In commemoration of International Day for Persons with Disabilities, Edcon hosted a celebratory event to at the Mall of Africa for raising R3,09million for Casual Day (South Africa’s leading fundraising initiative for persons with disabilities). The funds were raised through sticker donations by customers at the various Edcon stores during this year and to commemorate the International Day for Persons with Disabilities.
The event was held at the Jet store, Mall of Africa, which is the store that raised the most funds for the cause this year, and staff members were awarded a R10 000 prize for their dedication to making a success of the campaign. “As Edcon, we strongly believe in the principle of an inclusive environment for all not only in the workplace, but across all sectors and areas of society.It was humbling and remarkable to see our staff members take on the challenge and raise R3 million in support of organisations working with persons with disabilities,” said Dr. Urin Ferndale, Chief Executive, Jet.
Earlier this year, Edcon announced a three-year extension of its contract as anchor sponsor of Casual Day, extending the partnership with the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities (NCPPDSA) to six years in an effort to support thier advocacy work for the empowerment of persons with disabilities, and to eliminate prejudice, social isolation and discrimination across South Africa.
According to South Africa’s white paper for the rights of persons with disabilities, persons with disabilities face different levels of discrimination and exclusion. Women and girls with disabilities may face double discrimination based on both disability and gender. “Prejudice and marginalisation of persons with disabilities remain rife in our society and needs to be addressed. As Edcon, we are committed to the inclusion and protection of persons with disabilities. Our partnership with the NCPPDSA amplifies our ongoing support for diversity through initiatives such as disability learnerships, employment, as well as access to equal opportunity,” said Dr. Ferndale.
“It is important to focus on the ability and not on the disability of an individual,” explains Ferndale. “We raised conversations on disability on our social media platforms to help educate our communities. We then took on the initiative to raise more funds this year than ever before engaging with our staff who were excited to reaching this goal and they did, “said a proud Dr. Ferndale
“EDCON has been instrumental in enhancing the lives of persons with disability through empowerment, dignity, respect, in their partnership with Casual Day. We, NCPD, can never thank EDCON enough”, said Dorothy-Anne Howitson, Vice Chairman of NCPPDSA. Funds raised through the Casual Day campaign go towards advocacy of rights, empowerment and provision of resources to help support persons with disabilities.