Epiroc gives back by investing in under-privileged school children in Zimbabwe


Global mining equipment specialist, Epiroc South Africa, recently joined hands with Epiroc Zimbabwe to participate in a constructive and inspirational community school career day in Chipinge, Zimbabwe. Investing both time and resources, Epiroc not only donated much-needed stationery to 250 deserving school children but also introduced them to the various professions and career choices that are available within the company as well as in the mining industry.


The purpose of the career day was to offer children an opportunity to explore their interests and potential career paths that is open to them upon completing school. “Education lays the foundation for career opportunities and an economically active future and is one of the main drivers of Epiroc’s corporate sustainability responsibility (CSR) programme,” affirms Judy Vilakazi, Regional CSR Manager for Epiroc South Africa. “To this end, we roll out numerous initiatives that are focused on improving the quality of life of local mining communities we impact and are part of.”


Joined by Epiroc colleagues, Rufaro Ruzengwe, Workshop Engineer, and Intern (PSD) Vongai Makuwaza, the team shared knowledge and expertise with the enthusiastic and eager-to-learn children during the career day. “Some of the children were not even aware of the many professions within the mining sector as well as at Epiroc, so we focused on providing information about the workplace, the different job opportunities as well as the education and skills that are required.”


Joana Makore, Epiroc Human Resources Manager – Zimbabwe/Namibia, confirms that Epiroc Zimbabwe, part of the Epiroc Southern Region Group, has been active in several local initiatives. She adds that although this was not the first career day that Epiroc has invested in, it was the first initiative of this kind that addressed underprivileged children in a rural community.


Joana highlights the importance of this particular community initiative: “Chipinge is a remote district in Zimbabwe that lags behind when it comes to development. In addition to periodic droughts, the area has also had to deal with Cyclone Idai and the COVID-19 pandemic which has further impacted the abject poverty that prevails in this community. Yet this area is home to some of Zimbabwe’s largest diamond resources. With a number of Epiroc customers operating in the region, the company recognises its responsibility as a private sector role player to support and give back to this community by helping to improve the lives of the people in the area.”


Also weighing in on the importance of education, Joana is adamant that all children have the right to an education to have a chance for a better future. “Education is unarguably the key to economic development, helping to reduces poverty, boosting economic growth and opening up opportunities for young boys and girls to enter the work force.” She underlines the ongoing widespread problem of child marriages in Zimbabwe with one out of three women marrying before the age of 18.  “The perception of the role of women in society needs to change in order to prevent these child marriages. Girls must be given the opportunity to develop to their full potential as equal members of society.

An effective way to fight this is to empower the girl child through school fee sponsorship, the provision of stationery and career day showcases such as the one held at Chipinge.”

“By focusing on girls in education at the career day also gave us the opportunity to highlight gender equality, one of the identified United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG),” continues Joana. Girls who do not attend school are often pushed into poverty as they are not able to develop the necessary cognitive and social skills as well as the emotional intelligence to be well-rounded individuals in society. By investing in girls’ education, we are empowering them to be active and successful participants in their communities. This initiative indeed served as a wonderful opportunity for Epiroc to enhance its brand as a champion for gender equality.”


Judy wraps up: “With dedicated offices and staff in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe, our footprint extends well into the African region. Our South African office has a regional responsibility to sustainable community development across the Sub-Saharan African region, where business goes hand-in-hand with societal development and growth.”

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