Corporate and social repsonsibility
We are proud to present the inaugural Standard Bank Namibia Holdings Limited (Standard Bank) Sustainability Report. The report provides insight into our sustainability performance for the year ended 31 December 2015.
Contributing to the improvement of the socioeconomic circumstances of the communities in which we operate; enhances our corporate reputation, contributes positively to the morale of our people, and demonstrates that we are locally relevant and responsive to social and economic imperatives. We view CSI an integral part of how we do business. This report covers the CSI initiatives of Standard Bank Namibia Holdings Limited (Standard Bank).
As a brainchild of the Bank’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) campaign, the Standard Bank Buy-a-Brick Initiative’s overarching objective is geared towards raising awareness about the plight and deplorable living conditions of no and low income communities in Namibia.
With an unemployment rate of 34%, it is estimated that there are currently close to N$500 000 Namibians living in shack settlements throughout the country. This has become a growing challenge as the drive for rural-urban migration increases on a daily basis resulting in the mushrooming of many more illegal shacks.
As a responsible corporate citizen, Standard Bank strives to be relevant in the communities in which it operates and that the Bank contributes locally towards their social and economic upliftment. The Bank’s CSI initiatives are therefore reflective of national developmental objectives and priorities and have maximum impact where it is most needed. One such national priority as outlined in the Namibian Government’s developmental Harambee Prosperity Plan is the housing shortage challenge in the country where the President Dr Hage Geingob states that “no one should be left out” when it comes to decent housing.
This ultimately gave rise to the birth of the Standard Bank’s Buy-a-Brick initiative in 2015. The initiative was jointly launched by the Chief Executive of Standard Bank Vetumbuavi Mungunda together with Namibia’s First Lady Monica Geingos who is also the Patron of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia.
The annual flagship Buy-A-Brick initiative is therefore aimed at mobilizing, individuals, the public and private sectors to aid in alleviating the housing shortage through the symbolic sale of token bricks in the form of erasers. One eraser is sold at N$5,00. Every year the collective proceeds from these “token bricks” are then handed over to the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia who utilises these funds to build decent brick houses for its members through an affordable savings scheme basis.
As a non-governmental organisation - under the Bank’s CSI projects - the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Standard Bank ever since the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding Agreement 10 years ago. As a result the Bank saw it befitting to enhance its partnership with the Federation even further by launching its flagship Buy-a-Brick Initiative two years ago.
The objective of the Federation is to improve the living conditions of poor, unemployed people, living in shacks, or those without any shelter with the main focus on women’s participation – in building houses for themselves through community participation and affordable loan schemes.
To date, Standard Bank has raised and handed over a total of N$1.4-million to the Federation which culminated in the construction of 44 new brick houses for the no and low income residents of Rehoboth in 2016. In 2017, the Bank handed over N$2-million to the Federation via the Buy-a-Brick initiative expected to benefit the inhabitants of the informal settlement of Havana, Okuryangava settlements in Windhoek as well as in the towns of Berseba and Otjinene.
Donate to Buy a Brick today and make a difference. Everyone deserves a decent place they can call home. Namibia is our home, we drive her growth.
Forum for African Women Educationalists in Namibia – (FAWENA)
The bulk of Standard Bank’s CSI budget went to education through close links with the Ministry of Education through the Forum for African Women Educationalists in Namibia FAWENA and the Academic Excellence programmes. These mutual partnerships are geared towards advancing education in the country. FAWENA received a sponsorship of over N$2 million for educating over 1000 Orphans & Vulnerable Children, while Academic Excellence which caters for exceptional academic learners got an investment of N$1.3 million over a period of 5 years.
UNAM Visual Arts
In the continuous effort to strengthen the relationship between the University of Namibia and Standard Bank Namibia an amount of N$115 500 was once again sponsored to the Visual Arts Department in 2013. About N$60 000 was offered as bursaries to 22 art students, while N$55 500 was channelled towards different educational activities within the Department. Standard Bank Namibia believes that art is important for the youth as it is a forum for safe expression, communication, imagination, cultural and historical understanding.
As an early Christmas gift, Standard Bank Namibia and its subsidiary Liberty Life, Namibia donated a brand new bus worth N$365 000 to the Hope Village orphanage in Katutura. This new 19-seater Fiat Ducato Bus is equipped with all the necessary safety features and certainly was beneficial to the organisation's programmes and activities. This welfare organisation caters for close to 100 orphans and vulnerable children and has been at the heart of Standard Bank Namibia’s CSI since 2008. Standard Bank Namibia is proud and grateful to be making a positive difference in the lives of Namibian children.
Skin Cancer Prevention
Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in Namibia. It is in view of this that Standard Bank Namibia has for the 10th consecutive year backed up the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) for the “Save Your Own Skin” Campaign. With a sponsorship of N$120 000 CAN aims to raise awareness amongst Namibians about the dangers of skin cancer and how to protect themselves. The funding is also used for providing sunscreen to all Namibians at affordable prices.
With the 17th edition of the CLaSH Calendar, Standard Bank Namibia was proud to give back N$105 000 to the Association for Children with Language, Speech and Hearing Impairments (CLaSH). The majority of the funds were used for the production of the 2014 CLaSH Calendar, while some of the funds were allocated for certain outreach programmes. Our partnership with CLaSH dates back to 1995.
In an effort to assist in providing basic medical care to disadvantagedcommunities of Tsumkwe in the Otjozondjupa Region, Standard Bank Namibia contributed N$300 000 to the Hochland Roundtable 154 Medic RUSH. The funds were put to good use by promoting healthcare and also establishing a much needed mobile clinic.
San Development Trust
Once again Standard Bank Namibia has come on board with an investment of N$100 000 to the San Development Trust, administered through the Office of the Prime Minister. This trust was established in2005 and through various collaborations aims to address the plight of the San community.
Women of Excellence
Charity is not only about giving but also acknowledging those that make a difference in society. With a total sponsorship of N$100 000, Standard Bank Namibia recognised Michelle McLean of the Michelle McLean Children Trust, Patricia Sola of the Hope Village Initiative Project, Esme Coetzee of “Step out of Poverty through Encouragement, Education and Support” (S.P.E.S.) Charity, Regina Kondombolo from Hephata Project and Lize Leandra-Ann Ehlers of Uyelele.
Gaining entrepreneurial skills is the key ingredient to any young individual’s ambition for success. It is against this background that Standard Bank Namibia gave a boost of N$180 000 to Pearson Namibia for the promotion of entrepreneurial skills development amongst Grade 10 learners in Namibia. The social issue of high youth unemployment motivated Standard Bank Namibia to sponsor N$240 000 to the Katutura Youth and Enterprise Centre (KAYEC Trust). This generous sponsorship enabled KAYEC Trust to purchase start-up toolkits which has in turn given the Ondangwa vocational graduates a head start in setting up their own businesses.
The KAYEC Trust offers various fields of study such as brick laying, metal work, welding, carpentry, plumbing and electrical engineering. “I’m excited about the toolkits because now I run my own business and support my family,” said Paulus Mvula a graduate who is running his own welding business in the north.