Vulnerable children all over the world are in need of help that they might never receive if it weren’t for the efforts made by charities, NGOs and corporate sponsors who devote their time to fundraising for these children’s unmet needs, which include education, nutrition, primary healthcare and social development. The Roche Children’s Walk is one such endeavour to give hope to those in need.
In conjunction with Roche’s annual corporate social responsibility event, the Roche Children’s Walk, Roche South Africa successfully raised over R200K that will go to two organisations, the Gift of the Givers, an organisation that restores the hope and dignity of the most vulnerable in their time of need, as well as Christel House, which transforms the lives of impoverished children around the world, breaking the cycle of poverty and building self-sufficient, contributing members of society.
This fund-raising initiative, powered by more than 400 Roche employees from pharmaceutical, diagnostics and diabetes care, raised funds to help improve the lives of the children in disadvantaged communities.
In partnership with local institutions like Christel House South Africa, Roche supports education programmes designed to inspire children and the youth. Francois Louw, Director of Fundraising & Marketing at Christel House SA, says, “We believe in the long-term, holistic impact of education. Roche’s support is key in accelerating STEAM-based education at Christel House. STEAM is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking. This ensures that our graduates achieve upward economic mobility, demonstrate good citizenship, and are empowered to identify and realise their goals, dreams and human potential. Currently, Roche sponsors a cohort of 10 students from severely under-resourced communities, and helps us to provide them with all the support and resources they need to succeed.”
Roche Children’s Walk is the company’s signature worldwide employee project. Since the first company walk in 2003, more than 294,000 Roche employees have raised over 22 million Swiss francs in donations for children’s projects around the world. Fundraising by the Roche Children’s Walk has made a significant impact on vulnerable children over the years. This year, globally, over 20,000 people from 145 sites across 60 countries took part in various fundraising events, raising over one million Swiss francs to support children’s projects around the world.
In South Africa, in April this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster following widespread flooding. The floods caused devastation in KwaZulu-Natal, with more than 400 fatalities recorded, as well as extensive damage to infrastructure and disruptions to services. In response to the disaster, funds from the Roche Children’s Walk in South Africa were donated to the Gift of the Givers to support communities that were affected by the floods.
Spokesperson for Gift of the Givers KZN, Corrie Hemmero, said, “Gift of the Givers’ immediate response included the deployment of a search and rescue team, whilst rolling out emergency food and water to families affected by the floods. Without the support of donors like Roche Products, none of this would have been possible. We would like to extend a hearty thank you to Roche for its generous contribution toward our KZN Flood relief intervention.”
David Gibbons, Roche Products General Manager, Pharma Division, says, “We are proud of the impact we’ve made, and the dedication and commitment of our employees worldwide, but we know that many more children are still in need. This is why we will continue to pledge our support for this cause and keep up the good work that has resulted in thousands of vulnerable children receiving the help they need and deserve.”
Philanthropy is Roche’s commitment to society and the communities in which it operates and beyond to make a sustainable difference. This is why Roche has been the main external sponsor of Phelophepa, a free mobile healthcare clinic that travels to rural areas in South Africa, for over 25 years. To date, over 14 million people, including children, have received basic healthcare services, including diagnostics and treatment. The Phelophepa trains have also provided training and jobs for 40 permanent staff and also hires temporary local workers along its route.