Children attending the Emthonjeni Community Centre pre-school enjoying Easter egg fun with their teachers and the team from City Lodge Hotel Group. Emthonjeni head of partnership development, Estelle Mengel, pictured centre back.
To make the day even more special, the team from City Lodge Hotels handed out Easter eggs to the children attending the nursery school on site. Marnitz de Beer, general manager at Road Lodge Sandton, Liz Clarke, general manager at City Lodge Hotel Sandton, Morningside and her assistant general manager, Khanyisile Zulu were on hand to meet and greet the children and their teachers, and the children sang happy songs in appreciation.
City Lodge Hotels’ relationship with Emthonjeni Community Centre goes back to 2018, and last year the group donated R228,000 worth of goods to this multi-faceted organisation. Most of the items go into the centre’s Swop Shop, with Zandspruit residents earning points from bringing in glass for recycling, which they can then “spend” on a wide range of goods that have been donated. From books and toys, clothing and household goods, to bedding and building supplies, the Swop Shop offers everything the residents of this impoverished area need to build a life with dignity that does not require ready money.
City Lodge Hotel Group and Emthonjeni Community Centre enjoy a great relationship: (back, from left) Marnitz de Beer, general manager Road Lodge Sandton; Evelyn Gouwe from Emthonjeni; and Liz Clarke, general manager City Lodge Hotel Sandton, Morningside. (Front, from left) Estelle Mengel from Emthonjeni and Khanyisile Zulu, assistant general manager City Lodge Hotel Sandton, Morningside.
It was all hands on deck as the mountain of bedding, linen and toiletries was offloaded into the Emthonjeni Community Centre storage area: Marnitz de Beer, general manager Road Lodge Sandton and Khanyisile Zulu, assistant general manager City Lodge Hotel Sandton, Morningside.
Towelling is in strong demand as the centre has a sewing programme in which ladies sew reusable sanitary pads that are donated to girls in the area. The centre also houses a bakery, vegetable garden and feeding scheme. Emthonjeni’s mission is to uplift communities in need and head of partnership development, Estelle Mengel, says, “Word quickly spreads when we get large donations like the ones from City Lodge Hotel Group, and our local residents will soon be arriving to see what new items are on offer. The Swop Shop works very well to help people get what they need for their households in return for bringing in glass for recycling, and they get to save what little money they have for food.”
Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, chief operating officer of City Lodge Hotel Group, adds, “We are delighted that our hotels in Johannesburg continue to support Emthonjeni Community Centre and bring relief to this community in need. These relationships are built up over years and we get to see the amazing work that is done on our doorstep.”