May 16, 2011 9:50 AM

Pray for Japan from South Africa

Ms. Brenda (left) and、Ms. Eustacia (right)

▲ Ms. Brenda (left) and、Ms. Eustacia (right)

I’m Yamawaki, of SEWS South Africa Pty. Ltd, located in South Africa. Soon after the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, employees of the company proposed sending donations to help disaster victims, and launched fund-raising activities.

Ms. Brenda (left in photo) played a central role in raising relief money from factory staff, and Ms. Eustacia (right in photo) worked as a coordinator of various support activities, including the purchase of “Pray for Japan” charity T-shirts.

We collected about 116,000 yen in relief money, including 58,000 yen raised from staff, and monetary donations from myself and the company.

In conjunction with the fund-raising activities, we purchased charity T-shirts for all employees of our company, so that they can wear the shirts on casual days. It is said that 80% of the T-shirt sales will be used as aid money. Combined with about 160,000 yen paid to buy the charity T-shirts, we donated about 276,000 yen in total to help victims of the earthquake and tsunamis.

Our donations were sent through a volunteer group, Pray for Japan from South Africa, mainly comprising Japanese women who work for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in South Africa. This group is working as an assistant unit of a Japanese NPO, ADRA Japan (the Japanese branch of ADRA, an international NGO with about 250 branches around the world) in South Africa. In the recent charity initiatives, Pray for Japan from South Africa collected donations of about 4 million yen, including proceeds from the sale of 3,500 T-shirts and relief money.

One reason why our company chose to send its donations through this group was that it started charity activities only two days after the Great East Japan Earthquake, far sooner than the Japanese Embassy, Japanese associations and other similar organizations. Another reason was that we considered it more effective to entrust our money to an organization that already managed on-site shelters, rather than to the Red Cross or other large organizations, for which our sincere but small contributions would just be a drop in the bucket. Our company employees are also very pleased with this decision.

SEWS South Africa is a small company located next to Toyota South Africa Motors (Pty) Ltd., in Durban Area, South Africa. With about 100 employees, our company produces automotive wiring harnesses (and is said to be the smallest among harness manufacturers in the Sumitomo Electric Group). Although our company is small, all of us sincerely pray for the souls of the disaster victims, and fervently hope for the earliest possible recovery of the disaster-struck regions and all those affected.

Apart from the charity T-shirts for my company’s employees, I personally bought 70 T-shirts, most of which were kindly purchased by employees of Toyota Motor Corporation and affiliated companies. Kintetsu World Express Inc. provided us with generous support in transporting the charity T-shirts from Johannesburg to Durban free of charge. Let us take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to all those who have given us such kind cooperation.

All employees of SEWS South Africa

▲ All employees of SEWS South Africa


SEWS South Africa Pty. Ltd.
Established in 2004 in Durban, South Africa, SEWS South Africa Pty. Ltd. produces and sells automotive wiring harnesses and automotive components. The company has about 100 employees, its sales amounting to approximately 1.2 billion yen. In Africa, Japanese cars enjoy high popularity; some European automobile manufacturers, to produce cars for Japan and other Asian countries, have established production facilities in South Africa, where right-hand drive vehicles are standard.

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