Changing Lives: How Buckman Empowers Young Women and Children.

Changing Lives: How Buckman Empowers Young Women and Children.

27 Jul 2023


For the past seven years, Buckman Laboratories, a prominent chemical company operating in 90 countries since 1945, has joined forces with the DO MORE FOUNDATION to create a positive impact on communities in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal. By focusing on uplifting and empowering young women and children, Buckman and DO MORE have supported initiatives that foster sustainable businesses and promote Early Childhood Development (ECD).

One of the initiatives supported through this collaboration is the Township Economy Programme. With the objective of empowering women to become successful business owners, this initiative has proved to be transformative for the community. Each year, 20 women are carefully selected and provided with comprehensive training, practical skills, and entrepreneurial acumen necessary to run sustainable businesses. These businesses encompass a range of sectors, including catering, beauty salons, and event designing.

Thanks to the support of Buckman and other investors, a total of 20 young women have established sustainable businesses, benefiting approximately 100 dependents including their children. These women are now able to take their small businesses to the next level and accelerate their businesses growth.

Robyn Clark, HR Generalist in the Skills Development division at Buckman, said: “For the past 7 years, Buckman has chosen to partner with the DO MORE FOUNDATION as we have seen first-hand the positive effect that these projects have had on the Hammarsdale community. We know that when we support Do More, our funds will reach the people that need it most in a manner that is sustainable and impactful through projects like the Township Economy Programme. We love seeing the people in our community being uplifted and supported in ways that will provide a more secure future for them and their families.”

Beyond supporting women entrepreneurs, Buckman has also played a vital role in ensuring the sustainability of 25 unregistered ECD centres in the community. By providing funding to establish 25 ECD centre food gardens, these centres have been taught how to efficiently utilise their land and gardens to grow fresh vegetables that will add to the daily nutrition of their learners.

The initiative adopts a holistic approach, involving practitioners, children, and school gardeners, all working together to provide fresh, organic vegetables for the children's consumption. Moreover, a financial model was introduced, allowing parents to purchase fresh surplus produce from the garden. The revenue generated from this enables the ECD centres to purchase seedlings, maintain their gardens, and invest in much-needed early learning resources.

In the early stages of the partnership as part of their commitment to environmental sustainability, Buckman and the DO MORE FOUNDATION helped in establishing local communal gardens in Hammarsdale. These communal gardens employed scores of previously unemployed women who now could make a living from small scale farming. Innovative farming techniques and organic farming methods were used to upskill local women. The result was flourishing green gardens and economically viable endeavours contributing to the community's overall sustainability.

These remarkable initiatives undertaken by Buckman and DO MORE demonstrate their commitment to addressing broader Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Responsible Consumption (SDG 12), and Collaborative Partnerships (SDG 17).