[South Africa] Ford launches fund to assist local entrepreneurs
Ford Motor Company Fund is expanding its community empowerment and upliftment programs in South Africa with the establishment of the Booth Schoch Future Success Fund at the Ford Resource and Engagement Centre (FREC) located in Pretoria, South Africa.
The Fund is named in honour of former Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) president (and later chief financial officer of Ford Motor Company) Lewis Booth, and former chief financial officer (and later president of Ford Asia Pacific) Dave Schoch, who were enthusiastic champions of the local Mamelodi Township community.
Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, will work with South African partner NGO, Future Families, in managing this program which will launch in early 2019.
It will endow the Fund for 10 years with a grant of $100,000 (around R1.25-million), enabling $10,000 (approximately R125 000) to be awarded to deserving FREC students each year.
The grant will assist the selected FREC graduates who have completed the Entrepreneurship Program to start in-home businesses, or for nominated students in the Early Childhood Development training and certification program to establish After School Care Centres.
“We are proud to extend our local empowerment and upliftment programs by introducing the Booth Schoch Future Success Fund to build on the legacy of the commendable initiatives introduced by Lewis Booth and Dave Schoch during their tenures in South Africa,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services.
“The Fund will continue the great work being done at the Ford Resource and Engagement Centre by providing grants to local community members who participate in FREC education and training programs,” Vella added. “This will empower them to take the next step in their employment journey, and assist the recipients in achieving their future success as an individual and as a contributing member of the broader community.”
It is a fitting tribute to Booth and Schoch who, among other accomplishments, in the early 2000s had the vision to create and launch the original Ford Care Centre on the grounds of Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic which had devastated the local community.
In 2001, the United States Department of State recognized Ford Motor Company with an Award for Corporate Excellence for its South Africa HIV/AIDS workplace program.
In 2015, the Ford Care Centre was expanded to become the Ford Resource and Engagement Centre (FREC), adding education, training, and entrepreneurship programs to its community offerings.