What started three years ago as a company department effort to provide some festive season cheer has grown into a fully-fledged company event with Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) this year treating more than 200 youngsters in Macassar.
The RDM finance department initiative “Finance reach out for children” in 2016 saw 180 children receive “something to wear, something to play with, something to eat, something for hygiene and something educational”. This came from RDM employees.
It is now an annual – and important – event on the RDM calendar contributing to the community.
This year’s event saw children from the Deep Freeze community received presents worth more than R300 each as well as hotdogs, juice, water and something sweet. Jumping castles and face painting stations added further enjoyment for children younger than 14 and 16 senior community members 75 or older.
The event is now an RDM-wide effort, with assistance in preparation coming from departments including Project Management, Product Development and the RDM Academy. Santa arrived on a wagon pulled by a tractor which is part of the Operations Department fleet.
“This event is instrumental in bringing about good cheer, unity and harmony among the children of the community. Some of the children struggle with unimaginable situations in the home environment, which they are too young to fully understand. We want to uplift them and add as bit of magic to their lives,” said Jan-Patrick Helmsen, RDM chief executive.
Corporate responsibility at RDM is taken seriously as evidenced by the company investing R10 million plus in a state-of-the-art educational facility opposite its Somerset West site.
“Our goal is to uplift the entire community, starting with the children – they are the future. We believe in adding value and giving the children resources and an educational environment that fosters their potential and offers them the best chance of success,” Helmsen said.