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Unlocking South Africa's potential.

The power of corporate communities can change the world

Published: Dec 1, 2021 10:00:00 AM South Africa Standard Time

On Monday 11 October, the world recognised International Day of the Girl Child commemorating the Generation Equality Forum (GEF), and launching 5-year commitments from civil society leaders, governments, corporations and change makers from around the world for bold gender equality impacts.

As a passionate agent of gender equality, and a firm believer that corporates can play a bigger role in being the change they want to see in the world, Kim Chonguica from Momentum Investments has been walking the talk for girl children in her community alongside her most passionate supporter, Momentum Metropolitan.

“I believe that in steering the country and getting rid of things like gender based violence, particularly will deeply impact the future success of this country and spur the transformation we all like to talk about. Personally, I believe that the key to all of that lies in changing the lives of our girl children.”

With a corporate to help back her passion, Kim has been able to make a remarkable difference in the lives of many young girls at Walter Sisulu Primary School in Gauteng. Together with Momentum and NGO Inspire ZA, Kim and a few other women have been able to tap into the needs of these young girls, starting with sanitary pads – the most basic and crucial of girl children needs.

“We ran a big initiative at the time with over 3000 towels collected. And I did this by beginning in my place of work where my employer and the group I work for was more than happy to help me get the word out.”

Over the last few years, Kim has been able to grow her impact for these young girls working with her partners to extend beyond the need for sanitary towels. “We have had to consider the whole needs of these children. Many of them are victims of abuse. Many of them aren’t able to come to school because their parents are unemployed or they are in child-headed households. We had to extend our difference to mentorship and even food parcels.”

How does she maintain and even grow this level of impact? Kim was born into a family that believed in a simple premise: Charity starts at home. For Kim and her family, that always meant that the difference that they can make in this world should be focused on the community in which they live.

“This is a philosophy I have taken with me from Cape Town where I grew up to Johannesburg where I now live. And it is a philosophy that I am proud to say is steeped in my place of work.”

Momentum Metropolitan recognises that people are inescapably tied to the welfare of communities around them and that they need to work for their betterment as an organisation. Momentum may recruit the best talent for its business. But its volunteers programme creates the opportunity for this talent to serve not only the brand’s business goals but be of service to society at large.

Through its Lesedi Awards, Momentum Metropolitan recognises the things that are important to its employees, including Kim, a 2020 Lesedi Volunteer Business Leader Award recipient herself. Through this awards ceremony, Momentum Metropolitan is able to support its employees as people who care for and are concerned about the well-being of their communities. Kim is but one employee in a sea of difference.

But you don’t need a corporate to back you in order to start being the change you want to see in the world. Kim believes we can all have an opportunity to make a difference for girl children around us.

“Everybody, absolutely everybody knows a girl child that has some sort of need. Most people have a domestic worker. Start there. Most people see poor beggars with their children on the street. Start there. Most people can find a nearby township school. Start there. If you want to make a difference for the girl children in this country, you don’t have to look far. Charity begins at home in our own neighbourhood,” concludes Kim.


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