Given that we’re at the beginning of the season of Goodwill, FleetWatch thought it apt to capture this spirit in our industry via a story around the opened-hearted giving of Liqui Moly team members, customers and partners to children at the Liqui Moly Superhero Academy.
It was last Wednesday that they all arrived at the Academy to spread some early Christmas joy with special treats for the kids. The little ones enjoyed games, unwrapped personal gifts with great excitement and showed off the soccer skills they’ve learnt through Soccer Starz. Inflatable slip-and-slides provided splashy thrills on a hot Gauteng day.
The Liqui Moly Superhero Academy is a passion project for Liqui Moly managing director Melicia Labuschagne and her team. “Children from communities struggling with unemployment, poverty and drug addiction face enormous challenges through no fault of their own. It’s up to us to protect and nurture these young lives. They are the future. That’s why at Liqui Moly we will always focus on supporting children. The Superhero Academy is the heart of Liqui Moly, it’s a place where we can give back, invest in children and bring hope.”
Opened in February 2018, the Liqui Moly Superhero Academy has since been changing the lives of vulnerable children from the broader homeless community who receive shelter, food and medical care at the New Beginnings Care Centre, a rehabilitation and support centre for homeless families.
In collaboration with Joint Aid Management (JAM), the Liqui Moly team completely transformed the original on-site crèche at the Centre from dilapidated garden sheds to a brand new environment filled with toys and equipment where children can grow and learn in safety. The school is now a safe haven for 70 children, including the crèche pre-schoolers and after-care schoolchildren right up to high school.
Leigh Scheepers, principal of the Liqui Moly Superhero Academy, says: “Without the care and commitment of Liqui Moly, this would not have been a school. It’s amazing how these fertile young minds can thrive in the right environment. With the help of our sponsors, we’re working hard to uplift the entire community, starting with little ones from three months old right up to matric students.”
Beyond the initial R1.3-million revamp, Liqui Moly has continued to contribute to on-going costs. “We help with teacher salaries, a feeding scheme, psychiatric counselling and soccer training. We also help to maintain the school and respond to any other needs. Of course, we also support them with all the Liqui Moly oils and lubricants for their vehicles and equipment,” says Labuschagne. “It’s so rewarding to see the changes here – from heartbreak to happiness.”
Liqui Moly also gets partners and customers involved. “We’re fortunate that so many partners of ours have seen the opportunity to be able to invest and add value to the centre. We are so grateful for every partner of ours that has gone into their pockets and found ways they can give back,” says Labuschagne. “MAXXIS Tyres have generously contributed to the cause and will also donate tyres for the vehicles of the centre as well as sand for the sandpit.
“Other contributions and donations from our teams in the 94.7 Cycle Challenge will help us to add new metal playground equipment in the new year. The Christmas party has been made possible by investments from a number of different partners. We really appreciate every contribution.”
Going forward, Labuschagne says Liqui Moly would like to further develop the play area and classrooms so that the children can develop in sports and academically. “It’s about adding value and giving these children resources and the right educational environment so they can have the best chance of success.”
Liqui Moly’s commitment to caring for children doesn’t stop there. The organisation also partners with Carte Blanche Making a Difference (MAD) Trust to ensure children have access to the specialised paediatric ICU equipment they need at the Tyger Valley Hospital in Cape Town.
This year might have seen these kids get an early Christmas party but it’s obvious that Liqui Moly plays a Santa role to these kids throughout the year. Salute to all of you and Happy Christmas.