As we celebrate Mandela Day, we celebrate a man who above all else, was human. He led with humanity, cared beyond measure and put people first. He was a man who inspired Africa, the world, and the way in which we do business, no matter the obstacles.
In an effort to meet a need in the community and help uplift it, our teams from all over the continent have given their time to make a real difference in the lives of those who living there. Here are some of those stories:
Building homes in Bloem
In Bloemfontein, South Africa, two groups of Standard Bank staff set out on a mission that would forever change the lives of two elderly ladies. Our staff set off to Heidedal and Bochabela to complete the homes of two ladies who desperately needed someone to notice and improve their living conditions.
92-year old Elizabeth said that she could hardly contain her excitement at the idea of moving into a home without leaks in the ceilings and cracks in the walls. She never thought she’d live to see the day when she would have another home. Staying true to who we are and “Moving Forward”, our team arranged with various stakeholders, including small to medium enterprises, to lend a helping hand in making sure that the work was completed the same day.
The second group visited Bochabela where a sad, but meaningful tale unfolded. During the building of the second home, the owner, an elderly lady, fell ill and unfortunately passed away before she could see the project to completion. Saddened by the news, the team stuck to their word and honoured her memory by completing the house so that her funeral could be held at her home.
Our Bloemfontein CSI team’s prime focus is on providing meaningful solutions to those in need, with a special focus on the elderly, children from underprivileged homes and schools, as well as providing support to smaller, non-profit organisations. This same team aims to build three more houses for three underprivileged families.
Children are our future
Children have the right to education. No matter their circumstances, they deserve love, guidance and security. This was stated by the Chief Executive of Standard Lesotho Bank, Mr. Mpho Vumbukani when handing over a cheque to St. Cecilia Orphanage. He highlighted that in collaboration with their customers and other people of goodwill, they had managed to raise M200, 000 of which 50% came from the bank. At least 60 children will benefit from this initiative. Standard Lesotho Bank has set aside about M3 million towards sponsorships and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
According to the World Health Organisation, early childhood is considered to be the most important developmental phase in our lives. We believe that Africa’s growth potential starts with its children and as a result, numerous initiatives have been carried our across many of our markets including Kenya, South Africa, Malawi, Ghana and Zambia (to name but a few). Giving back to people and the communities that support us is important to our people and we can find no better way to give back than by investing in our children.
Botswana has amonst the lowest levels of savings per household and one of the highest levels of debt per housegold in Africa. As a result, Stanbic Bank Botswana has begun a financial literacy campaign at schools in the country with the hopes that it will be incorporated into Botswana’s school curriculum.
In a first for South Africa, we partnered with GE to provide a “Health Accelerator” programme that provides technical, clinical and business acumen to South African healthcare professionals who want to improve and grow their existing practices, or even transition into private practice. According to Standard Bank Joint-CEO Sim Tshabalala, both Standard Bank and GE recognise the value of small businesses as drivers of job creation and economic growth. Both companies hold enterprise development, skills development and innovation as core business objectives and are both strongly committed to supporting more inclusive growth and economic transformation in South Africa.
Humanity is something that is fundamental to who we are. We believe that everything we do should not only make a difference to the continent and country, but to the people and their communities.