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For three days, Emma Mogodi learned how to crawl through smoke to safety during a fire, how to help a patient breathe while waiting for an ambulance, how to handle wounds and bleeding, how a burning victim should stop, drop and roll.
She manages a school and child care center just outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. Now, should the unthinkable happen, she wrote, “I’ll be able to help them.”
Emma was among two dozen teachers and child care specialists who recently got a crash course on fire safety and firefighting training. Run by the non-profit Africa Food for Thought (AFFT) and funded by Cargill, the training covered basics like using a fire extinguisher, first aid and safety practices.
The partnership came about with the help of Kerry Maylon, office services and travel coordinator for Cargill human resources in South Africa. She’s passionate about safety – regularly taking to Yammer, Cargill’s internal social networking tool, to post simple tips on maintaining a safe working environment for employees in the Johannesburg office. Around the world, the company is working toward a zero-incident safety culture.
Kerry is also a force for community engagement. In 2013, she struck up a partnership which aims to provide nutrition to school children in numerous child centers across South Africa.
When AFFT mentioned a gap in skills around basic safety training for teaching and child care specialists at these child centers, Kerry saw another opportunity for Cargill to contribute.
“AFFT’s safety training resonated with us at Cargill in South Africa,” she said, “Safety at Cargill is paramount and we know that safety extends beyond our day jobs and working environments. We need to engage with and encourage safe practices in all aspects of our lives to keep everyone safe, whether it be our families, colleagues, friends, communities or neighbors.”
Cargill supported and funded three training days with AFFT for 24 teachers and child care specialists, all women. The trainings were held in March – coinciding with International Women’s Day on March 8 – and marked the first time that many of the women had ever received this kind of training.
“Teachers at our crèches and aftercare projects should be properly equipped to look after the children in their care,” said Emmah Mutimutema, Operations Manager at AFFT. “We want them to receive this training so that they are equipped to face any emergencies that may arise in their schools.”
Not only is this training helping to keep the children in their care safe, it is also empowering many of these women – like participant Amanda Mtembeni – to share their knowledge with the wider community of teachers and caregivers. “I gained so much knowledge because I had never had first aid training,” she said. “I will pass this information on to my teachers and to my community.”
KEYWORDS: Social Impact & Volunteering, Health & Healthcare, Cargill, South Africa, Africa Food for Thought (AFFT), Johannesburg, Child care
Original Article: South African Business Takes Safety Commitments Into CommunitiesNEXT ARTICLE
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