Foundation focus areas

CSI (Corporate Social Investment) Projects

Our Corporate Social Investment programme which operates under the Distell Foundation focuses on the general well-being of South African communities, beginning with unborn children and extending into adulthood. Of the four key areas that we focus on, Foetal Alcohol Spectrum disorder (FASD) and Youth Development are the most important.

Common to all the initiatives in which we invest, is the intention to contribute holistically to personal growth within communities, embracing mindful and responsible living and conservation.

FASD (Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder)

Our Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) awareness and prevention programmes target pregnant women, encouraging them to give their unborn children the very best possible start in life.

FASD is the most common preventable form of mental disability in the world. FASD includes a wide range of intellectual, emotional and physiological disabilities in children whose mothers drink alcohol during pregnancy. Its cost to society is substantial.

The most severe manifestation of FASD is Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). The main effect of FAS is permanent damage to the central nervous system. People with FAS are afflicted with lifelong intellectual, learning and behavioural challenges. Given that prenatal alcohol exposure can affect any foetal organ development, people with FAS can also experience visual, hearing, cardiac problems.

It has been estimated by the Foundation for Alcohol-Related Research (FARR), that as many as one in every four South African women is a heavy drinker and that about 2 million people are impacted by drinking during pregnancy.

FASD projects:

FARR FASfacts FASD Radio Drama

Youth Development

Our investment in youth development programmes involves teaching life skills training to support youth at risk. These programmes are intended to better equip the youth with the necessary tools to make responsible life choices by managing peer pressure and challenging social issues.

Providing a safe, enabling environment to vulnerable youth can enhance their chances of becoming responsible and functional adults who are able to contribute positively to their communities, the broader society and their own futures.

Youth development projects:

Goedgedacht Trust Chrysalis Academy

Job Creation & Entrepreneurship

High unemployment and poverty in South Africa make it critical that we support capacity building projects to grow business skills as a way of accelerating job creation. We support small-scale producers of goods by funding workshops that focus on product development, quality control, marketing and management skills to ensure the sustainability and growth of such micro/small businesses.

Job creation & entrepreneurship projects:

USB Small Business Academy Stellenbosch Crafts Alive

Arts & Culture

Distell's contribution to South Africa's cultural development is based on the belief that the arts are a catalyst for individual, social and environmental transformation. We currently support various creative arts initiatives which focus mainly on growing the arts sector. In the future, however, our Arts & Culture support will be integrated into programmes that create awareness around our main focus areas: FASD and youth development.

As an integral part of everyday life, arts and culture can play an important role in building mindfulness and responsible living.

Our eEdu-tainment and intervention programmes promote responsible interaction with alcohol on various levels.

Arts & Culture projects:

Creative Arts Therapy Interventions Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards and theatre development initiatives Oude Libertas Centre Nederburg Concert Series