Corporate Social Investment
Sponsorship and Corporate Social Investment (CSI) is an integral part of our business. We proactively identify opportunities arising from key social, developmental and business issues beyond reacting to requests from charitable causes; and we take a keen interest in being involved in the programmes we sponsor. Our CSI policy encourages employee participation in community investment through structured opportunities as well as matching personal donations made by employees to social development. We support five core CSI pillars, namely: Education; Entrepreneurship development; Health and wellness; Sports Arts and culture. Over the past year, we have sponsored various organisational activities covering the different pillars, including the Rocking Horse Project helping terminally ill children; Alliance of Mayor's Initiative against HIV and Aids (AMICAALL), Urban Legends Awards; the Swaziland Enterprise Development Company (SEDCO) Entrepreneur of the Year Awards; Swaziland Epilepsy Organisation; ENACTUS Annual Student Leadership Workshop; Junior Achievement rural high schools entrepreneurship programme; National Choral Music Championships; Swazi Slojos Athletes Marathon and many more. In the annual Noble Expressions CSI Awards held in August 2013, Standard Bank was awarded for its efforts within the areas of sustainability, arts and culture and enterprise development.
IRD Water Pump Project
In a first of its kind local private-public partnership for rural water development, Standard Bank Swaziland has partnered with government and civil society organisations to enable rural communities to access clean, potable water through water pumps. The bank supports the project through enabling community water committees for the approximately 27 600 project beneficiaries to open the PureSave account without any bank charges. This support, which advances the Bank’s health and wellness CSI pillar, contributes towards the sustainability of the project because the communities contributions towards the maintenance of their pumps is kept safe and not depleted by charges. The partnership was launched in June 2014.
The IRD maintenance model for the sustainability of blue pumps in Swaziland project is a water pump replacement and repair initiative addressing the persistent problem of broken and unattended water hand pumps across the country. The broader objective of the project is to strengthen the resilience of farmers to prolonged drought through improved agricultural practices and the promotion of drought tolerant crops.
This will be achieved through increased rooftop water harvesting and storage at households and in schools, and through increased water availability in communities through replacement of broken Afridev pumps with more durable Blue pumps also known as the Afripump. The Blue Pump is a deep well hand pump which has less maintenance requirements than the traditional hand pumps currently installed, and has an estimated lifespan of more than 25 years under normal conditions.
A projected 27 600 individuals from 3450 households, 80% of whom are women farmers, will benefit from this intervention. The project was initiated in 2009 with support from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy (MNRE) and funding from USAID/OFDA who continue to be the main donors. Its sustainability is based on a partnership model that involves communities, government, civil society organisations and corporate companies, including Nsoko Msele, Fairwater and Standard Bank together with the prior-mentioned partners. Standard Bank Swaziland is proud to be associated with this initiative because at it’s core is the transformation of communities and lives, a value embodied in the bank’s slogan, Moving Forward.
Child Palliative Care Centre
One of our main CSI initiatives is the Rocking Horse Project, which is a child palliative care centre project run within the premises of a home for terminally ill people called Hope House, located in Manzini, Swaziland's CBD. We have committed E200,000 towards this project to be disbursed over four years ending in 2015. Funding given for the project in 2013 went towards refurbishing two Hope House units into child-friendly facilities, as well as creating an outside playground to cater for the increasing number of children diagnosed with terminal illnesses that are referred to the Centre from local hospitals and health care centres.
Swazi Slojos Annual Community Run
Children from the community of Lobamba have been exposed to the idea of healthy living as well as receiving food parcels through the hosting of the annual Swazi Slojos 5km and 21km run in September every year. The concept of the race was born from the need to sensitise the nation to the plight of the orphaned and vulnerable children of that area. Proceeds collected from the registration fees help towards this cause. We have supported the initiative through staff participation and financial contributions over the past seven years.
Choral Music Association (SNCMA)
Last year the Bank and Swaziland National Choral Music Association celebrated the 20th anniversary of their partnership in advancing arts and culture in Swaziland. Over 15 local choirs and approximately 90 000 local fans of choral music have benefited from the over E1,5 million spanning two decades that has been committed to this cause. A contribution of approximately E100 000 is made towards hosting the Standard Bank National Choral Music Championships as well choral music workshops run in schools and other activities of the SNCMA.
Entrepreneurship Development Programme
Junior Achievement Swaziland is an organisation that promotes entrepreneurship in local high schools. In 2013, we contributed E58, 000 towards the organisation's programmes. The funds were used towards implementing its programmes at Mpaka High School, which is situated in the Lowveld of Swaziland, a dry under-developed region where poverty has had the hardest impact. We have also partnered with JA in implementing its Job Shadow Programme through the years by hosting Form 5 students in our head office and branches to expose them to the opportunities they can pursue in the banking industry.