Thursday, April 15, 2021

SweepSouth Foundation to make a tangible difference in the lives of domestic workers


SweepSouth, the number one home services platform in South Africa, is launching a new initiative to raise funds in hopes to better the lives of domestic workers who need help. It is the latest project being supported by the SweepSouth Foundation, which was founded last year.

Called Make A Day, Change A Life, it will be an ongoing initiative to highlight the needs of a different SweepStar (the workers using the SweepSouth platform) each month. The public will also have an opportunity to nominate a domestic worker of their choosing who needs help. “Domestic workers are among the most vulnerable members of the labour system in South Africa – low-income workers struggling just to make ends meet,” says SweepSouth co-founder and chief executive officer Aisha Pandor.

“If the recent pandemic has shown us anything, it’s the importance of reaching out to help one another. Making a difference to those in need is at the heart of our business, which is why we’re launching the campaign, and giving people the chance to help better the lives of others,” adds Pandor.

The first SweepStar to be selected is Lindelwa Rangula from Gugulethu, whose daughter, Aphalele, was left paralysed on the right-hand side of her body after experiencing a near-fatal fit when she was five years old. The tragedy has resulted in a life that sees Aphalele house-bound unless her mother, family member or friends are at home to help her. Today, the 14-year-old teenager waits alone at home, unable to travel to school or meet friends on her own.

“We’re hoping to help Aphalele by raising funds for an electric wheelchair, which will empower her and vastly improve her quality of life,” says Pandor. SweepSouth will fund the first 10 percent of Aphalele’s electric wheelchair, and every cause each month, with members of the public, invited to make a direct donation or get involved in any other way.

Launched in 2014, SweepSouth is an online platform providing on-demand home services, operating across seven South African cities and in Kenya. The company, which is known for championing the cause of domestic workers, annually publishes a report that details the current living and working conditions of South African domestic workers. The most recent report, it shows that 73 percent of the domestic workforce on their platform are single mothers, 90 percent are the main breadwinner and 60 percent have four or more dependents.

The Make A Day, Change A Life campaign forms part of the SweepSouth Foundation, which the company launched in 2020 during the national lockdown, to aid domestic workers unable to work and earn money. In partnership with Supplier Development Initiative (SDI), they started a commercial sanitisation service to create opportunities for SweepStars to return to work. SweepSouth also seeded a Covid-19 SweepStar fund to provide domestic workers with food and other essentials during the lockdown. Through public and private sector contributions the fund raised R12 million, enabling SweepSouth to give thousands of domestic workers a financial lifeline during a desperate time of need.

“Domestic workers are women who are battling to keep their families fed at the most basic level,” says Pandor. “To be able to afford an expensive item, like a wheelchair in Aphalele’s case, is just beyond their means. With the Make A Day, Change A Life campaign we’re calling on any individual or company to join us in helping to better lives in the upcoming months. Any amount that is donated will make a difference. By standing together we are stronger.”

SweepSouth will be offering rewards for donations made by giving the first 50 donations with a minimum of R250, a R100 SweepSouth Voucher. Ongoing rewards during the course of the campaign will also be offered. To donate to the Foundation, please see SweepSouth

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