Global empowerment non-profit Founder John Hope Bryant talks about the role of financial literacy and importance leading a dignified life
Johannesburg, South Africa – September 22, 2011 — The South African financial Services group, Sanlam, has committed to investing R3,694,509 in Operation HOPE and its global financial literacy and economic empowerment initiatives.
The company will also recruit hundreds of its employees as HOPE Corps volunteers to deliver the Banking on Our Future – South Africa program in schools throughout the Gauteng and Western Cape Provinces. These volunteers will help empower High School students to take control of their financial future and live a life of dignity as they define.
The announcement came as the company launched on September 7 its Sanlam Foundation, which will focus on improving the financial situation of communities where Sanlam operates.
Operation HOPE Founder Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant traveled to Johanessburg 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 in Los Angeles, I realized 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 regions 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 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, Accounting and English education at secondary school level; environmental education awareness and leadership development for school management, as well as 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 South Africa; US Consulate; UPS Foundation; and the Western Cape Department of Education.
About the Sanlam Group
Sanlam is a leading financial services group in South Africa. It provides financial solutions to individuals and institutional clients. These solutions include individual, group and short-term insurance, personal financial services such as estate planning, trusts, home and personal loans, savings and linked products, investment, asset management, stockbroking, risk management and capital market activities. Established in 1918 as a life insurance company, Sanlam has grown into a diversified one-stop financial services group, offering its clients a journey for life for all their financial needs. Apart from South Africa, the Group operates elsewhere in Africa, India, Europe and Australia. www.sanlam.co.za
About Operation HOPE (HOPE)
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been America’s leading financial literacy and empowerment nonprofit. Through its three principle portfolios: Banking on Our Future, HOPE Coalition America and HOPE Financial Literacy Empowerment Centers the organization provides youth and adult financial literacy education, economic preparedness, and promotes entrepreneurship, small business development, home ownership and assists with foreclosure prevention. With the support of more than 400 private sector companies, 4000 nonprofit organizations and schools and government partners, HOPE has reached over 1.5 million low-wealth individuals in 71 U.S. cities and 9 Provinces in South Africa. At the core of HOPE’s mission is a Silver Rights Movement, ensuring that free enterprise and capitalism work to provide a better future for underserved communities around the world. To learn more about HOPE, visit our blog or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.