There’s no denying the link between colours and our emotions. We even have an abundance of idioms to show how colour can affect mood. This is because colours send subliminal messages to our brain. In a home for people facing challenges relating to mental ability, where they may be hyper-sensitive to visual input, the significance of using colour in the décor and immediate surroundings is more important than originally believed. Recognising this and aware of its responsibility to organisations dependent on funding, PPG and its subsidiary Prominent Paints has made a donation of more than US$20 000 – R297 000 to the Paul Jungnickel Home for Adults with Disabilities (part of the Kungwini Welfare Organisation) in Pretoria East.
Made possible by PPG’s COLORFUL COMMUNITIES™ initiative – it’s customary with all its projects that CSI donations go beyond a financial investment.
Commenting on the company’s philanthropic efforts, Nico Bonthuyzen, Financial Director PPG South Africa says, “We are living in a time where making a real difference includes volunteering time and resources. This is what flexing real corporate philanthropic muscle looks like and all companies have more to give than their products – and they should.”
So it is that 40 volunteers including staff, customers and suppliers collaborated on the project – spending three days (25 – 27 September) painting for good and for a cause. More than 1,000 litres of paint and primers were used to paint the home’s interior walls and the benches in the communal courtyard areas, and when the last coat had cured, the overall feel was one of a more homely, comforting environment.
The facility’s interior passages, TV rooms, dining rooms and communal areas were painted with Select Sheen Stonington, a warm soft brown color. A colorful accent wall was also painted in each communal room in soothing blues and a rich red. The outdoor furniture was painted in the colours of the Colorful Communities logo, blue, green, orange, yellow and pink. True to form – Prominent Paints went beyond paint and donated new bed linen and curtains for the home’s 86 bedrooms. The dining and TV rooms were also revamped with curtains commissioned for each window. For the courtyard area – benches were purchased and painted – providing much needed seating for when family and friends visit. The outdoor paving area was leveled, making it safer for wheelchair users and new ceiling boards were installed on the veranda.
“We are delighted to not only help transform walls and the environment through our project – but the lives of those who live at this special needs home. Our employees are always eager to focus their efforts on things that matter inside and outside the office and this project certainly ticks all the boxes,” says Bonthuyzen.
“Colour in an environment like the Paul Jungnickel Home for Adults with Disabilities should do much more than just make the building look attractive. Properly painted walls in the right colours can contribute positively to the creation of an environment in which residents of the home can feel more calm and comfortable. There is no doubt this has been achieved through this exercise.”
Another significant part of the revitalisation project was the creation of a Tree of Remembrance; a visual and eye catching way in which to honour and remember those residents who have passed over the last couple of years. A colourful mural was painted in a high traffic area in the home and each name has been added to a leaf on the mural – a touching reminder of those who were loved and lost.
“As good corporate citizens we believe in forming sustainable strategic alliances with nonprofits – emerging as important partners in movements for social change. We are determined to continue to steer our company on a socially engaged course so that we not only deliver on the bottom line – we support good causes. For meaningful change to occur, collaboration and engagement is required for optimal impact. This is exactly what’s transpired with this project. By working together with multiple partners our impact has been magnified and for us that’s a great result.”
The Colorful Communities program is PPG’s signature initiative for community engagement efforts, and aims to protect and beautify the neighborhoods where the coatings company operates. This is the second project to benefit from PPG’s Colorful Communities program in Africa – the first being the Kungwini Child and Youth Care Centre in 2017. With their need being so great – and with a Prominent Paints Paint Centre in the area – selecting the NGO, which relies heavily on funding, was an easy one.
“The Colourful Communities project honoured its pledge made in 2017 to keep making life better for the residents that fall under the Kungwini Welfare Organisation banner and we are really pleased to have lived up to that promise. When we invest in projects like this we take a long-term approach and with paint that lasts up to seven years – we feel confident that our legacy will be enjoyed by many – for many years to come,” concludes Bonthuyzen.
Commenting on the donation, Marketing Manager for Kungwini Welfare Organisation Karin Berriman thanked Prominent Paints for the incredible generosity of both time and the resources that went into beautifying the Paul Jungnickel Home for Disabled Adults. “When our resident’s saw how their home has been transformed their faces told a story – it’s been astonishing to see their joy and excitement.”