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Ford SA’s initiative to produce protective face shields for front-line workers such as essential services and medical personnel in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has been given a boost, with the Gift of the Givers Foundation coming on board to provide the banking facility for the funds being raised.

The funds raised for this initiative will go towards the purchase of material kits for the face shields.

Thus far, Ford has already provided the funding for an initial 57 000 face shields but approached its suppliers and business partners to contribute to this initiative as they aim to reach the goal of producing 500 000 units. Gift of the Givers has been involved in many charitable projects before and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In return, Ford is supporting the organisation during the lockdown with Ford vehicles in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban to assist communities in need.

To date, over 44 000 face shields have been produced by the dedicated team of 85 Ford employees and volunteers from supplier companies at its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria. Currently, they are producing more than 10 000 units per day and their commendable work is supported by Ford’s manufacturing, purchasing, finance and material planning and logistics (MP&L) staff, who are working from home during the COVID-19 national lockdown but are instrumental in the overall success of the project. Ford employees and supplier company volunteers involved in the production process work according to strict COVID-19 health and personal hygiene guidelines. All staff are screened regularly for symptoms of the virus and maintain appropriate social distancing. They are required to wear latex gloves, face masks and the face shields at all times.

The face shields produced thus far have primarily been supplied to the Department of Health’s centralised distribution centre. The shields are manufactured to global health standards, using a clear polythene sheet, polyurethane foam padding and a headband which wraps around the user’s face, protecting the eyes, nose and mouth against the spread of the coronavirus. Clear instructions are provided on how to wear the shield correctly, along with cleaning and storage guidelines. The shields are designed to be reusable and sanitised after each use.

Any queries regarding making donations can be e-mailed to: socialme@ford.com by using the reference: Ford SA COVID-19.

(Creamer Media Reporter)

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