Pres Les has been committed to empowering women since its foundation in 1971. Core to the company’s philosophy is an ethos of caring. Pres Les believes in sharing its success, and annually distributes a percentage of profits through charitable contributions and local community development projects.
“The needs of our country are daunting,” says Les Rührmund, former Pres Les CEO, but in the words of Blessed Mother Theresa: “If you can’t feed 100 people then just feed one”. In the last financial year, Pres Les was privileged to be able to make donations of over R1 000 000.
Pres Les encourages its Consultants to dream, believe and achieve. This philosophy also applies when it comes to the organisations that Pres Les supports. Through its charitable donations, Pres Les recognises that it has a responsibility to support and enrich the communities where its employees live and work, within the greater Cape Town metropole.
Pres Les believes in organisations that serve the most vulnerable and neglected members of society, and provides both cash and product donations to centres that care for children, the elderly, the dying and the disabled.
An organisation particularly close to the heart of Pres Les is Nazareth House, Cape Town, a charity founded in 1880 by a group of Irish nuns. Nazareth House aims to provide a loving, stable and secure home environment for abandoned, neglected, disabled and orphaned children, as well as a last resting place for children with terminal conditions who are unable to return home due to sociable ills. Compared to childcare, caring for the elderly is not a priority for most people. However, similarly to orphans, the elderly are often abused and abandoned or have no financial resources. Nazareth House provides residential care for frail aged men and women in desperate need.
Health care is crucial in every community and Pres Les offers significant support in both cash and products to Somerset Hospital which serves the bulk of the company’s employees in Cape Town and Atlantis and to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, the only hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa specializing in the medical treatment of children.
Pres Les believes that education is the foundation on which the future of our country will be built and channels significant donations to underprivileged children. Early childhood development is supported through both cash and product donations to the many Educare centres in struggling areas, including Khayelitsha, Matroosfontein, Mitchells Plain, Atlantis and Manenberg. In Atlantis, Pres Les supports three high schools with cash to provide equipment and facilities for the learners.
Pres Les also supports youth education among its own staff offering an educational assistance grant and a senior student bursary to their employees’ children from grade 8, and those studying at tertiary institutions.
Sponsorship for Tag Rugby is provided for “edutainment” in 10 schools in Atlantis. This programme is suitable for boys and girls of school going age and promotes healthy, social exercise while discouraging the use of recreational drugs.