Caring for communities
The leadership of Merck South Africa has a vision for the company that includes making a difference to the communities in which Merck carries out its business.
Some of the initiatives that Merck SA employees can benefit from, include the Merck Assistance Program (MAP), which was developed to assist the company’s employees with their children’s education, by providing funding for school and crèche fees; the Employee Assistance Program, that relates to all areas of health and welfare in which employees may need assistance; and an adult based education program.
The Merck SA Foundation also supports the Alexandra Clinic, where a lot of employees where born, have given birth, or received treatment. The Clinic has received financial support from Merck SA for over twenty years.
One of Merck SA’s bigger CSI projects is iThemba Labantu, which is run by Rev. Otto Kohlstock from the Lutheran Community Centre. The iThemba Labantu project includes the Philippi Care Centre, Hospice and Soup Kitchen near Cape Town and assists the people of Philippi who live in sheer poverty. Merck SA has recently provided a vehicle to transport Aids patients to the clinic, and Merck Germany donated R100 000 toward the completion of the new hospice. Financial sponsorship for a nursing sister has been provided by funds raised at Merck’s Golf Days. The company is in the process of starting an “Adopt a Child” program together with local Merck staff and children from the Philippi community, overseen by Rev. Otto.
The Merck Rising Stars from the Kaalfontein Soccer Grounds in Johannesburg East is another project adopted by Merck. The team was started by a Merck Chemicals warehouse employee to keep local children off the streets, and has developed into an exciting CSI initiative, involving sponsorship of kits, games, registration of players, as well as a highly anticipated year-end tournament between the Rising Stars and children of the Merck employees held at the Merck PLS Family Day.
With several initiatives still in the pipeline, Merck SA has proved their commitment to uplifting those in need, and in the process enriching the lives of everybody involved.
For more information, please contact Fiona Hall on Tel: +27 11 372 5014 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally appeared in African Connexion Magazine 2007