The Chevrolet and Dreamfields Project’s ‘Indestructible Spirit’ project in Vosloorus have been featured in this awesome documentary shot by Louis Bolton of BoltonInc. Speaking about the documentary, Bridgette Bolton, Ute Force project manager stated: “We are committed to creating a mini-documentary of each and every Chevrolet Ute Force, Dreamfields, One World Futbol project. This means that we can share our amazing experiences with the world, and inspire others to get involved.”
John Makeke, a local teacher at Bopang-Kgotso Primary School in Vosloorus, witnesses first-hand the impact of poverty on a child’s spirit. Makeke and teachers just like him across Vosloorus are working together with Dreamfields and the Chevrolet Ute Force to bring joy and hope to the lives of primary school children through the game of soccer. Saturday 22nd February signalled the beginning of a powerful long-term commitment between the community, Dreamfields and the Chevrolet Ute Force initiative. Vosloorus was selected because of the incredible demand on the schools within the community, due to the fact that it is one of the poorest areas in the province – with the children often paying the highest price, their dreams.
Vosloorus has a total population of approximately 163,000 residents, the majority of residents living below the breadline, unemployed and in unsafe living conditions. Children walk long distances to get to and from school, many not being able to afford taxi fares. Somehow their spirit of hope lives on and they continue to attend school regularly, participate in sport and help their families with day-to-day chores. Makeke points out that since the introduction of the Dreamfields project into the community in 2013, children involved have shown a heightened passion for the game and a stronger sense of ‘community’. “Often we have to help children get back home after school as they have missed the only transport they have access too, because they wanted to play soccer with their friends after their lessons,” added the teacher and chairman for sport at Bopang-Kgotso Primary School.
Ten local primary schools, currently within a soccer league developed by Dreamfields, will be supported by the partnership and receive DreamBags that include soccer equipment and kit to help extend the DreamLeague into its second year. A dedicated all-girls soccer league will also form part of the 2014 project, with four girl’s teams starting the season in March. The inclusion of Isipho Sethu LSEN School, a special needs institution in Vosloorus, taking care of 800 pupils, is an achievement only made possible through the dedication of both the Dreamfields and Chevrolet Ute Force teams.
Highly involved in sport already, the school has managed to start breaking down stereotypes in the local community about intellectually impaired learners. It is clear that through soccer these young South African’s have found their true calling, and through the project launched on 22nd February, children will receive DreamBags to help extend this important platform. Dreamfields founder John Perlman said: “Our vision is to create and grow primary school football in a way that allows children to play week in and week out, the first step towards building a sustainable love of sport. If we can reach out to this age group, right now, and add joy and purpose to their lives, we have a great chance of giving them the kind of positive dreams that will keep them away from drugs, crime and violence later on.”
Chevrolet will further extend the footprint of their global partnership with, One World Futbol, by donating the Virtually Indestructible futbol, the ball that never needs a pump and never goes flat, even if its been punctured multiple times, allowing children to play almost anywhere. Tim Hendon, Chevrolet Brand Manager added that Vosloorus is the fourth community impacted so far by the Dreamfields and Chevrolet Ute Force partnership with three additional projects identified for rollout in 2014.
“The Chevrolet Ute Force initiative is focused on supporting the youth. We partner with organisations to extend our reach into communities across the country,” he concluded. The entire day will feature as part of a documentary shot by BoltonInc and will be uploaded to YouTube for viewing. Bridgette Bolton, Ute Force project manager added that: “We are committed to creating a mini-documentary of each and every Chevrolet Ute Force, Dreamfields, One World Futbol project. This means that we can share our amazing experiences with the world, and inspire others to get involved.”
The UTE Force got tails wagging at the Irwin Animal Rescue Centre after giving the animal shelter a massive makeover on Tuesday 28 January. For almost 30 years the centre has been the saviour of countless animals who would otherwise lead a life of abject misery and abuse. Respected photographer, Mike Schmucker, joined the UTE Force on the day and took these amazing pictures.
Chevrolet Ute Force and the Ripples for Good Foundation have again partnered to help needy children. The Dargle Valley Primary School in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands was selected as the team’s final project for 2013 in order to spread festive cheer while giving the school a facelift in preparation for the New Year.
Several volunteers from the Chevrolet Ute Force project, Ripples for Good Foundation, local General Motors dealerships and Builders Warehouse stores volunteered their time and skills on Tuesday 27 November undertaking the mammoth tasks of waterproofing the school’s roof, painting the exterior and interior of the school, and replacing broken window panes. Teams also cleaned up the garden area, and then planted a new vegetable garden to support the school’s feeding programme.
“Acting principal Maureen Mavizela and her staff of six teachers invest much time and effort into providing the school’s 96 pupils with the very best education in a nurturing environment, despite tight budgets and limited facilities,” said Tim Hendon, Brand Manager, Chevrolet South Africa. “We were inspired by their dedication, so the Chevrolet Ute Force and Ripples for Good teams decided to end this year’s journey of making a difference in the lives of South Africa’s children at the Dargle Valley Primary School.”
“The principal, teachers and pupils take enormous pride in their school and its surroundings, and we wanted to encourage them to continue this by renovating the six classrooms and other facilities on the school property,” continued Hendon.
New crockery was supplied to replace items that had been stolen during the September holidays, and doors were reinforced to prevent further thefts. All the school’s leaking taps were repaired, and light bulbs were replaced with energy-saving alternatives, addressing water conservation and energy saving issues that are important to both Chevrolet Ute Force and Ripples for Good.
“Once all the hard work was completed, the volunteers shared a delicious meal with the children and enjoyed the jumping castle, face-painters and other entertainment provided,” said Maria Botha, Founder of the Ripples for Good Foundation. “It is important to remember that children need opportunities to play, dance and enjoy life – this is how they grow into healthy, well-balanced adults.”
Hendon added that the partnership with the Ripples for Good Foundation is just one way that the Chevrolet Ute Force project helps to change lives of needy communities across South Africa. “We encourage all South Africans to get involved in their communities as it is often the smallest changes that make the biggest impact in these impoverished communities.
“It is our priority to empower communities to help themselves by sharing our knowledge and resources to support sustainable development projects, such as Ripples for Good Foundation, that will make a meaningful change in the lives of South Africa’s children,” Hendon concluded.