Lagos, December 2019- Gifts, concerts, traveling, time with family and friends, a break from work/school and mouth watering delicacies are usually what people look forward to at Christmas.
One activity people can’t seem to avoid this period is shopping. Whether it’s for new clothes or gifts for loved ones, Christmas shopping can be both thrilling and overwhelming at the same time, not only for us, but for the environment as well.
In line with its commitment to spearheading climate protection across the globe, Sahara Group is using this exciting period to encourage everyone to shop smarter and cleaner, not only during this season, but to make it a lifestyle.
Before making any buying decisions, ask these two important questions:
1. Is it necessary?
Temptations abound during the holiday season and they come in all forms, from alluring adverts to eye-popping shopping deals. If you don’t slow down to ask yourself if you really need an item before purchasing, you could end up hurting your wallet and the environment.
To avoid this, take stock of what you already have and more importantly what you haven’t used in the last year especially with things like clothes, shoes and toys for example. It is best to plan to give out items that can be re-used and make a mental note of the things you don’t need to avoid unnecessary consumption and expenditure.
Next, have a holiday spending action plan/budget consisting of the following steps:
i. Decide on how much you can safely spend in total.
ii. Make a list of the different items you intend to purchase and put them into categories like groceries, clothing, gifts for family and friends, etc. Make sure your list is prioritized.
iii. Decide on how much you intend to spend on each category based on your total budget.
iv. Divide the amount in (iii) by the total number of items for each category.
v. Accept this amount as the maximum you can spend on each item.
Now, take this plan with you wherever you go to help you stay on track of your holiday spending. There are lots of free spending apps that can be downloaded to help you stay on top of your expenditure on the go. Try as much as possible to stay within your budget and you’ll find yourself making smarter and easier shopping decisions.
2. Is it kind to the environment?
Christmas is a season of excesses – excess buying, eating, decorating, and even partying. Just as everything else is in excess during the holiday season, so is waste. From the excessive plastic shopping bags associated with increased shopping during this period, the duplicitous gifts, to the copious gift packaging and wraps, the environment surely feels the impact of the season. While these activities can’t completely be avoided, we can make them more sustainable by reducing plastic waste.
Jute bags are an excellent alternative to plastic bags. Unlike plastic, jute is biodegradable and does not pollute the environment. It is firm and durable, and can be washed and reused as many times as possible.
The Green-Life Initiative, which was launched by Sahara Group with one of its objectives being to promote sustainable living and reduce the harmful impact of human activities on the environment and to help combat climate change, has introduced recyclable jute bags as one of its ‘weapons’ in this fight as a means to educate and raise awareness on the simple “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle” mantra.
By simply switching from plastic to recyclable jute bags when shopping this season, you are creating a cleaner, more sustainable environment by reducing the Green House Gases (GHG) emissions and contributing your quota towards combating climate change.
Christmas is a season of giving, so now is the perfect time to give back to the earth by reducing plastic waste by taking on biodegradable alternatives like jute bags.
It is very possible to have a memorable Christmas without breaking the bank and depleting the environment. Follow the tips above and let it be your special little gift to yourself and our planet!
Have a joyous Green Christmas!
The ELMA Group of Foundations Commits ZAR 2 Billion to COVID-19 Response in Africa
Unjani Clinics in South Africa received their shipment of much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for their nurses and staff, made possible with support from The ELMA South Africa Foundation (Pic credit: Unjani Clinics)
CAPE TOWN, South Africa- The ELMA Group of Foundations has announced a commitment of ZAR 2 billion to respond to COVID-19 and mitigate its impact on under-resourced and vulnerable communities in Africa. A minimum of ZAR 500 million of this commitment is for South Africa, and includes an immediate contribution by The ELMA South Africa Foundation of ZAR 250 million to The South African Solidarity Response Fund. The remaining ZAR 250 million will be used to fund a wide range of projects to mitigate the country-wide effects of COVID-19.
Bernadette Moffat, Exec. Dir.,The ELMA Philanthropies Services (Africa)(Pty) Ltd. and Chair of The ELMA South Africa Foundation, states, “ELMA has been investing in initiatives to improve the health, education, and well-being of children and the families and communities that support them since 2005. This new commitment to respond to the COVID-19 crisis demonstrates our absolute commitment to Africa and to Africa’s children.”
Commenting on the donation to the South Africa Solidarity Response Fund, Nomkhita Nqweni, CEO of the Solidarity Fund said, “We wish to extend our gratitude to The ELMA South Africa Foundation for the spirit of partnership they have displayed in working with us towards bolstering South Africa’s resilience against the COVID-19 pandemic. Collaboration and partnerships such as this are testament to the possibilities that exist when we combine efforts.”
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In addition to the ZAR250 million donation to the South Africa Solidarity Response Fund, ELMA is collaborating with other funders and partners on a variety of COVID-19 response initiatives across the continent. One such initiative is supporting community health workers and community care workers as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Ensuring that these essential workers have sufficient personal protective equipment, food, access to testing, and psycho-social support is a priority if we are to overcome COVID-19.
As such, The ELMA South Africa Foundation is collaborating with The South African Solidarity Response Fund, The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, Johnson and Johnson, The Horace W Goldsmith Foundation, to support an initiative led by the DG Murray Trust to provide personal protective equipment and other critical support to more than 120,000 community care workers delivering crucial health and social services across South Africa.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis for the African continent and requires a momentous response if we are to recover from the devastation it has and will cause,” adds Moffat. “We must come together in solidarity, especially those with means, so that Africa can overcome and rebuild. ELMA is proud to combine forces with other philanthropists, governments, and civil society organizations who are taking bold actions against COVID-19.”
Sahara Group Highlights Critical Role Of Intra-Africa Led Covid-19 Interventions
300-bed COVID-19 Isolation and Treatment Centre in Abuja (Credit: Sahara Group).
Lagos, Nigeria– Intra-Africa led collaboration and interventions by the private sector can help the continent bolster ongoing efforts geared towards containing the spread of COVID-19 as well as promote sustainable development across the continent, Temitope Shonubi, Executive Director, Sahara Group has said.
Speaking while taking journalists on a tour of the completed over 300-bed COVID-19 Isolation and Treatment Centre in Abuja, Shonubi said leading African businesses can leverage their membership of trade associations, the Private Sector Advisory Group platform of the United Nations and the African Influencers for Development (AI4Dev) platform of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to drive a more cohesive and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.
“Sahara Group, through our operations across Africa, has consistently demonstrated its support for intra-Africa led approach to promoting economic prosperity and sustainable development on the continent. Sahara Foundation, our corporate citizenship vehicle conceptualized the Abuja Isolation Centre project, partnered with the This Day media group and worked with other partners to deliver a world-class facility that will help save lives. Sahara is also supporting COVID-19 interventions across Africa and is exploring areas of further collaboration with other partners for the benefit of over 1.3 billion people that call Africa home,” he said.
Shonubi said Sahara Foundation’s concept for the project was driven by the desire to make a difference in how nations respond to the pandemic in terms of physical, mental, and socio-economic well-being of all Africans. “In addition to playing a major role in delivering the centre, Sahara and its entities have been involved in providing personal protective equipment and relief materials to help medical personnel and the vulnerable cope with the impact of the pandemic. We believe the ‘Africa for Africa’ message is one that can bring hope and succor to Africa at this time.”
According to Shonubi, who is also a member of UNDP Africa’s AI4Dev initiative, Sahara Group is also providing dry and cooked food to over one million beneficiaries, face masks, hand sanitizers and relief materials to communities where its power affiliates (Ikeja Electric, Egbin Power and First Independent Power Limited), upstream and other Sahara affiliates operate across Africa.
In Zambia, Asharami Energy Limited Company donated tens of thousands of hand-made fabric/Chitenge masks to shore up access to PPE and slow the spread of the virus. The company also publishes materials in English, Bemba, and Nyanja to facilitate the dissemination of information about the pandemic. In Kenya, Asharami Synergy Limited donated thousands of 5 litre jerrycans of hand sanitizers, whilst oxygen has been donated to hospitals in Ghana as well as Cote d’Ivoire to boost life support operations.
Sahara’s Downstream entity, Asharami Synergy, working in collaboration with other members of the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN), is providing support towards the completion and equipping of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in Abuja.
Located at the THISDAY Dome in Abuja, the centre was delivered by a coalition of partners including Sahara Foundation, THISDAY, CCECC, Arise News, The Presidency, Egbin Power, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Federal Capital Territory Authority, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, the Federal Ministry of Health, the African Finance Corporation, Central Bank of Nigeria through CaCovid. Wood Factory, the Regents school, the three fashion brands of Ebewele Brown, Traffic Clo and Syari Clothiers, Kenol, Mama Cass, 54 Gene and Central Park.
The Centre which will be overseen by the FCTA under the supervision of NCDC has a capacity of a minimum of 300 beds with provision for additional 8 Intensive Care Unit beds, ventilators, dialysis machines, protective equipment, and mobile facilities for testing.
Visit: Sahara Group
Nestlé provides COVID-19 relief worth over USD 3.4 million in Central and West Africa
Nestlé is also contributing masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep frontline health workers safe
ACCRA, Ghana- Nestlé is supporting more than 850,000 vulnerable people in Central and West Africa as part of a USD 3.4 million effort to help countries in the region fight COVID-19.
At a time when hunger is a growing concern the company is donating nutritious food and beverages to 170,000 families, corresponding to 850,000 people, across the region in Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameron, Gabon, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.
Nestlé is also contributing masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep frontline health workers safe.
The company is also donating medical equipment to hospitals in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal. Additionally, in Burkina Faso, it will donate three ventilators, for use in intensive care units.
Efforts to reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus will be carried out in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
“We’re offering our full support to families across Central and West Africa during these challenging times, and to those who are battling to keep them safe,” said Rémy Ejel, CEO of Nestlé Central and West Africa Ltd.
“Nestlé has been present in Central & West Africa for more than 60 years. We live and operate in these communities across the region, so we are committed to help in any way that we can”. Mr Ejel said.
Contributing to improving sanitation
Through its partnership with the IFRC, the company will contribute close to USD 420,000 to strengthen Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal.
The donation to the IFRC, which is part of the total relief effort in the region, includes cash donations and supply of medical and other equipment.
The two partners aim to limit the transmission of the virus by improving hygiene practices in public areas such as bus stations and in communities where WASH infrastructure is lacking.
In addition, they will join forces to sensitize people about prevention measures and the importance of eating safe and nutritious foods.
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Providing affordable accessible nutrition
Nestlé in Central and West Africa is committed to ensuring people continue to have access to safe, affordable and nutritious foods to feed their families in these uncertain times.
Production has continued at Nestlé sites in the region, despite the challenges faced.
Nestlé has implemented enhanced hygiene protocols and additional safety measures for the frontline staff working at its ten factories, its distribution centres and its sales offices.
PPE has also been provided to suppliers, distributors and retailers, including MAGGI ‘Mammies’ and ‘Pappies’ working in open markets.
“We are doing all we can to ensure that our employees, contractors and partners remain healthy and safe. This is our number one priority” said Mr Ejel. “We are so grateful for their efforts and their determination to keep supplying our communities with food and beverages, despite the challenges.”