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Clover celebrates Clover Mama Afrika of the Decade and 10-year anniversary at Smarties Week

Some 10 years ago one of South Africa's leading dairy brands, Clover embarked on a CSI initiative that aimed to assist people in disadvantaged communities to help themselves, regain their pride, establish livelihoods and become valuable members of their communities and society. Today, Clover Mama Afrika appoints 40 extraordinary women, who collectively care for more than 15,500 vulnerable children and 2,500 elderly people in 40 regions throughout the country. This month saw the Clover Mama Afrika of the Decade announced as part of an award ceremony that marked the close of Smarties Week, as well as the 10-year anniversary of this one-of-a-kind project.
Clover celebrates Clover Mama Afrika of the Decade and 10-year anniversary at Smarties Week
"The Clover Mama Afrika social responsibility project not only empowers women in and around South Africa, but also uplifts the communities in which our Clover Mama Afrikas operate. Our Clover Mama Afrikas deliver the necessary daily bread, providing safe havens to the poorest-of-the-poor, homeless and abused children, as well as the increasingly destitute elderly. In addition, they create jobs and give people back their self-respect and worth. "Our Clover Mama Afrikas have developed from shy people to women that can stand up, talk and have an opinion with confidence and respect," explains Clover chief executive, Johann Vorster.

The Power of Partnerships

"With an investment of just over R22m over the last 10 years, as well as generous donations from a number of our suppliers, we have been able to provide viable skills to well over 1,700 individuals who in turn transferred their skills to more than 6,000 fellow members since the project's inception. We will continue to grow the Clover Mama Afrika initiative to reach even more community residents, by appointing deserving Mamas countrywide. This can be achieved with the continued support and acquisition of existing and new project partners."

"All successful companies and projects in the world have great leaders; rainmakers who can inspire people. Without taking anything away from all the wonderful contributions made by the entire team, I can say without a doubt that had it not been for Professor Elain Vlok, Clover Mama Afrika would not be the success it is today," adds Vorster.

Clover Mama Afrika’s award winning Mamas with Professor Elain Vlok: Mama Dinah - Special Acknowledgement, Mama Rina - Top Achiever of the Year, Mama Daphne - Business Women of the Year, Mama Selestien - Performer Extraordinaire and Mama Florence - Mama of the Decade.
Clover Mama Afrika’s award winning Mamas with Professor Elain Vlok: Mama Dinah - Special Acknowledgement, Mama Rina - Top Achiever of the Year, Mama Daphne - Business Women of the Year, Mama Selestien - Performer Extraordinaire and Mama Florence - Mama of the Decade.
click to enlarge
Smart Mamas at Smarties Week

"The anniversary celebrations and the award ceremony were the culmination of the annual Smarties Week; a hands-on training initiative which sees Clover Mama Afrikas from all corners of the country travel from far and wide to attend value-added workshops that complement their existing self-help projects. This initiative offers a wonderful opportunity for our Clover Mama Afrikas to unite and share ideas and stories, and they return home feeling motivated and inspired to impart their new-found skills to members of their community," explains manager for Clover's corporate services, Professor Elain Vlok.

With sewing, quilting, bread-making, basic finance and admin, as well as flower crafts just some of the workshops the Mamas attended this year, it's understandable that the Mamas find Smarties Week an incredibly useful initiative. At the end of the week the Mamas enjoy the annual Clover Mama Afrika awards ceremony, and this year it was co-sponsored by global logistics management firm, Expeditors International.

Several awards were presented to these pillars of their communities with two Mamas, Mary Visagie from Upington in the Northern Cape and Dawn Irons from Ubombo in the KwaZulu-Natal, each being presented with R100,000 to spend on the upliftment of their centres, courtesy of Eqstra Flexi Fleet.

A live draw took place at the gala event and the two winning names were announced. A number of Mamas were also recognised during the evening in the following categories: Special acknowledgement went to Mama Dinah Mogale of Castello Farm in North West, Top Achiever of the Year went to Rina Malan of Pretoria in Gauteng, Business Woman of the Year went to Daphne Oliphant from Worcester in the Western Cape and the Performer Extraordinaire award went to Selestien Moses from Montagu in the Western Cape. The awards were given to those who have really excelled. In addition, each Mama received a trophy in recognition for their hard work and commitment to the project. Partners to Smarties Week, Terenzo Hairdressers ensured they looked the part by giving them make-overs before the anticipated event.

A Mama to Inspire Us All

To celebrate a decade of change, a special award was offered to The Clover Mama Afrika of the Decade and the award was handed to livewire Clover Mama Afrika Florence Nyakiso from Botshabelo, Free State.

"This year it was our honour to pay tribute to the Clover Mama Afrika of the Decade; a woman who has inspired us all with her strength and dedication to the project. Mama Florence cares for more than 163 children and her philosophy is that children need to achieve self-fulfilment in their daily activities. She gives parents the peace of mind of knowing that their children are cared for, whilst they are at work or looking for work. We are so proud of her and her tireless effort to make other's lives easier," adds Professor Vlok.

Clover Mama Afrika Florence has been a mama since July 2008 and amongst her other focusses she completed a successful egg-laying project last year. The award came as a complete surprise to Mama Florence who was speechless after receiving it. "I am still working hard to fulfil my dreams for my centre and I cannot measure the amount of love, care and respect we get from Clover Mama Afrika. It is such a privilege to win this award and I will continue to live by my motto, lead as you want people to follow," says Nyakiso.

"There is nothing more rewarding than to know that as an organisation we are contributing positively towards social economic development. The Clover Mama Afrikas are currently providing accessible and affordable services and products within their communities - we hope to reach even more communities throughout the rest of this year," concludes Professor Vlok.

21 May 2014 14:54

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