Awards and Recognitions
The project has received the Gold Medal for excellence in Corporate Social Investment by the American Chamber of Commerce in December 2013 – awarded by South Africa’s Deputy President. Alongside this, the project was globally recognized by the International Centre for Research on Women as the ‘Champion of Change’ on International Women’s Day in Washington DC in 2009. (see articles below).
Project partners from left to right: Mpho Ndebele – Department of energy,director of community Upliftment and programmes ;, Lufuno Muvhango – IMAGE project director; Vannessa Du Prezz – WHC , general manager grants and compliance); Moshoana Ruth – SEF, Gauteng regional manager; Nobuzwe Mbuyisa – Chairman Chevron SA ; Andile Gaelesiwe – programme director, Gender activist and SABC 1 TV personality; Miranda Anthony – Chevron SA ,SCI Manager.
Each year, two global awards for excellence are bestowed by the International Centre for Research on Women on International Women’s Day to one private sector and one NGO project who have excelled as ‘champions of change’ in improving the status of women. The NGO award was given to The IMAGE Project and Small Enterprise Foundation, who work in partnership with Anglo Platinum.
The program delivers a combined package of microfinance loans for income generation alongside a participatory gender and HIV training curriculum. The IMAGE program aims to improve women’s economic wellbeing and financial independence, reduce vulnerability to HIV and gender-based violence, and to foster wider community mobilization to address the key drivers of the HIV pandemic.
The awards ceremony was held in Union Station in Washington DC. The keynote speaker for the event was the Honourable Cherie Blair, wife of former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. The event was attended by 400 dignitaries including ambassadors, business men and women, Supreme Court Justices, CNN anchors and celebrities.
Lufuno Muvhango (IMAGE Director) accepted the award on behalf of the IMAGE project.
Chevron South Africa, the leading refiner and marketer of Caltex fuel and lubricant products celebrated its win at the annual American Chamber of Commerce Thanksgiving and Awards evening which recently took place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Chevron was awarded gold in the health and wellness category for its outstanding Corporate Social Investment (CSI) partnership with the Intervention with Micro Finance for AIDS and Gender Equity (IMAGE) programme.
“The IMAGE programme is very dear to our hearts and we are thrilled to be acknowledged for this particular CSI initiative. As we are currently honouring the national 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign in South Africa, we are extremely proud to be associated with the IMAGE programme as it embodies the activism campaign and assists in changing women’s lives for the better, daily,” says Nobuzwe Mbuyisa, Chairperson of Chevron South Africa.
IMAGE, a community based economic, HIV and gender-based violence prevention programme is designed to reach disadvantaged women and their households. The programme aims to improve women’s economic wellbeing and independence, combining group-based microfinance with gender and a HIV training curriculum called Sisters For Life (SFL) to reduce their vulnerability to intimate partner violence, which is an independent driver of HIV.
Every second year the American Chamber of Commerce present awards for excellence related to CSI programmes. Judging criteria for the awards include the CSI programmes’ achievement of objectives, effectiveness and impact, sustainability, innovation and creativity as well as overall impression.
Chevron recently announced it’s ongoing partnership with the IMAGE programme at a celebration event in Hammanskraal in Northern Gauteng. The event highlighted the project’s success to date in empowering women in the large rural communities of Hammanskraal and Mabopane, which are recognised as previously disadvantaged areas.
Partnering organisations of the IMAGE programme include; United States Aid for International Development (USAID), Wits Health Consortium (WHC) and the Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF).
“The real winner is Lufuno Muvhango, IMAGE Project Director and her inspiring team who touches the lives of so many women on a daily basis. Chevron has partnered with the IMAGE programme since 2011 and we’ve witnessed the remarkable work and progress that is happening within these communities,” says Mbuyisa.
Mbuyisa adds, “It is very encouraging to see such a successful programme that is so professional and well-managed.”
The three core focus areas for Chevron’s social investment strategy include economic development, health and education, and the IMAGE programme encapsulates all three elements. “Initiatives such as the IMAGE programme truly highlights the importance and effectiveness of partnerships and alignment between South African NGO’s, communities and the public and private sector,” concludes Mbuyisa.