Corporate Social Investment (2012)
BE at UP continued to invest in the upliftment and empowerment of young children through strategic interventions related to improving and developing literacy skills. Literacy forms an integral part of moulding and shaping communities and is one of the most important skills children need in terms of their foundation and development, as all further learning is built on this.
In partnership with the University of Pretoria and Rotary International, BE at UP supported a project aimed at stimulating the literacy potential of infants and toddlers. The project also provided Early Childhood Development (ECD) students doing compulsory academic-based community engagement at the University with proper learning material and skills.
BE at UP provided 18 crches (identified ECD centres) in and around Pretoria with learning material. This will make it possible to determine the progress made and the readiness of the children for Grade R. The programme provides opportunities for 75 students and reaches more than 3 000 children in this critical development phase.
We feel honoured to be part of such an exciting initiative. Nothing is more important than literacy in our society. It is key. In our communities, children are limited by how they learn to read and BE at UPs contribution is a considerable resource that opens an interesting way into literacy for the children, said Cilliers van der Merwe, General Manager of BE at UP.
The programme is geared to help a significant number of junior students to work with the children and teach them. The senior students work with the principals of the centres and also introduce a research component by monitoring and evaluating progress.
Enterprise Development (2012)
The advancement of the South African economy depends on the development and sustainability of entrepreneurial ventures. This places further impetus on the importance of entrepreneurship in South Africa, which serves as a tool to help decrease the effects of unemployment and eradicate poverty. The continuous support of emerging entrepreneurs and SMMEs plays a significant role in ensuring that smaller businesses become sustainable and are adequately empowered to ultimately contribute at various levels of economic activity.
During 2011, BE at UP identified five top-performing entrepreneurs to complete an advanced entrepreneurship training programme. These businesses (Buku Office Supplies, BBK Laundry Services, Vitaru Financial Services, Gumtrac Trading and Projects, and Phahlas Wholesale and Distributors) were identified as beneficiaries on the basis of recommendations made by the project leaders of the training initiative of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipalitys SMME Capacity-building Programme, which was presented by CE at UP. They were provided with the production tools that would enable them to grow their established businesses and create job opportunities in the communities in which they operate.
The beneficiaries were requested to provide the necessary documentation, identify a need in their businesses and obtain quotations for the items that they required.
BE at UP then donated equipment to the businesses, such as laptops, printers, projectors, stock scanners, glass-top freezers, tumble dryers and washing machines. The value of this sponsorship was just over R50 000.