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Serving our Communities

By Bidvest Bank
Our Corporate Social Investment (CSI) strategy is centred on the development and well-being of the communities that we serve. But it’s not a new thing: our socio-economic investments go back to when we first started out and we remain focused on education, business development, and job creation in the SME space. 

During the last year, we’ve participated in a number of key interventions:

1. Columba Leadership 

This ‘values-based youth leadership organisation’ works closely with the Department of Education to run programmes at schools located in economically disadvantaged areas in six provinces. 

Their mission is to create engaged young leaders by improving school performance and youth employment prospects. We provide funding for the programme which involves 500 hours of ‘touch time’ with schools, and three months of community engagement. Interventions include a six-day leadership academy followed by ongoing support and learning for two years. 

Columbia Leadership works with a group of 12 learners from Grade 10 and three seniors. After completing the programme, they become catalysts for large-scale mobil¬isation of other young people in schools we target. By reinforcing a positive learning culture, these learners develop 21st Century skills which bolster their school performance, improve their prospects of success with their studies and prepare them for the world of work. 

2. Bathebile 

Since 2009, Bathebile has been helping to develop community-based skills-building projects. Once the projects are self-sustaining they’re handed back to the community, helping to contribute to a culture of self-reliance. 

The project has achieved a number of successes including a winter feeding scheme in Diepsloot, a kid’s haven in Benoni that provides tracksuits and sneakers to 192 children, and working with several income-generating projects focused on knitting, sewing and woodwork. 

Bidvest Bank provides funding that supports an HIV/AIDS clinic, a children’s care centre, a pre-school, a soup kitchen, a learning centre and a food security programme that will help people to start their own vegetable gardens.

3. Simamisa Orphans Care 

This registered orphan care centre provides a place of refuge for AIDS orphans, abused children and those under the care of social welfare departments. 

Their mission is to support vulnerable children by providing food and a safe environment, as well as basic early learning support. Since it was established in 2005, Simamisa has grown from a single-room RDP house and two metal shacks, into an expanded house with a main bedroom, storeroom, office, kitchen, bathroom facilities, a small classroom, lounge area and three bedrooms that can accommodate 18 children.  

Bidvest Bank continues to support the centre with teacher-funding and monthly groceries. Our staff have also donated clothes and toys in their personal capacity throughout the year.

4. Modlin Education Services

Modlin makes education mobile by teaching critical subjects to community-based teachers and learners in busses. Each bus is kitted out as a mobile classroom – fully-equipped with computers and software. 

Trained educators travel in these busses to help teachers gain Mathematics, Life Science, Natural Science and Physical Science skills, particularly in under-serviced areas. They also supply learners, in Grade 8-11 with dictionaries that cover these subjects. 

Bidvest Bank supports this initiative at schools within Gauteng, Cape Town and Kwazulu-Natal, with the aim being to improve the mathematics and science skills of secondary school learners.

5. The Roedean Academy 

Spearheaded by Roedean School, The Roedean Academy provides a world-class teaching environment in English, mathematics, physical science and accounting to schoolgirls from under-privileged communities in Berea and Orange Farm. Roedean staff members provide tuition at Roedean School to girls on various afternoons each week, and transport and a hot meal are also provided to each learner. Learners also have access to Roedean facilities, including the school library and computer centre. 

During their matric year, the academy assists with applications to tertiary education institutions and learnership programmes. Bidvest Bank continues to sponsor a bursary for the top student in each year’s class.

Bidvest Bank has been sponsoring the Roedean Academy since 2011 in order to fund its vision of providing excellent education to pupils from under-resourced schools. Without our sponsorship, the Academy would not be able to exist.