“South African businesses have an ethical responsibility towards educating the country’s less-privileged children and should not lose this commitment when times are economically and socially difficult. It is even more important during these tough times to continue supporting the educational needs of society’s most vulnerable.”
So says Anton Jacobsz, CEO at Networks Unlimited Africa, a leading value-added distributor within the Sub-Saharan Africa market. He was commenting after a recent donation of nearly R130,000 from the company’s annual golf day was made to its chosen beneficiary, Nokuphila School, in support of early childhood development.
The 2020 golf day took place earlier this year, prior to the lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an annual event which brings Networks Unlimited Africa’s employees and partners together to raise money for charitable purposes.
Nokuphila School is situated in Tembisa, Gauteng, and is affiliated to The Love Trust, a South African non-profit educational organisation which has, to date, reached over 20,000 primary and secondary beneficiaries in disadvantaged communities.
The Love Trust is also the 53 per cent broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) partner of Networks Unlimited Africa, in a partnership arrangement which allows Networks Unlimited Africa to support its goal of helping vulnerable children through real practical and educational support.
Jacobsz explains, “Nokuphila means ‘place of life’ and this is fitting for its role in childhood development, which is vital in preparing children for their future learning, helping young children in developing their full cognitive, emotional, social and physical potential. Following on from the annual Networks Unlimited golf day earlier this year, our company was proud to make a donation to the school in two main forms.
“Firstly, we donated stationery and art packs, which will help with the children’s art curriculum. Secondly, we donated IT equipment to assist with the running of the school itself.”
The Love Trust believes in reducing poverty and social inequality through holistic education and social care that includes academic excellence, spiritual strength and moral integrity.
The Love Trust runs a number of initiatives focused on childhood development and the upskilling of teachers. Nokuphila Primary and Pre-Primary School, with its 340 learners, offers more than just meaningful education for some of the most vulnerable and underprivileged children in the community, it offers access to basic essentials that many take for granted.
The Nokuphila Teacher Training Academy and community outreach trains and develops accredited early childhood development teachers at its flagship centre in Tembisa, and by providing curriculum support and resources to affiliated centres around the country.
Silas Pillay, Director of Academics at The Love Trust, adds, “The knock-on effect that the current situation will have on the lives of learners, their parents and the community as a whole, won’t just be measured in months but in generations to come. While we are forced to go into a very prudent review of our financial expenditure, we don’t want to compromise on the essentials.
“We are indebted to Networks Unlimited, who share our vision in which, by making sure our poorest communities receive quality education, we provide them with a greater chance of being employed, improve the quality of our future workforce and have a positive impact on our country’s economy.”
In turn, Jacobsz noted, “On behalf of the Networks Unlimited team, we thank our generous sponsors for their contributions that are assisting vulnerable children in disadvantaged communities, including via this very important focus on childhood development. This year, we held hold the golf day just before the lockdown period began in earnest – we didn’t know, of course, that this time was coming when the planning began. We are grateful that our commitment to this very worthy cause – which changes lives for the better through education – was able to continue nonetheless.”