Prologue: One day an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked, he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one. Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. The young boy looked up and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. They can’t return to the sea by themselves and when sun gets high, they will die.” The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.” The boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the sea. He then smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
At C&J Services we understand we cannot help everyone, but we can change lives one by one. And by changing one life, you change a family, a generation and a community. Our strengths and passions are focused on the power of education. We support all levels from primary and early development through to secondary and access to tertiary and vocational training. Education has the ability to stretch beyond financial means but to a person’s self-worth, pride and dignity, the corner stones of self-empowerment. Our commitment to CSR is part of a bigger system of people, values, other organizations and environmental stewardship.
With a staff of over 250, C&J Services has a strong community network to allow direct access to those most in need within our reach. We form personal relationships with the organisations and individuals to experience first-hand where resources are most needed and know the people we are supporting. Through personal relationships our support goes beyond economic and opens a trusted and safe dialog for financial guidance, career advice and emotional support. We can offer personal assistance with tasks like opening bank accounts, managing home expenses, registering with schools, care facilities and sporting opportunities.
We couldnt be prouder to welcome Lungelo the C&J Services family. Thanks to work of The Clifton Foundation we had the oppertunity to meet this incredibly gifted student in January 2022 and make his dream of studying Engineering at UCT a reality.
Please read Lugelo's incredible story here.
Director Tracey Parry and Lungelo Mabaso
The Cornerstone of Community
Going forward in 2022 we have made a commitment to an area we feel is the driving force in strengthening a community, the empowerment of women. We will continue to back development from a primary school level but so many women fall through the secondary educational system and are left without opportunity from an early adult age. Due to the social status of woman and the patriarchal nature in communities, girls are often forced to leave school to be mothers and care takers for the home and sick relatives. An un-educated woman without access to skills development or the possibility of earning levees herself venerable to poverty, violence and femicide. One of the ways we plan on addressing this issue within our own community is pushing for more employment of female staff at an entry level. Without previous experience we can offer basic skills development in manufacturing, picking, packing, sorting and quality control inspections. After some time spent in those areas we can establish where her skills shine and offer more training and therefore more earning potential.
The lovley ladies of the C&J Factory
Enviromantal & Economic Commitment
At C&J Services, Corporate social responsibility is not just good ethics but good business. We believe in a holistic approach to all aspects of business from the happiness of our staff and customers to the conscious environmental impact of our business. In early 2022 we made an R100 000 000 investment to using clean renewable energy for solar panels to power the head offices, warehousing, assembly and dispatch. We have also shifted away from single use packaging where possible to recyclable cardboard packaging and further incentive discounts for orders in bulk packaging. The 2022 edition of the C&J Catalogue will be the last hard copy printing as we move onto a fully integrated digital catalogue and ecommerce facility.
C&J Services, like the backbone of the South African economy was built on a single idea out of a garage. We know the struggles facing start-ups and small business in this economy and know that supporting local entrepreneurs is one way to make a positive and necessary impact. The C&J factory has a long-standing relationship with the KZN business community to offer local manufacturing facilities and opportunities to grow their businesses and create employment growth within the small business sector. While we acknowledge that the creation and the environmental consumption and waste have consequences, we are constantly looking at behaviours and technologies we can adopt and invest in to reduce a negative impact.
Just as the little boy with the star fish, we know the impact of every effort will make a difference to “that one”. The one individual who needs a helping hand, a better start to life, a safe space to grow and flourish and a promise of a better future. This pushes us to make those opportunities in reach to as many people as possible and the organisations who make those dreams a reality. The organisations who work tirelessly and often without recognition or thanks, C&J thanks you and will continue to support in an ever challenging and often debilitating environment. We will continue to do more!