May the Force be with you
Residents of Inchanga, Fredville and surrounding communities, situated in the heart of the Valley of 1000 Hills in KwaZulu-Natal, have received a helping hand from the Key Group Pinetown and the Chevrolet Ute Force team.
With a staggering 50 percent of the Valley’s residents being unemployed and enduring widespread poverty, the community relies on the Valley of 1000 Hills Community Centre for a variety of services including: health care, ambulance services, child health care, education programmes and daily meals.
The centre’s computer room and the Beehive Internet Café were the two main areas of focus for the Ute Force team. The café provides Internet access allowing the community to search for jobs and the computer room enables its users to do Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET).
Brian Dixon, parts general manager at Key Pinetown, comments: “We have been involved with the Valley of 1000 Hills Community Centre for many years now, because it offers sustainable ways for members of the community to uplift themselves and change their circumstances for the better.”
The Ute Force team called on local volunteers from the community to help strip, sand and paint the computer centre and Internet café, getting it ready to receive sleek white custom-designed desks and shelving that was built specifically to maximise the functionality of the space. Matching chairs were supplied, and ten new Wi-Fi-enabled computers were installed and networked to a printer, scanner and copier.
“Pride and dignity are vital to any person’s growth,” notes Dawn Leppan, the Community Centre founder and manager. “The new computers and this wonderful bright open space provide local residents with a feeling of empowerment, to help them to take control of their future.”
Tim Hendon, Chevrolet brand manager, adds: “Being part of the Ute Force enables us to touch communities in real and meaningful ways. We work closely with the people on the ground to find out what they really need. We also make sure that the solutions provided are sustainable, so that a long term positive difference can be made.”
This is one of eight projects that the Ute Force team has completed in South Africa over the last thirteen months. To date, approximately half of the allocated budget of R4 million has been used to roll out sustainable community projects that will help South Africans to help themselves.