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Top SA NPO celebrates 10 years of social impact

Partnering organisations, school principals and other Symphonia for South Africa (SSA) stakeholders gathered virtually on 2 December to celebrate 10 years of social impact in South Africa through its flagship leadership development programme Partners for Possibility. This event closes off a year that saw the organisation garner widespread recognition as an impactful social change movement, …

Partnering organisations, school principals and other Symphonia for South Africa (SSA) stakeholders gathered virtually on 2 December to celebrate 10 years of social impact in South Africa through its flagship leadership development programme Partners for Possibility. This event closes off a year that saw the organisation garner widespread recognition as an impactful social change movement, including a coveted spot in the 2021 top 200 non-profit organisations in the world published by the Geneva-based media organisation, NGO Advisor.

Head of the Business Advisory Department for Multichoice, Executive Director of Strategic African Women In Leadership and Founder and CEO of Tibane Estates, Moloko Komane, featured as the event’s guest speaker. Komane narrated the inspirational story of how education changed the trajectory of her life and enabled her to become the leader she is today; a leader who challenges status quos and breaks glass ceilings, and advocates powerfully increased female leadership in male-dominated spaces.

‘’We need more women in leadership roles, and more women participating in our economies. Getting there starts with the ‘self’. You need to focus on what you want to achieve, visualize a life in which you have achieved your goal, let go of doubts, create a positive mindset through showing gratitude and finally take action.’’

Amplifying the voices of the communities SSA serves, Anne Tarr, Principal of AF Louw Primary in Paarl, showcased what could be accomplished when business and education collaborate. ‘’COVID-19 has forced us into new ways of thinking and doing. Schools can be rigid, but I believe that we can still follow traditions and create new ones if we are open to new ideas. My Partners for Possibility business leader, Jacolene Quinn, and I built a strong relationship, gave each other tools to handle conflict, turned the school’s five figure bank balance into a seven figure one and increased the parental involvement in the school.’’

The Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company (FEM), a long-standing funder of the PfP programme, was also represented at the event. FEM’s Chief Financial Officer, Yusuf Bodiat, spoke on behalf of the company. ‘’Our FEM Education Foundation was created to achieve a systemic difference in education in South Africa. We partner with organisations, like PfP, who are passionate about making a meaningful change.  I, myself, have participated in the programme. I learnt about the school environment and a lot about myself from a professional/business perspective.”

Project Preparation Expert for the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Ramona Maduray, stressed the importance of the role business plays in education. ‘’Sometimes business doesn’t realise what impact they can have on education. We can achieve so much more when principals synergise with business leaders. Our country faces social issues that we can only overcome together.’’

In closing, CEO of SSA, Komala Pillay, thanked the SSA team, beneficiaries, funders and other social change organisations. ‘’In 2021 we launched our programme  in over 200 schools across South Africa and reached over 170 000 learners from under-resourced communities. In 2022, we would love to reach 200 000 learners. To make this happen, we are inviting people to contribute to an individual giving opportunity called 10 Kids Lives. By contributing just R100 per month, you can positively impact 10 children’s lives because we know that when a school principal is empowered to improve their school, children, their families and their communities all benefit. We believe that by contributing this small amount, all South Africans can make a significant contribution to creating #TheFutureWeWant for our country.’’

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