Beacon of hope starting to shine for France

2010-03-04 00:00

WHEN Liberty Properties chief executive officer Samuel Ogbu and chief operating officer Maurice Mdlolo visited France recently, they were not faced with the grandeur and splendour of Europe, but rather with the extreme poverty of South Africa.

France, situated on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg, is one of the most impoverished communities in the area, and unemployment and HIV and Aids are rife.

A R2,4 million donation from Liberty Properties in December to Reach Out Foundation culminated in the realisation of Melanie du Plessis’s dream of bringing hope and love to the children and elderly of France.

Du Plessis, the founding director of Reach Out, has been working tirelessly in the community for 12 years.

A community centre of this magnitude — comprising a community room, reception area, social workers’ office, child advocacy office, laundry room, kitchen, toilets and a clinic — will be a beacon of hope for many of the child-headed households in France.

This has been the largest contribution to a corporate social responsibility initiative by Liberty Properties to date.

Its generous donation — in conjunction with partnerships with Grinaker-LTA, Quad Africa, Bentels Associates International, Crane Registered Quantity Surveyors, RPP Consulting Engineers, AKI Consulting, Building Code Consultants, GHC Africa, The Witness, Benny Bongers Land Surveyors, C&M Safety Consultants and Southern Sun — has resulted in the realisation of the project.

The community centre is already well on its way to being completed. The sub-structures have been completed and two of the three blocks have been taken to roof level.

Thea Marx, Liberty Properties general manager for coastal regions, said: “In today’s world, projects like Reach Out ground us in realising that we should all strive to help those who cannot help themselves.

“The Reach Out project will provide hope for our children and equip them to reach for dreams that were beyond their abilities. Liberty is proud to be a part of making these dreams a reality,”

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