Exel, the global leader in supply chain management, recently sent a team of 23 senior managers to South Africa to support important projects in the rural communities. The Exel managers worked with the local community to develop a new market garden and to create a sustainable business programme. The team also introduced computers, courtesy of Exel's customer and supplier Dell Inc., to local schools for the first time.
Exel's team of senior managers from across the business, are all taking part in the Company's Global Business Excellence (GBE) Programme. This part of the programme provided participants with the opportunity to develop their leadership capability in building global teams, whilst serving the community. They travelled to The Oaks and The Willows, in the Northern Provinces of South Africa, to work on two key projects in those rural communities.
At a recently established market garden the managers got their hands dirty by working in the field with local people; building fences, digging, irrigating and planting. They also delivered training in sales and marketing and managing a sustainable business to the community.
At two schools, Diphuti Primary and Maahlamele High, the team set up 10 computers, provided by Dell, and trained children and teachers to use a mouse, keyboard and access the internet. Educational software, some provided by Exel's E-learning supplier, Skillsoft, was also installed and the staff and pupils were shown how this could be used to support their learning. In addition, Heinemann Publishing provided a number of books, which were much valued by the schools.
The Exel Foundation supported the whole project with a donation of approximately 16,000. The GBE programme in South Africa was delivered in partnership by Exel and Real World Learning, part of WSP Environmental plc.
Lindsay Bridges, HR Director, for Exel's Industrial sector in Europe, said, "This project reflects Exel's role in linking corporate learning to corporate responsibility. Our team could see first hand what a difference their time and support was making to the lives of this group of people.
"The programme was enormously rewarding for all involved as it was the first time many of the children and staff had seen, let alone, used a computer. This project was made possible by the kind donation of the PCs from Dell, a company committed to improving quality of life and creating opportunities for the world's youth to learn from digital technology. The success of this particular trip was achieved thanks to Dell and the other sponsors, and the local communities from both The Oaks and The Willows asked us to pass on their appreciation," continued Bridges.
David Moss, Director of Operations, Consumer sector for Exel in the Americas, added, "The team benefited from a very unique and challenging learning experience. At the same time, we were able to help two rural South African communities, which was especially rewarding."