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Air Products drives toys around in the North West
28 March 2017

The new trailer and equipment for the Toy Library will go a far way in educating young children children. L – R: Sizwe Nkonde (Air Products), Marie van Schalkwyk (Touch Community Network), Josua Le Roux (Air Products) and Dr Neil van Schalkwyk (Touch Community Network)Air Products made history for themselves and exceeded their Air Products’ long term corporate social investment (CSI) beneficiary, the Touch Toy Library in Rustenburg, is able to touch the lives of even more young children in the province, thanks to the recent donation of the Toy Library trailer. The Touch Toy Library has received long term ongoing support from Air Products to expose children at early childhood development (ECD) centres to the basic skills required for education through play.

This relationship started in 2012 when Air Products was introduced to the Touch Community Network by Cotlands whom Air Products has been supporting for a number of years. Air Products’ core CSI focus is on the youth and education in the communities in which they operate and with the expansion of the Rustenburg Facility in 2012, they wanted to extend their CSI initiatives to the North West Province.

The Touch Community Network celebrates children’s right to play and they strive to see children in the community thrive in their formative years through play based development opportunities. Besides the Touch Toy Library’s Active Learning Centre in Rustenburg, a core part of what they do is to render an outreach service to ECD centres in disadvantaged areas in the North West Province and the new trailer will be used to enhance this important service.

According to Josua Le Roux, Chairman of Air Products’ CSI committee, Air Products donated funds to the Touch Toy Library over the past five years – the first donation was to purchase toys for the Toy Library, followed by the donation of a vehicle in 2015 which is used for the outreach service.

Le Roux further comments: “We believe that the most recent donation, the Touch Toy Library trailer and accessories will go a long way to make the ‘go-&-play’ sessions for the children more varied and enjoyable”.

Jeanette Little, Toy Librarian from Touch Community Network states: “Air Products’ continued support has enabled us to expand the Touch Toy Library and offer children an opportunity to borrow toys, puzzles and games as well as increase our impact in the schools that we visit. Furthermore, it enables us to work with more children at one time, through providing additional equipment and essential educational toys that are crucial to our work. Not only does this ultimately support their learning through planned play activities, but teachers are trained as well in using toys more effectively for educational use. We are proud of the way we present our ‘go-&-play’ outreaches as well as our ‘come-&-play’ sessions at our Active Learning Centre”.

Le Roux concludes: “Air Products has been supporting various organisations and initiatives from a corporate perspective as well as from the facilities in the different regions. Last year, the 3-year WitnessHappiness project which also focuses on early childhood development at a national level was launched. This project, which allows Air Products employees to become involved with and visit the ECD centres, has created a lot of goodwill in the communities as well as amongst employees”.

 
     
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