Social Responsibility

iExchange is fully committed to being part of The Beekman Group of Companies Corporate Social Investment through which funding is spent on worthy social causes. This is done through sustainable projects that make a real difference, and allows us to achieve the motto "Enriching Lives, Fulfilling Dreams". Our key focus areas are social development, education, health, job creation, public service, and preserving our environment.

Enriching Lives, Fulfilling Dreams

The Beekman Group believes that the future prosperity of our country and our company hinges on the positive transformation and upliftment of our communities.To this end our corporate social investment spending will be on worthy social causes through sustainable projects that make a real difference.

This includes the recent involvement in the donation of vehicles to the Genesis Trust, a charity based in Port Shepstone, Kwazulu Natal. The Genesis Trust has implemented a number of community outreach programmes, from dental care, to beading workshops, education, sports, and social enrichment.

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The Beekman Group donated much needed books and science equipment to the value of R25,000 to Louisiana Primary School in Port Shepstone. As this is a no fees school, they are in dire need of assistance. As such, we also ensure that any computers, office furniture, supplies, and fittings no longer required are donated to our local charities and schools, such as Louisiana Primary.

Some of our initiatives in more detail:

Mobile library receives donation

Our Collections Department reached out to a non-profit organisation called Sithanda Ukufunda Mobile Libarary that circulates more than 4000 books to various schools between Port Edward and Port Shepstone. They held a book drive where members of staff brought age-appropriate books to add to the Sithanda Ukufunda collection. Following this success the Beekman Group also donated R5000 towards the purchase of more Zulu books for the schools to benefit from.

Read the full story here

The South Coast Hospice Palliative Care Programme For Children

The Beekman Group recently donated R30 000 to The South Coast Hospice Palliative Care Programme For Children. South Coast Hospice used the funds towards furnishing and stock what they call the Rainbow Room. This colourful haven will offer reprieve, comfort and dignity to children who are very sick.

"It's much nicer for children to be cared for in their own homes with their favourite things around them," said Diane Van Dyk, CEO of South Coast Hospice. "Unfortunately, this isn't always possible and in these times our Rainbow Room offers a special place for children to stay when seeing the doctor or staying overnight for extended care."

With the contribution, South Coast Hospice were able to import a paediatric bed, install an air conditioner and heater and purchase many key items such as chairs, nappies, body care products and bedding.

South Coast Hospice does a lot of work with sick children, especially those affected - directly or indirectly - by HIV/AIDS. Thuliswa Sontsele, a social worker, explains that they currently have 60 kids in the Memory Box Programme. This is a 6 month programme consisting of five workshops and home visits to children who lost a parent to the disease. Each child gets a memory box which they are encouraged to fill with keepsakes and sentimental items that remind them of their parents. They also each get a Duduza Doll (knitted by community members) to aid comfort and healing.

For children directly affected by the virus, there is a Disclosure Programme where they are told, from age 7, about HIV/AIDS, the importance of ARV's and how to maintain a healthy and safe lifestyle.

South Coast Hospice is doing incredibly important work in our community. If you wish to support The Rainbow Children's Programme (or any of the other initiatives) contact Diane Van Dyk (diane@schospice.co.za).

To make a financial contribution, use the following banking details:

Account Name: South Coast Hospice Association
Bank: Nedbank
Branch Code: 139 828
Account Number: 139 802 3256
Reference: RAINBOW

South Coast Hospice also welcome donations of Children's Clothing, Future Life Cereal and toys.

Beekman Group Supports Hibiscus Food For Life

We've recently been privileged enough to assist in an amazing outreach effort that feeds over 500 children each month.

The Hibiscus Food For Life Feeding Scheme provides plates of food to children at schools in Murchison, Marburg and Hibberdene. For some children this is the only meal they get for the day as they come from homes where their parents and/or caretakers are unemployed.

The project has been running for five years and depends entirely on donations. "We rely on the community for funding and we appeal to them to please donate monthly so we can feed these starving children," said Rajen Mahabeer who runs this scheme.

The project costs R8 000 a month to run. Those willing to make a contribution can contact Mahabeer on 082 836 2758.

Beekman Group Donates to various community projects

The Beekman Group is happy to assist our local community in any way we can. We have recently worked alongside Olwandle High School in Gamalakhe, Reinhardt's Place in Pumula and Genesis Trust in Port Shepstone. We take great pleasure in knowing that our contributions - no matter how big or small - play a part in bettering our local community.

Olwandle High School Computer Donation

The Beekman Group recently donated ten computers to Olwandle High School in Gamalakhe. Previously the school had no computers for their Grade 8 - 12 students. The principle, Mr Hilton Gwala, accepted the computers on behalf of the school.

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"One behalf of the ... School Governing Body, the School Management Team, educators, parents and mostly the 1200 learners, we would whole heartedly express our gratitude to you for extending a hand of help by donating ten computers to the school" , Mr Gwala noted. The Beekman Group is happy to have been able to play a part in assisting these students in furthering their knowledge and basic understanding of technology.

Reinhardt's Place

Reinhardt's Place, in Pumula, offers full-time care for disabled people suffering from brain damage. The Beekman Group recently donated an industrial washer and dryer to them to help lighten the load.

Genesis Trust - Khulu Crafts, The Care Centre and The Training Centre

Beekman Group donated R100 000 to the Genesis Trust in support of their Khulu Crafts, Care Centre and Training Centre programmes.

Khula Crafts

The beading section of the Genesist Trust Crafts programme was very successful during 2014, as they were able to sell many of items to visiting international teams. They also displayed and sold the crafts at various local markets, and even travelled to the Christmas market at Grace Church in Umhlanga.

The Care Centre

The flagship programme of Genesis Trust is in its tenth year of operation and continues to provide essentially needed services to patients, their families and the community at large. This is seen through the high number of patient care days which amount to 12 000, with an average bed occupancy of 85% per year. Here counsellors give advice on HIV Counselling & Testing, Treatment Opportunities, Disease Management/Support and Prevention Education to 300 families and 900 individuals each year. With treatment from the Rehab Assistants under the guidance of volunteer Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists, up to 48% of immobile patients start walking again. In addition, the number of patients well enough to return home has increased from 20% in 2005 to 58% in 2014 and continues to grow.

The Training Centre

To date, 104 students have passed the Home Based Care courses with 45 working, 5 of which have been employed by the Care Centre. In addition, 24 students have completed First Aid 1 & 2. Home Based Care is the most valuable training and additional courses have been added for 2015. They are amongst others: HIV/AIDS counselling, Occupational Health and Safety, Food Safety Training.

Anerley Haven Visit

As part of our CSI outreach, employees of the Beekman Group Head Office visited the Anerley Haven retirement village. They were entertained with live accordion and piano music (courtesy of one of our staff members' husband and sons) as well as a cupcake with their tea. "They were absolutely delighted and you could see that the sound of the accordion definitely brought old memories rushing back," said Hannelie Millar, CSI representative for the Group.

The Group also donated fresh linen and towels to the establishment to use in their frail care unit and private residence rooms. We intend in doing another visit to Anerley Haven early 2015 as time spend with the staff and residents are always rewarding.

Beekman Group supporting our Furry Friends

It's that time of the year again when all of the Beekman Group employees at Head Office come together to support our furry friends at the local SPCA. This year Member Services and the Sales Admin team headed the drive behind the fund raising.

Through various donations, raffles and cake sales (thanks IT!) staff managed to generate R3526 with which more animal food were purchased. Over and above the cash funds that were raised the company came together and donated many bags of cat and dog food, blankets and toys. In total approximately R5000 worth of goods were handed over to the SPCA

Thank you to everybody who got involved in this worthy cause. It gladdens our heart to see our employees reach out to this, often neglected, part of the community with such zeal.

Haven Care Centre and Beekman Group providing meals to the needy

The Beekman Group recently took on a project that is a first in the area, by sponsoring a fully equipped Mobile Soup Wagon to The Haven Care Centre, a registered Section 21 organisation based in Hibberdene on the Lower South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

The process came together with various companies from the KZN South Coast donating their resources to launching this project successfully. The Beekman Group sponsored the trailer and the accompanied equipment whilst Ultimate Branding Solutions in Marburg did the branding. On the day of the launch Bell & Anchor Restaurant in Scottburgh saw to it that the community enjoyed delicious Cordon Bleu Chicken Soup and fresh bread.

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Hannelie Millar, CSI Representative for the Beekman Group, explained the Group's decision to pair with Haven Care Centre: "A big focus in our CSI strategy is sustainability; it is important to us to ensure a long lasting benefit in the projects we choose. We were also attracted to the fact that The Haven Care Centre applied for a vending license so that the trailer can be used as a tuck-shop during periods when it is not used for meal distribution. Funds raised in this way may cover traveling costs, and hopefully result in more regular meals to the affected areas."

The Mobile Soup Wagon was officially launched with Warrant Officer Masinga from the Hibberdene SAPS and Councilor Mhlangu from the Umzumbe Municipality addressing the crowds on the importance of a healthy social system. They stressed the importance of lowering crime, caring for the children and the fact that SAPS and The Haven Care Centre will continually work together to address needs in the area. The Qoloqolo community was the first of many in the UGU district, to benefit from this initiative since The Haven Care Centre aims to serve at least 200 people on a regular basis.

The road ahead is exciting for The Haven Care Centre as they set out, wagon on tow, to help as many underprivileged children and elderly people throughout KwaZulu-Natal with a warm meal in winter and something cool in summer. "We would like to thank The Beekman Group as well as the local community for making our vision to assist the underprivileged in the area a reality. We are looking forward to making a great success of our Mobile Soup Wagon and plan to expand our assistance throughout KZN" says John Liddle from The Haven Care Centre. "We would also like to thank everyone who has supported us in the past and hope that the generous and much needed contributions will continue."

The project runs independently and relies heavily on the assistance of the Corporate Sector and private individuals throughout KwaZulu-Natal. For any further information on the Haven Care Centre's Mobile Soup Wagon or to assist, please contact their offices on 039 699 3664.

Tekkie Tax

The Beekman Group Supports National Tekkie Tax day annually by buying the required sticker for all staff at Head Office. This year was no different as you can see JJ, reservations consultant at Head Office, enjoying the comfort of the day.

We encourage other corporate and small business in our area to go to the official website to register as a participating company. The organisers need a contact person, undercover agent or advocate in every company in SA to join the in this campaign! They supply everything you need to ensure that you and your colleagues can participate and have a great time while donating to a worthy cause. The website also offers a step by step guide in the "Get Involved" section. Visit them now at www.tekkietax.co.za

CANSA - Relay for life

This year's event certainly received its deserved attention after being postponed twice due to bad weather. Relay for Life is an event to honour ALL cancer sufferers; and our cancer survivors are our Symbol of Life in this event. Since many survivors cannot come to the event in cold, wet weather, the Relay for Life committee had to make the decision twice, to respect and understand the position of our honoured guests, and postpone the event.

From May 2013, to August 2013, we finally had our day on 1 February 2014 with the best weather we could have hoped for. As is the norm, each department at the Beekman Group Head Office feverishly participated in fund raising initiatives, leading up to the event.

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Cake sales, raffles and competitions was the order of the day, and helped us hold our title for the Corporate Company who raised the most funds for CANSA as part of the Relay for Life project. Hannelie Millar, CSI representative for the Group said: "Here at head office alone we have had so many cases of staff, family and friends having to face the effects of cancer. I think only once you see what this battle involves, do you really understand why it is so important to finish another lap. As we walked the course, we remember Bram Beekman, the co-founder and chairman of the Beekman Group, who passed away at the age of 66 after a lengthy battle with cancer and supported many others who bravely fought or fights. This year, we had Tinus Pretorius, the husband of one of our head office employees, as a honoured guest and cancer survivor joining us on the course."

Also present was our dear friend Max Relax. This year the CANSA Mascot, Tok Tokkie, challenged Max to a dance off! Well, Max nearly lost his shell he wiggled so much, but he danced the socks off of Tok Tokkie, who we're sure would want to redeem himself next year.

For those who are not familiar with the CANSA Relay For Life campaign, it is a fun-filled overnight event that engages communities throughout South Africa to celebrate cancer survivors, and remember those who succumbed to their battles against cancer. Although raising funds is a part of the event, major focus is also placed upon raising awareness about how healthy lifestyle choices can make a huge difference in the fight against cancer. People who wish to get involved can do so as a volunteer, cancer survivor or participant, and those interested in attending the Port Shepstone CANSA Relay For Life can contact the CANSA South Coast office on 039 682 7680.

Coastal Christmas

December is the time of year for giving, and the time we hold our annual Christmas parties with our adopted children's homes. We did something totally different this year with one of our homes. We booked a day at the Crocodile Farm! A Zulu speaking guide was ready to receive the kids when we arrived, which was a great positive for us since the experience would not only be a fun time, but also educational, in a language the children could understand.

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Boy, the look on their faces when they saw the size of those things. Priceless! After taking a break with sandwiches and milkshakes, the kids enjoyed the play area and went home with a party pack in hand. The weather was great too, which rounded the day 100% successful. Our second home was also blessed with good weather, while the boys went playing soccer and the girls had an amazing pamper party with hairdressing, manicures and make up being the order of the day. After breaking for lunch, the children were spoiled to a 3D movie. We are grateful for another year's celebration with these special children.

Santa Shoebox

For the first time this year, The Beekman Group keenly participated in The Santa Shoebox Project, which is an inspiring community initiative of the Kidz2Kidz Trust that co-ordinates the donation, collection and distribution of personalized gifts at Christmas time to underprivileged children across South Africa and Namibia. Participating is a profoundly valuable and personal experience with each donor selecting the child he or she chooses to pledge a Santa Shoebox for by name, gender and age. The feedback received from the kids made it all worthwile.

Siyavuna Excellence Awards

Siyavuna works with small and medium scale farmers in rural areas in the Ugu district. They train the farmers to do organic growing and then sell their produce to one of two agri-co-ops who re-sell the produce under the Kumnandi brand. 81% of the farmers are women. At the heart of this project is poverty alleviation. When Siyavuna launched an incentive programme for farmers through the Farmers Associations this year, the Beekman Group was keen to get on board, and is now the sole sponsor of this quarterly prize giving event. Examples of awards are "Farmer with the biggest variety of produce sold during the quarter", "Farmer who sold the most produce during the quarter", "Farmer with the best kept garden/farm". The basic concept is to offer one reward / prize for a farmer from each area, for outstanding performance.

The Genesis Trust

The Genesis Trust is a registered non-profit and Public Benefit Organisation in Port Shepstone in the Ugu District of southern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was founded in 2002 as an outreach programme of the Norwegian Settlers Church to serve people affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty. Their mission is to demonstrate faith, love and hope to people in these areas and to serve them holistically, meeting physical, psychosocial, emotional and spiritual needs associated with HIV/AIDS, poverty and other social issues. Serving a vast area, transport is of vital importance. The Beekman Group proudly sponsored a vehicle to the Trust this year.

Hospice Port Shepstone

South Coast Hospice and it's staff have been the leaders in Quality Palliative Care for 30 years in the community and the greater UGU Health District, caring for patients with diseases such as Cancer, HIV / AIDS, MDR-TB and Motor Neuron disease. When they wrote to the Group for some much needed assistance, our CSI division reacted quickly and with passion to ensure that needs are met. "We suffered a serious blow in 2012 when we found out that the funding from lotto would be cut drastically and we realised that our safety net had been ripped from us", said Di van Dyk, CEO of South Coast Hospice.

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With the funding provided, Hospice Port Shepstone was able to add value to their 8-bed in-patient Unit, by upgrading the 'quiet lounge' used by patients' families. They were also able to purchase a microwave for the Day Care Centre kitchen which sees support groups, remembrance gatherings and volunteer meetings weekly as well as an allocation for funding towards food parcels and medical care expenses for the year. Out of the Group's donation they were also able to purchase computers for the upliftment of the Training Academy division, which in the last financial year graduated 285 students and offered 139 in-service training opportunities.

The Genesis Trust

The Beekman Group has currently been involved in the donation of vehicles to the Genesis Trust, a charity based in Port Shepstone on the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal. Genesis has implemented a number of community outreach programmes, from dental care, to beading workshops, education, sports, and social enrichment.

Louisiana Primary School

Based in Port Shepstone, the Louisiana Primary School is a rural, no fees school. The Beekman Group donated much needed books and science equipment to the value of R25000. As this is a no fees school, they are in dire need of assistance. We also ensure that any computers, office furniture, supplies, and fittings no longer required are donated to our local charities and schools, such as Louisiana Primary.