She explains that she has been a brand ambassador of Women of Worth from inception, when the initiative was launched by Dr Bev Wolmarans. Carla was officially named the Face of Significance at a function in August, last year.I fell in love with the cause, as well as the creative and innovative way in which the NGO and I Am Worthy concept elevates and enriches women by making them feel special, while at the same time using part of their proceeds for reaching out to abused women and orphaned children,” she says. The project has been part of the Air Mauritius CSR interventions for the past two years, and, she says “In terms of marketing, advertising and community investment, it is part of what I personally subscribe to. I have elected to proudly support and represent Significance as part of my CSR budget.
Air Mauritius believes in investing in its local communities hence our investment in South Africa. In this journey called life; I have a responsibility to give back, to impact my community positively and to make a SIGNIFICANT difference, irrespective of how small or big the initiative may be. Knowing I have been able to make an impact and difference in the lives of these orphans and women, is the most rewarding factor of being the face of Significance.” Carla believes that the title itself represents humility, love, passion leadership and the fact that dreams do come alive if you passionately pursue them. “Motivating, mentoring and inspiring women adds enormous value to their lives, and thus has always been a critical focus in my career,” she explains.
Responsible Organisations Support Worthy Causes
According to Carla, it is imperative for organisations and people to actively get involved, to support worthy causes, as it is socially responsible and in line with good governance to make a positive impact and contribution to disadvantaged communities and the environment. Samantha Bronkhorst, General Manager of I Am Worthy, expounds that the organisation’s influence within the local community takes the form of outreach programmes in which shelters for victims of abuse and orphans are visited on a regular basis. Such appointments seek to address not only the physical, but also the emotional and psychological needs of the people they reach out to. “In terms of the social issues we address, we remove many children from the streets, providing them with food, shelter and love, and above all, helping them to change their life situations and improve their future outlook. We will continue to strive to make a difference and help the less fortunate,” she says. Carla adds: “I have the utmost regard and respect for those who serve wholeheartedly in their communities, who are actively involved in making a difference and touching the hearts of people.”
Her goals for her year of reign?
“My key goals and objectives are to raise the profile of this cause, to expose, promote and support all its encompassing and strategic initiatives. Funds are desperately required to build a Children’s village, which is also part of what I aim to achieve. I also wish to contribute and support with love and care for the orphans and abused women. Carla shares, “Part of my aim therefore, is the need to increase the number of corporate sponsorships. But also, apart from the practical issues, I would like to inspire and counsel women so that they too achieve; accomplish their individual dream walls and be the very best that they can be.”
And the legacy you would like to leave at the end of your reign?
“To have made an impact, to have fostered a certain immutable change in the lives of the people touched by this programme, for one. “Caring, giving and supporting charity and earnest causes of this nature is the responsible and right thing to do for every one of us. We cannot conquer the world’s challenges, the famine, all the orphans and abused women, but we can certainly start by making a difference within our immediate communities and where we can make a measurable change for the better. “Together everyone can achieve more and united, with everybody’s efforts and contributions, a children’s village can be built, because of a dream that was actively pursued, kept alive and eventually was born into reality. I hope to bring the message that Women are Worthy, and can indeed achieve all they dream in their hearts.” Carla says she believes that we were created for a bigger purpose. We were created to make a difference, touch the lives of people and make a difference.
She ensures that Air Mauritius places enormous emphasis on its human capital and that it continuously develops, invests and enhances its staff capabilities. The carrier is presently running a programme called ‘Harnessing your human capital,’ which rewards staff for their sterling contributions. Carla’s responsibilities as head of the Southern Africa and Latin America operations, sees her administering an almost R300-million operation. Her passion for CSR shines through in her involvement in Significance and by being named brand ambassador. She concludes: “Life is a journey; it is the meaningful way in which we touch individuals and influence communities that we ultimately take with us one day.”
* I Am Worthy is located on the corner of Atlas road and Silverwings Boulevard, Parkhaven, Boksburg, Gauteng. For more information visit where the cause can be supported.
Abuse Touches Everyone
Figures indicate that 90% of women interviewed, had experience emotional abuse, especially in the form of being humiliated in front of others.
The same study indicated that 90% had been physically abused, pushed, shoved, slapped or hit
42.5% of women has experienced all forms of abuse.
Source : POWA (People Opposing Women Abuse)
Corporate Social Responsibility reaches into Communities
Women all over the globe have taken a stance against abuse. Much is said at certain times of the year about this topic with global awareness campaigns highlighting the challenges. However, in some instances help is quietly being extended to those in need, by means of supporting initiatives like Significance (previously Women of Worth) and the I Am Worthy product range.
Initiatives like this can turn shopping in-store and online into something which is much more than merely a convenience on the part of the consumer. Every purchase means a portion of the proceeds are channeled as CSR contributions to the support and upliftment of abused women and orphaned children. Carla da Silva, the Face of Women of Worth, and Regional Manager, Southern Africa and Latin America of Air Mauritius, has always considered women as a priority in her career.
by Ilse Ferreira