South African office social initiatives

Employee volunteerism is an important part of our social initiatives. For the past three years the staff at Gem's South African office in Johannesburg have supported two local non-profits: Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW) and the Maria Kloppers branch of Abraham Kriel Childcare.

CLAW is a welfare organisation known for their pioneering community-based primary animal healthcare in South Africa. CLAW brings their veterinary services to impoverished communities and vital animal care education to pet owners in Johannesburg's poorest township areas. Furthermore, CLAW distributes food parcels, facilitates a home-based-care programme to teach people how to care for the sick and dying, runs food gardens, supports child-headed households and helps communities access health and hospice care.

During 2017, we supported CLAW through the donation of cash and needed items or infrastructure, as well as the sponsorship of 20 hospital beds for the veterinary clinic.

Maria Kloppers provides shelter, physical care, rehabilitation and skills development for children and youths who have been subjected to trauma, abuse, poverty and neglect and parental unemployment. This is done via residential care, community services and educational programmes.

Each year over the festive season Gem Diamonds hosts a party for the children, with food, games and entertainment. Prior to the event each child sends a list of gifts that they needwant, and dream of. For example, one rugby-mad young boy told us he needed rugby togs, wanted rugby balls and place-kicking cones, and dreamt of going to see his favourite team play a match. We are proud to have been able to assist the children with everything they've asked for in each category, and the young man will attend his first Lions rugby game in 2018.

The party is a reprieve from what can be a difficult time, and has proved to be an emotional and enjoyable time for the children and Gem staff. In the future, Gem will evaluate ways in which we might be able to support children after they have left the care of the home.