Discovery executive events manager Shamim Pierre-Eugene has inspired Discovery employees to help give essential goods to vulnerable communities. Staff members also donated blankets to Stretford Clinic and knitted scarves and beanies for orphanages.
Discovery executive events manager Shamim Pierre-Eugene leads theforum@discovery, a team of 20 people that organises conferences for CEOs, financial advisers, doctors, media and international visitors.
Since July 2020, Shamim and her team have used theforum@discovery’s kitchens and facilities to prepare and supply 800 meals a week to people who are in need during COVID-19. To date, theforum@discovery has made 12 850 meals.
Shamim has also started a second initiative to donate essential goods to under-resourced communities. Since July, she has mobilised Discovery employees and raised a substantial amount that will go towards buying essential food and personal care items for people in need.
Since July 2020, Discovery employees have raised funds towards essential food and personal care items for communities vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19.
Small acts of kindness have a ripple effect
Shamim explains why she started the initiative to collect and donate essential goods for under-resourced communities most vulnerable to COVID-19.
“I want to help the thousands of people who are struggling to feed and support their families during the COVID-19 crisis,” she says. “I have seen how small acts of kindness can have a ripple effect and make a huge difference in people’s lives. I am proud to be a part of a movement that is connecting us to communities through kindness, in the spirit of Ubuntu – togetherness.”
"I am proud to be a part of a movement that is connecting us to communities through kindness, in the spirit of Ubuntu – togetherness." – Shamim Pierre-Eugene
Shamim and her team will use the funds to buy essential goods for various organisations, including The Gathering, Lusemanzi Early Childhood Development, Stretford Community Health Centre in Orange Farm, Home of Hope for Girls, Shalom Faith Ministries, Helderberg Society for the Aged. They will also buy essential goods for informal settlements and people who do not have homes.
“Your contributions mean the world to someone else”
To help stave off the cold, the Discovery Care team donated blankets to the Stretford Community Health Centre. The Discovery Care leadership team had a knitting challenge in their department during lockdown and created a total of 52 beautiful blankets in support of the CSI initiative.
To help stave off the cold, the Discovery Care team donated blankets to the Stretford Community Health Centre and knitted scarves and beanies for orphanages.
Three women representing the Discovery switchboard, Niri Heeralall, Christina Notley and Una Sirpal, knitted 229 scarves and beanies for the orphanages, while Rebecca Malebye donated the wool.
“For me, helping others is an important aspect of living a good life. I have always been motivated to help others because I have faced some hardships in my own life and overcame them with the kindness of those who offered me a helping hand,” Shamim says.
“I am so grateful and touched by everyone’s generosity,” she says. “The project was made possible by Fareed Chothia who is the Head of Corporate Services, who has been actively involved, and by Discovery’s sustainability specialists, Priscilla Morley and Andronica Mabuya.”
“The forum team, Agrippa Khumalo and Aaron Seboyane, have been instrumental in the initiative. I really admire their drive, tenacity and commitment,” she adds.
“This crisis has hit the most vulnerable the hardest,” Shamim concludes. “Giving connects us to each other, creating stronger communities and helping to build a happier society for everyone. However small your contribution is, it means the world to someone else.”
About the Discovery Foundation
Since 2006, the Discovery Foundation has invested over R256 million in grants to support academic medicine through research, development and training medical specialists in South Africa.
The Discovery Foundation is an independent trust with a clear focus – to strengthen the healthcare system – by making sure that more people have access to specialised healthcare services. Each year, the Discovery Foundation gives five different awards to outstanding individual and institutional awardees in the public healthcare sector.
theforum@discovery has opened its kitchens and facilities to provide 800 meals a week to communities in the dire grips of hunger as a result of COVID-19. The executive events team has also started a second initiative to give essential items to people in need.
In 2018, Discovery volunteers taught 60 learners from Aha Thuto Secondary School in Orange Farm how to solve problems using design thinking. This year, Discovery visited 10 learners who had come up with innovative solutions to address food security.
Discovery usability analysts Ashnee Gounden and Magdalene Kamau spoke at the 2020 UX South Africa Conference in July about the successes and challenges of a design-thinking mentorship project they launched in 2018 at a high school in Orange Farm.