A non-profit organisation based in Tongaat has received a much-needed boost after Engen employee Navin Soudammaused the company’s Employee Community Partnership Programme (ECPP) to help support members of his immediate community.

Sri Vishnu Kutambhakam, is a faith-based organisation that has provided feeding scheme support, and training and development to communities across KwaZulu-Natal since 1982.

With the Tongaat community hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, the recent floods in the province exacerbated the dire socio-economic challenges already facing many residents of the town, which is situated about 40 kilometres north of Durban.

As a direct witness to the area’s dire poverty through his volunteer work for Sri Vishnu Kutambhakam, Soudamma, decided to apply for funding through the Engen’s ECPP to help feed the many hungry families in the area.

“When I found out that the NPO had no pots of their own and were hiring pots, I knew that something needed to be done,” reflects Soudamma, who is employed as a Delivery Controller at Engen.

“The pots required for mass feeding are costly, as they are much larger than standard pots, so if Sri Vishnu Kutambhakam owned their own pots, they could use these to save on hiring costs, which would increase the output of meals produced.”

Soudamma says he sought support for Sri Vishnu Kutambhakam through Engen’s ECPP because he truly believes in the work that they are doing.

“Not only do they support the religious needs of the community, but they also provide free training and education, stationery, clothing and a mass feeding scheme, which uplifts the community,” he adds.

Engen commends Navin Soudamma for showing commitment and playing a leading role to make a difference in the Tongaat community, says the company’s Head of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement, Dr James Nyawera.

“By identifying Sri Vishnu Kutambhakam, Navin’s efforts are helping to uplift the community,” says Nyawera.

“This is the very aim of the Employee Community Partnership Programme, which seeks to create meaningful partnerships between Engen employees who are involved in community upliftment initiatives, and their local communities, and thereby further foster a caring company ethos.”

Sri Vishnu Kutambhakam was eligible for a R5 000 ECPP grant from Engen.