Throughout 2019 the Futuregrowth CSI team sourced, funded and monitored many projects that made a difference in the lives of those who needed this most.
But the effort did not stop there. Futuregrowth staff rallied to support several other causes that moved them.
Through a former employee of Futuregrowth, who is part of the leadership team of ABSIP YP (Association for Black Securities and Investment Professionals - Young Professionals), Investment Analyst, Thina Manga, became aware that ABSIP YP had started a drive to collect calculators for Grade 10 – 12 learners in schools situated in under-privileged areas across the country. They had found that many learners at their adopted schools were sharing scientific calculators, which in some cases led to them not being able to finish their final exam papers.
Thina challenged Futuregrowth staff to purchase up to 168 scientific calculators for the learners of Iqhayiya Secondary School in Khayelitsha. Thina’s appeal proved irresistible: “We all know what a difference education can make in one’s life, and this is even more pronounced in the lives of people who come from an under-privileged upbringing/background. As you can imagine, this lack of resources just further adds to the challenges these learners face personally and as a result of our poor education system… So please open your hearts and wallets to donate towards this extremely important and worthy cause.”
In no time, Business Development’s Shihaam Wheeder found a supplier who would provide a significant discount on a bulk order of the required calculators. This started a frenzy of challenges amongst staff to meet each other’s donations - and by the deadline date a whopping 433 calculators had been collected!
Staff donors were invited to join the handover in June 2019, where the delivery team were met by the School Governing Body and local officials from the Department of Education. Thina thanked everyone for their enthusiasm and generosity. “We can all be happy knowing that these will make such a big difference for the learners who will be receiving them.”
Winning at the game of life
The Futuregrowth Gifting Policy precludes staff from accepting individual gifts from clients or service providers. If any gifts are received by the company, these are kept for the now legendary Staff Auction, where staff are allowed to purchase the items through an energetic bidding process. Intrepid “auctioneer” Michael van Rensburg ensures that maximum value is obtained from this exercise.
Futuregrowth Librarian and CSI committee member, Edwina Fowler, successfully proposed that the proceeds from the 2019 auction be donated to the Friends of the Rylands Library, for their Chess Winter Slam. As stated by Western Cape Chess president Omar Esau, chess has a great benefit for children. “You always need to think three moves ahead, so we are teaching kids how to think logically and also how to be creative. This sport can be enjoyed in all types of weather and a lot of these kids come from disadvantaged areas.”
Tournament organiser, Hakeem Syed informed Edwina that the event was a grand success. A total of 156 players from as far afield as Grabouw and Napier battled it out for various trophies. “It was like a festival of sorts with all different kinds of people interacting with each other, eating, playing, hanging out and having fun together. Breakfast and lunch was served to all and coffee on tap with snacks flowed all through the day. The atmosphere was electric” Hakeem added. “A not so well known player, Salem Abdarahim, turned out to be the Man of the Tournament. He made his way to glory by winning the first prize trophy and also received the revolving trophy with a lot of pomp and pride.
“The games are over for now and the dust has settled down. We are back in the trenches trying to keep the kids in our free coaching classes. We are busy devising ways to round up more kids into this movement. We are currently working on organizing a Chess workshop in partnership with Chess Western Cape. We would like to guide and motivate the kids into starting up small clubs within their areas.
“On behalf of the Friends of Rylands Library, I thank Futuregrowth and particularly you for appreciating our community development initiative and backing us up to make these positive contributions... Let’s march to a better tomorrow. Together.”
There were sufficient funds over to help sponsor the Chess Summer Slam 2019 held in the middle of December.
Benjamin Franklin said, “The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it… For Life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with.”
It was a privilege to participate in some small way in putting these young people on the path to winning at life!
View the PDF version of Looking back at paying it forward here.