Great Britain

COMMUNITY ACTION

Scania supports community action in Soweto

Scania supports the Soweto Kiptown Youth Centre and has funded the refurbishment of dormitories and the bathrooms for girls and boys living there. The youth centre has now been incorporated into Scania’s overall wellness programme and long-term cooperation has thereby been established.

Soweto Kliptown Youth Centre (SKY) is a nonprofit organisation that works to support the children of Kliptown, a suburb of the former township of Soweto in South Africa.

Children dancing in traditional dress, Soweto, South Africa
“I am moved by the kids’ enthusiasm, energy and heartfelt joy, despite all the challenges they have been facing in life,” says Steen Gram, Service Director, Scania South Africa.

A second home for the kids in Kliptown

Twenty girls and 25 boys live at the centre, and for many more it serves as a second home, where they come to do their homework, practise dancing and sports and, importantly, to eat.

“We started in 1987 as an after-school programme for the neighbourhood children,” says Bob Nameng, founder of SKY. “As the numbers of kids grew, I realised many of them needed something more, and so we added drawing and reading, and started serving them food.”

“Scania support us and makes sure that we cope,” says Bob Nameng who founded the centre. “We have a long relationship and this is only the beginning. The best is yet to come, so I’m very excited.”

Children dancing in traditional dress, Soweto, South Africa
“We have a long relationship and this is only the beginning. The best is yet to come, so I’m very excited.”

A “never give up” attitude

More activities were added, including performance arts and sports such as football, basketball and cricket. Soon SKY became a home to some of the children. Nameng, only 16 when he started the youth centre, is today considered the “godfather” of SKY.

A “never give up” attitude has always been characteristic of the centre. This spirit is what caught the attention of Scania South Africa’s management team. Impressed by what they saw, they decided to help raise the living standard for the children.

“I am moved by the kids’ enthusiasm, energy and heartfelt joy, despite all the challenges they have been facing in life,” says Steen Gram, Service Director, Scania South Africa. “It is truly an inspiration to all of us. They manage to make the best out of what they’ve got, even though it’s often very little.”