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Mandela Day

| Sustainable Investing

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that 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

The number of people across the globe suffering from hunger has been steadily rising since 2015. Here in South Africa, one in ten people go hungry every day. Embracing the spirit of #MandelaDay, we dedicated three times #67minutes to addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) at three of our favourite charities.

Across the Sanlam Investment Group, this is the story about our collective fight against hunger and inequality. Sustainability really IS at the heart of our purpose and part of our DNA.


Celebrating Mandela Day at the Valley Primary School, in Pampoenkraal

Teboho Makhabane, Head of ESG and Impact at Sanlam Investments says, “Every year, on 18 July, South Africans come together to celebrate the birthday of one of South Africa’s most loved and respected icons, Nelson ‘Madiba’ Rolihlahla Mandela. Madiba sacrificed 67 years of his life fighting for justice and equality.

As a way of honouring his contribution to humanity, the staff at the Sanlam Investment Group came together at the Valley Primary School, to take #67minutes to reflect and to help make a positive impact.

Our staff prepared hundreds of fresh sandwiches for the learners, spreading joy and nourishment. In addition, we provided 45 beautiful, brand new soccer kits and boots to Valley Primary’s U10, U12 and U14 soccer teams. These kits not only equip young athletes with the proper gear, but also inspire them to pursue their dreams and passions on the field. As school principal Christopher Smith eloquently puts it, “Soccer is absolutely everything for these kids!”

To further our commitment to sustainability, we’re in the process of transferring the vegetable garden that we built at Altydgedacht last year, to the Valley Primary School, ensuring daily nutritious meals for 110 learners.

Through initiatives like these, we actively support Sustainable Development Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and Sustainable Development Goal 2 (Zero Hunger). By providing equal opportunities and access to sports, we are working towards a more inclusive and equitable future for all.

Christopher Smith, principal of Valley Primary said “I really appreciate every single one of you at Sanlam Investments, for taking part and truly buying in to what the school is trying to do. Without the support that we’re currently receiving from Sanlam, we wouldn’t be able to make ends meet. And that’s the reality.”

Join us in our commitment to sustainability and be a catalyst for change.


Celebrating Mandela Day at the Voorstekraal Skills Development Centre in Genadendal

This story of impoverished emerging farmers in Genadendal touched our hearts, and so we used staff donations from our Ubuntu Cares staff initiative at the Sanlam Investment Group to help relieve starvation amongst this community.

Through our Ubuntu Cares project, made possible by discretionary staff donations, we helped impoverished emerging farmers in Genadendal by providing hundreds of new seedlings for them to plant a vegetable garden and provide work opportunities for the emerging farmers. We also donated wool and knitting needles to knit caps and scarves for the children and the elderly, and donated dozens of canned food products for their Talent Exchange Shop. This innovative Talent Exchange Programme encourages community members to exchange their skills for goods and foods, building a strong community where people feel empowered.

Karen Apollis, secretary of the Skills Development Centre, also known as Normakanjani, says “We started the Talent Exchange Programme a little over a year ago due to the high number of unemployed youth and adults in the area. The idea behind the programme was to start a ‘talent exchange’ where people could come and work for us, and then we can could give them something in return for their services, to take home’.

“We spoke to Sanlam Investments and since day one, they have said to us, “We are here, we can we help. Just tell us what you need. We can help you, we can take your hand. They’ve been giving us seedlings to plant, canned food products, as well as wool and knitting needles for caps and scarves for the children in winter”, says Karen.

“I cannot explain what a big impact this has become with Sanlam Investments on board, helping Normakanjani to help our community; taking this forward and just saying, wow, we can do this together!” Karen Apollis, secretary of the Normakanjani Co-op, Genadendal.

View video below to learn more about this initiative and gain insights from those involved.

Voorstekraal Skills Development Centre at Genadendal


Celebrating Mandela Day at the Aurora Community Centre, near Velddrif

On Mandela Day, the staff at the Sanlam Investment Group came out to the Aurora community near Velddrif to do an outreach to the children, many of whom are orphaned.  We played games with the children,  delivered and prepared nutritious meals for them at tea time and at lunch time, and delivered a large collection of canned foods. We also donated clothes collected by the staff of the Sanlam Investment Group.

Member of Ubuntu Cares at the Sanlam Investment Group, Jorell Jones, explains, “We run a staff initiative called Ubuntu Cares.  How it works is the staff at the Sanlam Investment Group make monthly contributions of their own money towards charity. At the end of every month, the Sanlam Investment Group will then match the contributions made, rand for rand. So whatever the staff contribute will be doubled, and which then goes towards a charity of our choice to make a difference in the lives of the poorest of communities”.

We spoke to the Centre Manager, Danine Alice, to find out more about the centre. Says Danine, “With the little that we have, we provide these little children with daily meals which is usually in the afternoons and evenings because most of the parents  go to work.  We used to do this four times a week, but due to lack of funds, we are now only able to do this three times a week. We also do a reading programme at the library where we teach the children how to read. They can even win exciting things like bicycles as they make progress”.

In reply to our question of what it means that the Sanlam Investment Group visits Aurora once a year to donate meals and funds, Danine replied, “Once a year is like Winter Christmas for the kids and yes, the donations are a huge help because everyone in the community benefits!”

Aurora Community Centre, near Velddrif
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