The Sandown Washbay Project turns one!

Amid much applause and ‘lumps-in-throats’, the Sandown Washbay Project celebrated its first anniversary in December 2011.

The project – part of  The Sandown Way – saw 12 young learners from seriously disadvantaged backgrounds  receiving training in all aspects of successfully running a washbay by the staff of Cleaning Africa Services.

These learners are from Nokuthula School in Alexandra. Not only are they from some of the poorest communities in Gauteng, they have the added burden of learning disabilities. Without knowing what to expect, these dozen enthusiastic learners started off their new lives at Sandown in December 2010: nine were employed at Mercedes-Benz, Sandton. The other three were employed at CJD Sandton.

The group has grown from strength to strength. At least four of the initial 12 have moved onwards and upwards to tackle other, exciting challenges in Sandown, while two more groups of learners have been successfully trained and employed at various Sandown dealerships in Gauteng.

Joyce Mahakoe, stalwart Principal at Nokuthula School & Centre, bubbles over with praise for the project, and says it’s like a dream come true for her and her team. “It just goes to show that, given the chance, everyone can prove themselves.

“The project has made a very positive impact on the learners and on the greater community in Alexandra. It proves that there is hope for everyone.”

Group MD at Sandown, Roy McAllister, says the project has become an integral part of their business – and it shows how The Sandown Way really does work in practice. “It’s all about the transformation journey and The Sandown Way is about creating opportunities for people to improve themselves and their lot in life. It’s living proof that there is ample space under the sun for everyone.”

Colin Richardson of Mercedes-Benz, Sandton told how his team had created a supportive environment for the learners – but had also learned so much from the Nokuthula students in return.

Pat Nndwamato of Cleaning Africa who oversees the learners’ training said: “We were all a bit nervous at first, but it has been a wonderful, rewarding journey for everyone involved.”

Spokesman for the learners, Piet Maake ended the speeches by thanking everyone – from teachers and parents through to the company and the workshop manager – “for creating this wonderful opportunity and making it work!”

To celebrate this occasion, The Sandown Group made a donation of R100 000 to the Nokuthula School & Centre in Alexandra.

Cleaning Africa salutes the Sandown Group and The Sandown Way initiative, and is proud and pleased to be involved with the training of these bright, young, future stars. The sky’s the limit!

Cleaning Africa gets 12 youths off to a new start …

Cleaning Africa Services recently helped the  Sandown Motor Group with their community program of giving people less fortunate a ‘helping hand’.

Mercedes-Benz Sandton and Chrysler Jeep Dodge Sandton – make up the Sandown group and Cleaning Africa runs its washbays.

Cleaning Africa was only too pleased to get involved with Sandown’s latest project:  to train 12 youngsters from the Nokuthula Special School for Children in Alexandra,  to become an integral part of the group’s washbay team.

These 12 young hopefuls were chosen and signed up in early December 2010.  Their enthusiasm and hard work were infectious and a pleasure to witness.  By month’s end, they were fully qualified and certified too.

Sandown’s HR Director, Nandi Manentsa was proud of the difference this project has made in their lives: “It has proved to be a great success and has had a much wider impact than just improving the lives of the 12 staff members,” she enthused.

She went on to say how these youths had had it tough growing up, often being the brunt of taunts and jeers.  But now they are respected in their communities.  They are employed full time with all the benefits that go with that.  Now they can  play an active part in helping to support their families and  have  a real purpose in life.

Cleaning Africa and it’s staff are happy to have been a part of getting these deserving and willing youngsters off to a flying start.