Operation HOPE announced this week a 3.5 million South African Rand commitment from Sanlam. The commitment came last week during the launch of the Sanlam Foundation on September 7 in Johannesburg. The Foundation will help to further HOPE’s financial literacy and economic empowerment initiatives and recruit hundreds of its employees as HOPE Corps volunteers to deliver the Banking on our Future – South Africa program in high schools throughout the Gauteng and Western Cape.
The announcement came on September 8 as Sanlam Limited launched its new Sanlam Foundation, which will focus on improving the financial situation of communities in which Sanlam operates. Operation HOPE is the first signature partner of the newly announced Sanlam Foundation.
Operation HOPE Founder Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant traveled to South Africa this week, where he delivered the keynote address at the launch of the Sanlam Foundation, highlighting the need for improved financial literacy for youth and women and goals to expand the program’s reach.
“After the 1992 riots, I realised that people were really revolting against the economic conditions that kept them in poverty,” Bryant said. “We started Operation HOPE with the aim to boost economic opportunity in under-resourced communities through education and empowerment. Our partnership with the Sanlam Group will allow us to reach many more communities in South Africa and improve the quality of life through economic empowerment.”
“For Sanlam, corporate social investment goes beyond compliance to a genuine attempt by the company to transform the broader South African society, thereby ensuring its own sustainability. Operation HOPE is one of the many projects that we are launching through the new Sanlam Foundation,” explained Lulu Letlape, Group Head of Corporate Affairs at Sanlam. “The Foundation will ensure that the business contributes to the social development and environmental imperatives of our society, thereby helping to improve the financial situation of the communities with which we work.”
HOPE’s award-winning program, Banking on Our Future, is the anchor for the Sanlam Foundation’s education initiative and will offer financial literacy education to 20 schools in the Western Cape and Gauteng over the next three years. Through this program Sanlam and HOPE will reach some 4000 pupils at an average of approximately 200 pupils per school. All financial literacy classes are presented by Sanlam employees. Since May nearly 100 Sanlam employees from the Western Cape and Gauteng offices have signed on as HOPE Corps volunteers as part of Sanlam’s “National Start Something Day”.
Operation HOPE SA has been successfully delivering financial literacy education to youth, women and children throughout South Africa, empowering more than 26,000 youth and adults, since June 2007. The Banking on Our Future (BOOF) program is a six-part financial literacy curriculum designed to help youth and adults take control of their financial destinies.
The Sanlam Foundation was created to ensure that disadvantaged communities have equitable access to the economy and to generally improve the economic situation of the country. In addition to the financial literacy aspect, the Sanlam Foundation will also focus on education as a key area of intervention with specific attention to Maths, Science, Technology and English education at secondary school level; environmental awareness and education; and HIV/AIDS education and awareness.
Additional partners of HOPE in South Africa include: Anglican Youth of Southern Africa; Banking Association of South Africa; Citi Foundation; Gauteng Department of Education; International Finance Corporation; National Department of Education; Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund; Peace Corps; US Consulate; UPS Foundation; and the Western Cape Department of Education.