Standard Bank Namibia, a good corporate citizen
THE year 2010 saw Standard Bank Namibia (SBN) successfully manage its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives, aimed at achieving and sustaining positive social development of communities around the country.
Through various community interventions, the effective community re-investment reinforced the bank’s values and helped achieve its business objectives.
The CSI expenditure is funded by the annual allocation of net less than one percent of prior year after-tax income from the bank’s Namibian operations. Of this allocation, one percent is specifically committed to programmes in terms of the bank’s charter and excludes sponsorships and employee involvement initiatives.
The strategic focus of SBN’s CSI program was mainly on education, entrepreneurship development, health and wellness.
Standard Bank Namibia committed N$ 3.5 million to corporate social investment programs in the year 2010 something which established solid and valuable relationships with the communities, organizations and institutions within Namibia.
There is a strong business case for CSI, in that corporations benefit in multiple ways by operating with a perspective broader and longer than their own immediate, short-term profits.
The bank committed to various CSI and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and is proud of the on-going dedication towards a wide range of projects that paves way for a more fruitful 2011.
Financial Literacy for Namibian youth
Standard Bank Namibia realizes the importance of equipping the youth with entrepreneurial skills by enhancing their financial literacy skills.
For the fourth consecutive year, SBN organised Entrepreneurship Seminars to train the youth and improve their financial literacy skills. Youth Entrepreneurship Seminars were conducted while financial literacy workshops for the previously disadvantaged schools were held throughout the country. The seminars exposed young people with experiential entrepreneurship and financial management skills.
The bank’s total expenditure on this initiative this year amounted to N$ 150 000.00.
Investing in academic excellence
Education continues to play a pivotal role in the society and SBN is proud to be part of such a worthy cause for the third consecutive year.
In partnership with Longman Namibia, Standard Bank Namibia (SBN) has through the Ministry of Education, sponsored 5000 copies of the Accounting in Context Grade 10 text books.
This smart partnership with Longman Namibia began in 2008, where SBN invested about N$136 000.00. In 2009 the bank committed another N$ 157 000.00 for the same initiative.
In 2010 SBN set aside N$190 000.00, bringing to N$483 000.00 the amount SBN has contributed to the development and enhancement of accounting in our country over the last three years.
Following the success of this initiative in 2010 where SBN has injected close to half-a-million Namibia dollars to education, the bank will as from 2011 invest N$1.3 million over the next five years, on the “Investing in Academic Excellence” project.
This initiative was endorsed by the Ministry of Education and aims at enhancing academic performance at all schools in Namibia’s 13 regions.
The project is incentive driven and rewards the top three best performing Grade 10 and Grade 12 learners in each region with a cash prize. The prize money is solely to be used for the education of the winning learners.
Schools of the overall top performing Grade 10 and Grade 12 learners in each region will also receive a cash prize.
ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN SCHOLARSHIP
In 2010 SBN committed N$1.2 million towards the Forum for African Women Educationalist in Namibia (FAWENA). This sponsorship is aimed at supporting the education of vulnerable learners from Grade 8 until Grade 12.
Standard Bank Namibia supports Children with Language, Speech and Hearing Impairments of Namibia (CLaSH). CLaSH aims to facilitate equal opportunities for children with communication impairments, through the promotion of early identification, early intervention and equal access to education, training and other services.
The Bank’s involvement in the CLaSH program started 12 years ago in 1998, and has since then provided support in numerous ways including the production of the annual CLaSH calendar.
It is heartening to know that this year the bank has assisted CLaSH to raise international and local awareness on the needs and services available for hearing impaired children in Namibia.
Supporting Hope Village
Standard Bank Namibia is playing a parent figure by adopting a house situated at Hope Village. The Bank’s relationship with Hope Village started in 2006 with an investment of N$100 000 towards the construction of the Standard Bank House.
Hope Village is a welfare organization that provides shelter to orphans and vulnerable children.
The Standard Bank House was inaugurated in 2008 and the bank has since then annually contributed to the enhancement of Hope Village.
In 2010 Standard Bank Namibia committed N$150 000.00 that went towards the purchase of a 15 seat mini bus for the Hope Village.
“Last year during the birthday celebration I committed to buying Hope Village a mini-bus, and today I am proud to be handing over a brand new 15 seat mini-bus to the Hope Village children. The mini-bus will be used in particular to transport children to school. This is the second bus we are donating,” said Mpumzi Pupuma, the managing director of Standard Bank, at the occasion in April.
Pupuma added: “The bank did not think twice when approached to get involved in this project, as its objective speaks volumes. Providing a home for orphans and vulnerable children is fulfilling.
“It is a priceless long term investment that ideally complements our corporate social investment policy.”
Pastor Marietjie de Klerk, co-ordinator at Hope Village could not hide her pleasure,
“I am so happy and this is a prayer come true. We have another mini-bus but that one is too small. Now we can fit all the girls in this bus.”
“Our approach towards Hope Village, as well as other corporate social investment initiatives is long term, with the ultimate aim of making a meaningful and lasting impact,” said Pupuma.
Communicable Disease Clinic Shelter Oshakati Hospital
Standard Bank Namibia committed N$1.5 million towards the intermediate government hospital in Oshakati this year. The money will fund the building of a Computer Resource Centre and a Communicable Disease Clinic shelter.
The three year program commenced in 2008 with an annual sponsorship of N$500 000.00.
SBN also took an initiative to minimize the impact of HIV/AIDS by partnering with Namibia Business Coalition on AIDS (NABCOA) to manage a feeding program for HIV/AIDS orphans. This initiative commenced in Rehoboth and will be rolling out to other towns in the country. Standard Bank supported this program for the third consecutive year and allocated N$120 000.00 for 2010.
The bank will now invest N$750 000.00 over the next three years for the ‘Formula Milk Program’ of Mount Sinai Centre, starting from 2011.
Mount Sinai Centre envisages preventing Mother-To-Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV, and also supports the nutritional needs of infants and children on antiretroviral therapies.
Since HIV can be transmitted from Mother-To-Child (MTCT) through breastfeeding, Mount Sinai Centre provides HIV positive mothers with formula milk to infants of twelve months of age and younger. Standard Bank Namibia’s support will assist Mount Sinai to purchase formula milk to the growing number of babies registered with the organization.
Standard Bank Namibia (SBN) honoured its three year commitment to the Corporate Orphans Nutrition Project by setting aside N$120 000.00.
In 2008 Standard Bank Namibia and the Namibia Business Coalition on AIDS (NABCOA) partnered to pledge their support to help orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) by providing them with daily food supplements.
Through NABCOA, Standard Bank Namibia provides a helping hand to approximately 950 OVC’s.
Children registered for this program at the Catholic AIDS Action Children’s Centre in Rehoboth, and at the Bernhard Nordkamp in Windhoek, received Oshikandela as a supplement to their diet for 5 days a week in 2010.
Red Cross Namibia – flood victims
Standard Bank Namibia assisted immensely the Red Cross Namibia in providing relief efforts in northern Namibia. During the year under review, Standard Bank Namibia provided N$100 000.00 in partnership with Red Cross Namibia.
Development of San Community
Standard Bank Namibia availed N$100 000.00 in 2010 to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to be used towards development projects of the San community in Namibia. The support fulfils the Bank’s role to attain an ultimate goal of ensuring that the San are brought at par with all other communities.
The year 2010 has seen the bank quell any wrong perceptions about CSI and CSR initiatives being fancy public relations tool used when a company is caught doing something wrong or just another marketing campaign wrapped in a warm and fuzzy package.
SBN through its consistence and commitment to these initiatives has proven that CSI and CSR are a powerful tool for the community. These have been cemented as part of the bank’s corporate culture.
The initiatives proved to be a powerful internal force that led to increased loyalty and superior services for both SBN clients and associates. As long as a true CSI program is a true effort to give back, SBN has learnt that it can pay huge dividends for everyone involved.
This obligation is seen to extend beyond the statutory obligation to comply with legislation and sees the bank voluntarily taking further steps to invest in improving the quality of life for employees and their families as well as for the local community and society at large. PF