The continued surge in international travellers arriving in South Africa this year is good news for the economy in general and tourism in particular. It is also good news for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, says Europcar Commercial Officer Martin Lydall, thanks to the company’s pledge of a percentage of inbound rentals to the Fund.
“At Europcar, we are proud to have been active with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund since its establishment in 1995,” he says.
“Last year incoming international car rentals grew strongly and we are optimistic this year will be similar. This in turn means a similar rise in the contributions we can pass on to the Fund to help with their projects. As we approach Mandela Day, we know customers will be even prouder to realise they are helping with the Fund’s work through the donation from their rental.”
Europcar’s efforts on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund have seen it honoured with both Lifetime Founders Club status and President Club membership.
At the recent Tourism Indaba, Europcar showcased the work of Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund on its stand. Visitors were invited to help raise funds by purchasing Nelson Mandela commemorative notebooks, with the opportunity to enter a lucky draw to win a Mandela gold coin. The company also hosted the Fund’s Donor Relations Manager Mpaki Pule at their stand so she could talk to visitors about the Fund’s work and particularly about the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, currently under construction.
“It was a wonderful moment when we celebrated the ground-breaking ceremony on 20 March this year,” she says. “As we mark Youth Month now, it is important to remember how this hospital will shape the lives of the children of Africa – our future leaders.
“It is tragic we currently have only one children’s hospital in Cape Town serving a combined population of 238,8 million people across the SADC region. By contrast, there are about 23 dedicated children’s hospitals in Canada, 20 in Germany and 19 in Australia.”
Public financial support also helped build Cape Town’s landmark Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, one of just four children’s hospitals on the African continent. The others are in Egypt and Kenya, says Pule.
The new Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital should be ready to open its doors in the first quarter of 2016. But so far funds raised have met just over half of the R1 billion target to build and equip the hospital, as well as train medical professionals to work in it.
“That’s why we are delighted Europcar offered us a platform at Tourism Indaba and ran an additional promotion on our behalf,” says Pule. “The Fund has been working with Europcar for 19 years and we are thrilled at their commitment and close involvement with our projects. Over and above the contributions that they pass on to us and the vehicles which they supply to us, we feel they are friends of the Fund, who also help by offering constructive advice.”