Cipla Foundation, the non-for profit arm of Cipla Medpro South Africa, handed over a R1-million cheque to Operation Smile as part of its Miles for Smiles initiative at its annual Comedians for Smiles comedy festival. The money will be used to fund corrective surgeries for over 180 children born with cleft lips and palates.
Adva Brivik, Program Coordinator at Operation Smile has extended her sincere gratitude to Cipla Foundation and says that the partnership to date has enabled Operation Smile to put over 2000 smiles back on children’s faces through corrective surgeries. “Each operation costs approximately R5 500, so this money will go a long way to changing the lives of many little children.”
David Grier, Managing Trustee of Cipla Foundation, says that social change on this level can only be accomplished with the assistance of the community and affiliate organisations. “For this reason, we launched our new Ignite Hope campaign at this year’s Comedian for Smiles event, geared to inspire corporate SA as well as the local community to get involved in established corporate social investment (CSI) campaigns.”
Through Ignite Hope corporates and individuals have an opportunity to sponsor meaningful infrastructure projects that already have tried and trusted systems in place and are therefore able to deliver essential services to communities, says Grier. “Custom designed Ignite Hope structures will be deployed in public spaces and at participating offices where individuals will attach an Ignite Hope lock to the structure, thereby pledging their continued commitment to social change.”
The four initiatives include:
- Owethu, which provides primary healthcare to communities in need through fully serviced modular clinics.
- Sha’p Left which provides access to quality over-the-counter (OCT) medicines within informal settlements by partnering with local shop owners.
- Miles for Smiles which raises funds and awareness for the plight of children born with cleft lips and palates.
- Ajuga which sees fire resistant early childhood development (ECD) campuses established in informal settlements to provide quality education.
He adds that the Ignite Hope initiatives also foster economic development in struggling communities by partnering with local organisations and entrepreneurs to manage and maintain these initiatives.
“The beauty of the Ignite hope campaign is that anybody can get involved. Organisations can partner with Cipla Foundation as a CSI initiative while individuals can take on an initiative and rally support around it to create funding and support.”
To Ignite Hope by getting involved visit: http://www.ciplafoundation.co.za/
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