Through its African Bank Development Trust (ABDT), the Bank has already touched the lives of close on 150 000 beneficiaries in five provinces. Kennedy Dembetembe, National CSI manager for African Bank, explains that the aim of the trust has evolved over the past two years and today its focus is on learning – “The Golden Thread of Education”, as the theme is known.
The trust focuses on early childhood development, mathematics advancement, English literacy, computer literacy, sports and entrepreneurship development.
“Each province in which the trust operates has a committee of volunteer staff members that approve projects and review all outcomes. They also champion the project activities to other staff and provide ad-hoc support to our coordinators,” Dembetembe says.
Taking things a step further, African Bank introduced the Community Champion Awards in 2016.
“This initiative makes an open call to staff members to propose areas of need from within their own communities – it was a hugely successful move and one which really took our CSI efforts to the next level,” Dembetembe said.
In that same year, 19 projects were selected from those staff put forward and over 5 000 people then positively engaged with African Bank employees through a variety of change initiatives focused on learning.
“We commit to a long-term relationship with the communities and schools we select,” Dembetembe explains. “Monitoring and evaluation are also important because these ensure we remain committed to a high standard of measurement and delivery.
Here are some ABDT success stories from 2016:
- 56 crèche workers qualified as SAQA-accredited Level 4 ECD practitioners.
- 2 983 learners benefited from extra maths tuition.
- ‘Learning English through Technology’ was launched in KwaZulu-Natal. It was so successful that it is being rolled out in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape this year.
- An internet connectivity and computer literacy programme helped 4 000 primary and high school teachers.
- 186 high school children had the opportunity to become entrepreneurs through the management of vegetable tunnels and by repairing, upcycling and reselling computers.
- Over 10 000 youngsters trained and played football through the trust’s ‘footy programme’ and 1 700 girls participated in a netball programme.
“We reflect with pride on our achievements, confident that the ABDT is making a significant difference in South Africa,” Dembetembe concludes.