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Cape Town CSR success

Annie Wakefield
Digital Marketing Manager
17 June 2010

The Cape Town office headed for Vuyani Primary in high spirits on Tuesday, despite talk of snow on Table Mountain. We braved everything the wintery Cape Town weather had to throw at us, from bright sunshine to icy drizzle, as we set about constructing the food tent. Last year’s CSR project saw us building bookshelves and seesaws over five days. This year we had only one rainy day to complete the entire project.

Before: Our work space

Before: Our work space

The job took all of us out of our skill sets, as the work involved much digging of holes and mixing of cement. After a few false starts around the technical construction of the vertical poles, the ‘pole team’ got into the groove and swiftly erected all 14 vertical supports, and all of the roof beams. Most of the ladies in the office left the men to do the muddy work while they set about sewing together giant strips of shade cloth.

Setting up the wooden structure

Setting up the wooden structure

Sewing the shade cloth strips

Sewing the shade cloth strips

After a warming lunch of spicy Indian takeaways, the fortified group set to with a renewed will to get the job done. After all, Brazil was facing North Korea on the football pitch in the evening and the guys were eager not to miss a moment of the match. After lunch it was time for all those with sewing skills to shine, as 18m of shade cloth was draped over the wooden structure and secured by all means possible.

That left us with the issue of a door, but that too was swiftly solved and the shade house has a fully functioning and child safe entranceway. The end result is a fully operational 3m by 18m shade house, in which the school will grow vegetables such as spinach, carrots and cabbages. The vegetables will be used to supplement the school children’s lunches.

Once again Tamar’s CSR project has given us a chance to not only help our local community, but to also learn new skills, bond with our co-workers on a new level and experience team building in its truest sense.

As the Cape Town office has expanded quite rapidly over the past year since our last CSR week, we had several new starters with us this time. Tammy Binedell – our newest copywriter – confided after a long day of sewing that our CSR day gave her fresh cause to be amazed by the human spirit and what it can achieve in a single day.

The finished product

The finished product

Cape Town’s youngest Junior Campaign Executive, James MacDonald, agreed that it was an awesome experience to be part of a team creating “something that you know the school is going to make use of. Talking to the ground staff and even the security guard, I clearly got the sense that it was really appreciated, and that will always give a me warm, fuzzy feeling!”

Our new Head of Content, Andre Bothma, found the project to be a lot of fun. “And it definitely served a team-building purpose,” he said, “It felt good working physically for a change, and the prospect of our tunnel feeding a school feels very rewarding.”

He speaks for all of us when he says “I’m proud to have taken part in the exercise.” While we enjoy the feeling of accomplishment, we also know the school will go on to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables!) of our labour.

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