30 November 2015

Green Concert
The Edgars Stores Corporate Social Responsibility calendar has a range of projects that we organise as well as participate in throughout the year, including annual events that we are proud to support. It's almost time once again for the "Green Concert", a show put together by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, and organised by Dereck Mpofu, Mr Green Ambassador. This initiative seeks to  use the platform of musical entertainment to raise awareness about the importance of environmental care as well as finance assistance to those in need whose lives have been negatively affected by environmental issues.
In last year's Green Concert, popular South African musician Zahara came to Zimbabwe and performed alongside local artists to raise funds for the Tokwe Mukosi flood victims. Edgars went a step further and invited customers to participate in a collection drive to assist the members of the Tokwe Mukosi community by dropping off non-perishable items in donation bins at 6 branches nationwide. Edgars did not forget the Tsholotsho flood victims, and included them in this initiative. Edgars handed over the donations to the affected families in Tokwe Mukosi and Tsholotsho in July 2014.
Environmental issues continue to be a concern for Edgars, and our CSR strategy focuses on these as well as educational issues. Edgars regularly holds events such as street cleanups in an effort to be stewards of the environment. We look forward to the 2015 Green Concert as an event that will once more remind us of the importance and necessity of looking after Our ZImbabwe.






Edgars Stores values the opportunity to touch the lives of vulnerable Zimbabweans within our communities. 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an annual global movement from 25 November to 10 December, and is a time to galvanise action to end violence against women and girls. Local radio station ZiFm Stereo participated in the 16 Days campaign last year, dedicating programmes to the issue of gender-based violence. One such programme hosted by talk show host Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa featured rape survivor Precious, whose story Edgars was able to hear for the first time through Ruvheneko's programme.

26-year-old Precious was interviewed alongside members of the Adult Rape Clinic, and listeners were told of her story having been brutally beaten and raped after hitchhiking a lift from Shamva. Due to fear and issues of victimisation, Precious had suffered in silence for months after the ordeal, not knowing who to turn to for help. When  Precious was able to open up to her sister, she was persuaded to seek help from the Adult rape clinic, and found that she was now HIV positive as well as pregnant, with her health severely affected. Precious is a mother three and had been living with her in-laws, but was left destitute after her story came to light as she was blamed for trying to bewitch her husband who at that time was residing in South Africa.
Edgars was deeply touched by the story of what Precious had suffered, and decided to take some action to offer assistance. Edgars paid for her children's school fees and provided some clothing for them over the Christmas Holidays. Precious is truly thankful for the gesture, and on a follow-up interview at Zifm, she thanked the Adult Rape Clinic and Edgars Stores, and appealed for assistance to be given to other women who are in similar situations. Precious touched so many lives by speaking out about her story and being a true survivor of what happened to her. Edgars Stores continues to wish her and her family all the very best for the future.

Edgars Donates Wheelchair to Gweru Customer
Late last year, the Edgars Club was touched to learn about the plight of one of our customers, Jeremiah Chikweshera of Gweru, whose wife has been in consistent pain after the couple was involved in a bus accident in 2001. When the accident occurred, she jumped out of the bus which had caught fire, resulting in an injury to her leg. Doctors told her the injured leg would likely give her problems as the years progressed. 13 years down the road, Jeremiah's wife is indeed experiencing problems with the injured leg as well as the uninjured leg- which now carries all her body weight. As she also has diabetes, her weight has increased over the years, making walking for long distances unbearable.
As a pensioner whose only income is the NSSA grant, Jeremiah found that buying his wife the wheelchair she desperately needed was out of financial reach. However, he had hope in approaching the Edgars Corporate Social Responsibility Department after reading about Heather Sibindi in the Christmas issue of the Club Magazine, who we assisted with cash to replace lost property after her home was ravaged by fire. When Jeremiah reached out to Edgars, the response was positive and we were happy to donate a wheelchair to assist his wife.
Edgars values the opportunities to give back to members of our communities, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Chikweshera family.

One of the most regular events on the Edgars Corporate Social Responsibility calendar is the Bulawayo City cleanup drives that we regularly organise as well as participate in. In November last year, Edgars was proud to join hands with the local community to participate in the launch of the B-SWIP street cleaning programme, where we donated 20 street drum bins and joined in the effort to look after our environment and keep our streets cleans.

Group Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Stephen Guwa, was present with a team from Edgars and gave a speech in support of this important initiative. Edgars Graduate Trainees were also present and provided entertainment at the launch with their famous and exciting "y tjukutja" dance.

Edgars appreciates the value in joining hands and working together as the people of Zimbabwe to work within our communities. Environmental issues impact our lives daily and we only have one Zimbabwe, so it is up to all of us to look after one another and our environment. Edgars has more environmentally-focused events that we look forward to participating in this year. We call for our partners and Club members to join us in these initiatives, and we thank you for your support thus far.

The Edgars Corporate Social Responsibility Department values the opportunity to join hands with other Zimbabwean organisations  seeking to positively impact our communities. Recently, Edgars was able to partner with Drummond-Sunset Chickens in a chicken income generating project to sustain underprivileged Bulawayo homes: Ekuphumuleni Geriatric Nursing Home and Entembeni Old People's home.
This project was immensely valuable because of its potential to sustain these homes over an extended period of time, as opposed to bringing short-lived relief. Drummond-Sunset Chickens provided the chicks and feed, and Edgars then organised and managed the project. Drummond-Sunset collected the first 1000 birds for slaughter in early march from Ekuphumuleni, with the available fowl runs having a capacity to hold 5 000 birds.

Edgars Stores would like to thank our partners in this and other projects, who help us to make a difference. The importance of ongoing projects that have a positive long-term impact cannot be understated, and we hope to be able to continue to undertake projects with a long-term vision.




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