for the organisation and also advised them on how to best use social media in campaigns, update their corporate identity. Vuka Skhokho is now able to generate funds and receive partnering requests to change the lives of more people affected by drug abuse.
- Lesedi Most Consistent Payroll Giver – Marius Cilliers from Momentum
This year Marius’ donation went to Phakamani Young Minds Academy. Established in 2014, Phakamani Young Minds Academy is a non-profit organisation providing academic assistance to learners throughout their schooling career – from foundation phase, right up to their final year of secondary schooling.
- Lesedi Most Active on MM Volunteers forgood – Susan Prinsloo from Momentum
Susan Prinsloo has volunteered as scorer for the Differently Abled Cricket Club, and is “a ray of sunshine” according to them. Epilepsy SA, the Free State and North West branches received support from her with their recreational projects. On the forgood platform, volunteers are rated by causes with 5 being the highest rating. Susan received a 5-rating for her commitment and professionalism in volunteering.
- Lesedi International Volunteer – Kennedy Kwaku Antwi from Momentum Metropolitan Africa / Metropolitan Ghana
(* See below)
- Lesedi Volunteer Champion – Seema Singh from Momentum Durban Office
Seema Supports ABH Homes and Food for Life and won this award as she consistently encourages, directs and keeps colleagues excited about volunteering. She is the first to reach out to the CSI team on how the Durban team can support group-wide volunteering campaigns.
- Lesedi Individual Volunteer – Seema Singh fromMomentum
Seema Supports ABH Homes and Food for Life. ABH Homes provides 24 hour care and shelter to more than 1 000 aged people and frail children in need, the mentally and physically disabled and victims of violence and abuse. The homes provide day care centres, sheltered workshops and other community outreach programmes. She spends her time fund-raising spending time with the elderly and the children, cleaning and preparing meals. She also volunteers for Food for Life.
- Lesedi Spirit of Volunteerism – * Kennedy Kwaku Antwi from Momentum Metropolitan Africa
Kennedy Kwaku Antwi is President of the Bodomase Youth Development Organisation (BYDO), situated in Ghana, which addresses youth development, aiming to improve education standards and nurture young professionals.
The BYDO NPO was formed in 2015 to address some of the human development challenges the community faces, including low youth school enrolment. It formulated a ten-year educational development plan to support the community to develop its youth into educated and skilled professionals, with its strategy to promote science, technical and vocational education in the community. It also promotes the provision of ICT centres and libraries to complement government efforts, as well as offering career guidance seminars, quizzes and sports competitions.
The organisation has instituted a scholarship scheme for the inhabitants of the area, which is a major part of the organisation’s objective to support brilliant but needy students to increase enrolment in schools and to reduce the dropout rate.
Under Kennedy’s leadership the BYDO has gained immense recognition as a humane and environmentally centred organisation that promoted development of the youth and the community.
Winners in each category received R15 000 towards their preferred NPO. Runners-up received R10 000 and R7 500 towards their preferred NPO. They were chosen by staff and an independent judging panel. Staff votes counted for 30% of the overall mark and the score of the judging panel counted for 70%.