Supporter Spotlight – BEKA Schréder
Pete Badenhorst, Eastern Cape Regional Manager for BEKA Schréder, an international company that designs and manufactures public lighting, met our founder, Lou Billett, in 2015 while she was running the Wild Women on the Run event with his wife, Janet.
The first project they undertook together was to supply and install 160 streetlights in the Cintsa East Township. The community leaders had approached Lou to discuss the issue of increased crime in Chintsa East and together they decided that lighting would help reduce the incidence of crime and make Chintsa safer for all. . BEKA Schréder senior management generously agreed to donate the streetlights, and together with the community leadership worked with Eskom and Great Kei Municipality, implementing the project in two short months.
Peter says, “In our industry projects are most often done at a distance. We supply a contractor or municipality and the lights get installed without much more of a contribution from us. To be in the middle of the project and understand the impact of the project on the community is an emotional, encouraging and motivating experience.”
On a far less tangible level, the contribution BEKA Schréder have invested in African Angel’s newest initiative “Taking Angels with them” – a 5 year project that aims to implement a Visible Learning approach to teaching and learning to maximise learner achievement, and understand better how we can develop resilience, self confidence, a growth mindset, in our current learners, and better support them in their subsequent high schools, post African Angels.
Peter continues, “Being involved in projects like this is also essential to our own company’s position with regards to BBEEE and doing business in the South African business space. The African Angels Team is very organised with regards to paperwork and verification of our contributions making the relationship between BEKA Schréder and African Angels a perfectly symbiotic one from a business perspective.
“African Angels is having a massive impact on its community. It’s not hard to see if you live in the area. It has to be accepted that good education is almost the only way out of poverty. South Africa has a massive pay-it-forward culture called “Ubuntu” which is at the centre of what is happening here. The kids who reap the benefits of what African Angels is doing today will hopefully later in their lives join their alma mater and community to carry on lifting the community of Chintsa. Being part of that vision is wonderful. “