18 July 2016 - “What counts in life is not the mere fact we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela.
At STANLIB, we know that not everything that counts, can be counted. Because how do you place a value on teaching young people financial literacy? How do you measure the importance of young people becoming financially free? You can’t. But you can count the far reaching impact of providing 2630 underprivileged Gauteng learners with lap desks and teaching them the value of saving.
STANLIB shares the same passion for empowerment through education as former South African president and icon Nelson Mandela. Over the past 5 years, STANLIB’s corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives have invested over R30 million to empower young people through education and financial literacy.
Recent impact studies by Kommunity Desk indicate that over 3 million South African children attend school without the benefit of a classroom desk. They learn sitting outside under a tree or in overcrowded classrooms. The lack of a desk poses an enormous barrier to them achieving functional literacy and prejudices their academic performance and outcomes. Giving learners lap desks provides a long-lasting and practical solution to this problem. It also offers them human dignity; every child should have a classroom desk to work at.
This year, in honour of Mandela Day, STANLIB galvanised their employees to make their 67 minutes count by equipping Grade 8 – 12 learners at their two adopted schools (Senzangakhona and King Makhosonke High Schools, both north-east of Pretoria) with the tools to achieve financial freedom. Demonstrating their passion for ensuring that future generations are equipped with financial literacy skills, trained employees taught the children financial literacy and supplied them with booklets and lap desks which they will be able to keep for the duration of their high school careers, and beyond.
Seelan Gobalsamy, STANLIB CEO says, “We believe that in connecting children to the tools they need to successfully learn, we can play a role in improving the effectiveness of education in South Africa. We believe strongly in the value of education and financially free youth, which will ultimately benefit our future economy. An investment in education can fundamentally shift the course of an economy for generations to come.”
As investment specialists, STANLIB took their Mandela Day initiative one step further, by setting up the STANLIB Nelson Mandela Charity Fund. Staff contributed R67, R670 or R6700 to the fund, demonstrating the organisation’s ability to add real value. After 6 months and 7 days, the compounded value of that Fund will be donated to the two schools.