Dsc_0152 On One-Year Anniversary in South Africa Operation HOPE expands to the Western Cape to deliver financial literacy and empowerment to South African youth, young adults, and women; the programme serves as lifeline to take control of their financial future

Global non-government organization signs Memorandum of Understanding with
Western Cape Minister of Education Cameron Dugmore

Cape Town, South Africa – June 3, 2008 — At a time when there is obviously a measure of turmoil and violence in an otherwise progressive South Africa, challenges that stem from poverty and the desperation it creates, Operation HOPE (HOPE), the leading global financial literacy and empowerment non-government organization (NGO) significantly steps up its efforts to help empower the most marginalized individuals in South Africa with "silver rights"; offering them a lifeline, financial literacy skill sets, access to a mainstream bank! account, entrepreneurship education, dignity and ultimately a more promising future. Hosted by MEC Cameron Dugmore, HOPE participated in a signing ceremony to commemorate the organization’s official launch into Cape Town on June 3, 2008. HOPE has been active throughout the Gauteng region since late 2007.

Western Cape Provincial Minister of Education Cameron Dugmore said, “Our vision is to provide learning for all.  Our mission is to ensure that our learners acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes they need to realise their potential and to contribute meaningfully to society and the economy. Through the delivery of the Banking on Our Future programme, Operation HOPE mirrors our desire to provide an education that gives students the tools to succeed.”

Civil rights icon and Operation HOPE Global Spokesman Ambassador Andrew Young noted, “Operation HOPE’s track record of achieving economic empowerment for youth and their families in low-wealth communities, educating them in financial literacy, is extraordinary. John Bryant believes that financial literacy is the first silver right, in the 21st century, and I happen to agree with him."

June 7, 2008 will mark the first anniversary of HOPE’s phase one success in South Africa with the education of over 3,200 learners, young adults and women, along with the recruitment of more than 190 HOPE Corps member volunteers now teaching Banking on Our Future in 17 schools and NGOs. With the support of global and local sponsors HOPE launched its first global Banking on Our Future (BOOF) office last year in Johannesburg, anchored with the signing of a memorandum of agreement with MEC Angela Motshekga for Gauteng. Continued support through HOPE signature founding partners Citi and the Citi Foundation, HOPE’s first global partner, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, legacy sponsor Standard Bank, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and other key partners such as Deutsche Bank South Africa, and the Peace Corps of South Africa among others, has collectively enabled HOPE to p! roduce early results and to move towards achieving its five-year goal of reaching and educating over 50,000 youth and women in South Africa. Operation HOPE of South Africa is a commitment of the Clinton Global Initiative.

“At Operation HOPE we have vowed that between now and 2012, we will reach and teach 5 million young people worldwide, with the help of 25,000 recruited HOPE Corps volunteers, and we will teach them the basics of a checking account, a savings account, and the importance of credit and investment in their young lives. We will teach them the language of money, we will give them a course in ‘dignity,’ and in South Africa we teach a course in entrepreneurship because there are not enough jobs to go around, and so we must then create self employment projects and a generation of entrepreneurs that will contribute to the growth of South Africa. We must work to make free enterprise and capitalism finally work for the poor,” John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE said during the landmark signing event. Bryant is also the newly appointed vice chairman of the new U.! S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, where he will serve two U.S. presidents until 2010.

Key area government officials, decision-making executives and community leaders were on hand as the two officially signed into practice HOPE’s award-winning, financial literacy programme designed to help learners, young adults and women learn the power or banking, saving, investing, self-reliance and dignity in the Western Cape.  The Banking on Our Future curriculum was localized to reflect the voice, culture and norms of South Africa.

The mission of the Banking on Our Future, South Africa programme is to execute a global delivery system for financial education for youth and women, at no cost to school districts nor the communities they serve, with a focus on under-served communities.  In South Africa the programme operates in urban and rural areas.

The programme consists of six modules;

• Basics of Banking and Financial Services,
• Checking & Savings Accounts,
• The Power of Credit,
• Basic Investments
• Entrepreneurship
• Dignity

Students are taught by trained volunteer HOPE Corp members, doubling as role models and mentors in many cases, who share and translate their knowledge of banking and credit into terms that youth and others in under-served communities can understand and utilize immediately.  In addition to financial education, the students are left with a message of empowerment, a message of responsibility and dignity, and most important, a message of HOPE.

To support its goals, HOPE has already established boards in
the Western Cape and Gauteng region. The goal in South Africa is to recruit more than 500 HOPE Corps volunteers from all walks of life and to educate more than 50,000 young people and women in financial literacy, dignity and entrepreneurship over a 5-year period.  To help, get help, or simply to access additional information on Operation HOPE and Banking on Our Future, South Africa log onto http://www.operationhope.org/ or call Gauteng Programme Manager at Nkanyiso Mweli at +27720649145 or Western Cape Programme Manager Serge Wyngaard at +27713252793 or http://www.operationhope.org/ .

About Operation HOPE, Inc
Operation HOPE, Inc. (HOPE) is a non-profit, public benefit organization, founded immediately following the civil unrest of April 29, 1992 in Los Angeles. HOPE is America’s leading provider of economic tools and services. HOPE is an effective facilitator, lender, advocate and educator for and on behalf of underserved communities.
Through a series of public/private partnerships and strategic alliances, HOPE has developed and implemented programmes focused on connecting the minority community with mainstream, private sector resources, and empowering under-served communities.

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