The year has come to an end and many of us are ready for a well-deserved rest and have started our holidays or started planning our activities. The Clover Mama Afrika’s have others to think about during this season, as they focus on spreading festive cheer in their centres and communities.
Clover Mama Afrika, Clover’s corporate sustainability initiative, is a community-led approach aimed at reducing poverty in neighbourhoods by empowering women and those around them to empower the generation that comes after them. And with the project running successfully since 2004 and hosting 440 training sessions with over 2313 beneficiaries over the years, the benefits of upskilling can be clearly seen.
Many of the centres run by the various Mama’s across the country look after many children who do not have families; and the Mama’s put in all their love and time to make this time of year a special time for them as well. This festive season is again a difficult one as we are still faced with uncertainty living in a pandemic, lockdown restrictions and being socially distanced from our loved ones. Small acts of kindness go a long way and these Mama’s stay at it all year long, making sure their children and the elderly are always shown love, care and kindness.
“This has been such a great year in that we were able to carry on upskilling all of our Clover Mama Afrika’s and visit their centres too. They did remarkably well with the virtual training and didn’t allow any of the new ways of working to get in the way of them improving themselves in order to be better for their communities. They are such loving and caring individuals and their communities benefit from them in many ways. As always they go above and beyond when the festive season is near to ensure that everyone feels loved and cared about and that they do some fun activities during this period,” says Prof Elain Vlok, Clover Manager, Clover Mama Afrika Trust.
Mama Nondumiso Mpitimpiti from Amalinda Forest in the Eastern Cape
Mama Nondumiso spent a day at her centre making every child feel loved and cared for by spoiling them with presents, snacks and treats!
Mama Mama Feziwe Gambo from Ezimbokodweni in Kwa-Zulu Natal
Mama Feziwe hosted a wonderful day for the children of her centre and the children were ecstatic about receiving presents and spending a day of fun together. She also hosted a celebration for Gogos and Mkhulus (grandma’s and grandpa’s) where they gave them tea and cakes, lunch, a massage and food parcels to take home with them.
Mama Mama Sipiwe Solomons from Hazyview in Mpumalanga
Mama Sipiwe spread festive cheer this year by arranging various non-perishable products which they made into care packages and then handed out to members of the community to assist them during the holidays.
Mama Dawn Irons from Umbombo in Kwa-Zulu Natal
Mama Dawn has a wonderful partnership with Wimpy in Mkuze and they have graciously offered a festive dinner for 100 children and carers during December. This is an annual event that is hosted and donated by Wimpy, Mkuze. “We never take this kind gesture for granted, and before dinner a prayer is said followed by hymns, and song and dance. We look forward in hope and we are so grateful for this joyful event. The pottery makers at our centre have made beautiful items of pottery specifically for the Wimpy and Mkuze Transport team to say thank you,” explains Mama Dawn.
Some acts of kindness you can implement this festive season to spread cheer
Pay it forward – Give something back by paying it forward! Buy coffee for the person behind you in line, or always return your shopping trolley to the store or tip tip the car guard who takes your trolley from you.
Lend a helping hand – By simply holding open a door for a parent with a pram, helping someone carry heavy groceries to their car, or assisting an elderly person on a slippery sidewalk is a gift that will keep on giving.
Hand out baked goodies – Making baked goods is perfect for getting yourself in a jolly spirit and spreading holiday cheer. Whip up your favourite cookies, brownies, and cupcake recipes, and deliver plates to your neighbourhood frontline workers or nursing staff.
Hand out care packages – Fill baskets with non-perishable goods, or anything you can afford, to share with someone to help them or let them know they’re appreciated. These are wonderful little gifts for nursing homes.
Donate to a shelter – A great idea for showing holiday cheer and giving back to the community is donating goods to organisations. Collect clothes, shoes, blankets, toilet paper, canned goods, and diapers and drop them off at your local shelter.
Clover Mama Afrika is a sustainable Corporate Social Investment project that has been in existence since 2004. Over the years the project has hosted 440 training sessions with over 2313 beneficiaries. Teaching and guiding strong females (lovingly called ‘Mamas’ due to their standing in their neighbourhoods) in communities all over the country, in order to build their skills and sustain and improve their own community projects. Only the most committed are enrolled and these include women looking after orphans, the elderly and those suffering from HIV/Aids.