On the 23 September 2017, the Superspar in Bela Bela burnt down in a tragic fire.
Bela Bela, South Africa – The owner was left in a dire predicament where he no longer had work for the 148 employees, some who had worked at the store for over 17 years.
Instead of letting anyone go, he decided that he would continue paying the employees to do various charity projects around the city while the store was being rebuilt.
“The I AM SPAR project was born next to our burning store… we explained to our staff that although we have lost a building but we can still serve. We divided our staff into teams and they are currently working at the old age home, schools, hospitals and even at the local police station.”
Since then the staff members have collectively done more than 30 000 man-hours of community service. They have painted schools, built churches (from the ground up), cultivated vegetable gardens for the poorer communities and even refurbished the hospital.
“Thank you to all SUPERSPAR Bela Bela staff. I am proud of my people for not giving up.”
They still have a long way to go to rebuild the store but the staff are all thankful that the owner has given them a purpose and they are able to use their time to do some good.
The decision to pay the staff while doing charity work has also inspired the community.
Lydia Kgaugelo Motshegoa said: “To the spar owner , you are the kind of person or a leader that is needed in our communities, instead of cutting jobs you found a way to keep them in a more useful way. A person who deserve our support. I live in modimolle but I’m definitely coming to bela bela spar to support when it reopen.”
Christelle Kritzinger Kotzenberg posted: “We all truly miss our Spar……by serving the community you have turned a disaster into something positive. I will always support you and hope you open soon in the New Year. All the best to all of you.”
Check out some pics below of the team in action: