702 CEO SleepOut attracts motoring industry
The inaugural 702 Sun International CEO SleepOut, called for the business leaders of South Africa’s top companies to sleep out on the streets of Johannesburg, as thousands of homeless people do each night. A piece of cardboard and a mug of soup were their only concessions.
The CEO SleepOut is a worldwide campaign, which aims to raise awareness, support and funding for the homeless, especially vulnerable children.
A few leaders from the South African motoring industry included Volkswagen South Africa’s MD, Thomas Schaefer, and Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s MD, Arno van der Merwe (pictured left and right), as well as Brendan Horan, MD of MiX Telematics.
The aim was to create much-needed awareness of the plight of vulnerable and homeless children. Each participant also undertook to personally raise R100 000 before the actual sleep out. They were encouraged to reach out to their business, professional and personal networks to raise the funds. The aim was to raise R25 million for the beneficiary partner, Girls and Boys Town.
“It was a most humbling and interesting evening. It put into perspective the hardship that so many people endure, which most of us never think about. At the same time, the fact that more than 240 CEOs took this call so seriously, gives me great hope for the future of this country,” comments Schaefer.
Through his professional network and the staff at MiX Telematics, Horan raised R120 490. However, the company went beyond the call of duty and will provide five, 90-day internships to previous residents of Girls and Boys Town.
MiX Telematics will work with Boys and Girls Town to develop the necessary internship programme and select the correct individuals to take part.
To this end, the company will discuss areas of interest with the successful applicants and will place them within the business division that is of most interest to their career path. This can be, but is not limited to, technical support, marketing or product development.
“Our continued commitment to providing support to South Africa’s youth – particularly to underprivileged youth – led us to offer these five internships. We believe that this is a great way to give back to the larger community and – very importantly – to the technology sector in which we operate,” says Horan.