MBSA provides relief to the Deaf through a face shields donation
From 01 May 2020, the use of face masks became mandatory across the nation. As they became part of the new normal, the majority of the deaf and hearing-impaired population encountered difficulties as they rely on visual clues, such as lip reading and facial expressions to communicate.
On Friday 31 July 2020, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee in partnership with the Product Planning Division (PPD) Department, handed over fifty (50) face shields to the Buffalo Deaf Association (BDA) in solidarity with the continued fight against this rampant pandemic.
The handover which was attended by the BDA beneficiaries, interpreter, as well as the transformation and People with Disabilities committee, was welcomed by Stefan Tritschler, Senior Manager Product Planning whose department had manufactured 3000 Face shields to support our beneficiaries as well as the Eastern Cape Community at large.
Speaking to the Association, Stefan, expressed the importance of inclusion and the substantial role organisations such as the Buffalo Deaf Association play, in ensuring that the government and nation as a whole, accounts for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. “Here in our organisation, the inclusion of disabled persons is more than an obligation for us. Building a transformed and socially responsive organisation is at the core of what we do. Since its inception, Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) has invested over R20 million towards people living with disabilities. We strive to embrace diversity, empowerment and development of previously disadvantaged sectors of our community, to become a part of an economically successful country.”
BDA founder and chairperson, Nomvuzo Luwaca, stated that the deaf community have severe challenges during this time, and are unable to effectively communicate their needs when they need assistance. Nomawethu Pali from Mdantsane, who has been deaf all her life, was thankful for the facial shields. "Wearing the transparent shield masks makes communication easier and it is clearer for us to see facial expression, because facial expression is key. Our lives will now be easier," said Pali. Thank you to all the departments involved in organising this handover and ensuring these personal protective gears are made available and ready for distribution.