South African banking company Ubank has further demonstrated its commitment toward education in rural areas of the country, this time with the handover of new and improved school facilities at the Zinini Junior Secondary School in Bizana in the Eastern Cape province on 13 March.
Together with assistance from the US Africa Children Fellowship, and the Israeli South Africa Chamber of Commerce, Ubank and its trustees also donated over 200 chairs and 100 tables, as well as 150 pairs of school shoes collected as part of the bank’s “back to school” campaign.
“Investing in communities in which we operate forms an integral part of how we do business, and it is this philosophy that sets us apart and allows us to uplift the lives of our customers,” said Ubank CEO Luthando Vutula at the handover.
The Zinini Junior Secondary School was founded by Miss CN Ndunge, a well-known community member from the royal family of the Amanyawuza clan, in 1983. From its humble beginnings in one thatch-roofed mud rondavel, the school now has 503 learners and 15 educators three decades later.
With the growing number of learners, the school has been facing a number of challenges in their attempts to provide optimum education.
Identifying the most pressing challenges faced by the school, Ubank and the Teba Trust Fund assisted the school by building six classrooms, increasing security by erecting a perimeter fence, and through donating the furniture for the new classrooms.
Infrastructural development remains a challenge in most rural schools across South Africa, especially in the Eastern Cape, and investing in the foundation of the country’s future leaders is a step that Ubank and its partners firmly believe in.
“Our engagement with the school was not only to provide proper school facilities, but also included creating jobs, imparting skills training and optimising talent from within the Bizana community to build these school facilities,” said Teba Trust Fund principal officer Derick Elbrecht.
“This is yet another project through which Ubank, the Teba Trust Fund and its partners have been able to help uplift the communities in which they operate.
“Since the end of January 2014, the bank has been involved in distributing over 3 000 pairs of school shoes to seven under-privileged schools across the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Free State and North West provinces.
“As part of the bank’s on-going corporate social responsibility initiatives, the bank has in the last five years adopted around 10 schools and now we have the pleasure of growing our list by adding Zinini Junior Secondary school,” said Elbrecht.