Systemic change in townships continues

Consultant Sofie Snoek, responsible for the partnership, explains: “Primary school starts at the age of 7 in South Africa. Most children in townships don’t go to pre-school. They spend their days with a grandmother or aunt while their parents are working. So, when they start with primary school, they are already behind their richer peers. Investing in a preschool will help these children to have an equal start.”

This is where Rhiza Babuyile’s program comes in. Sofie explains: “Through Rhiza Babuyile we pay for the professional education of teachers in townships. These teachers become qualified to set up a preschool themselves. Making them eligible for government grants. We also invest in buildings. So that the centers meet government requirements. This will help the entire township. That’s what I call systemic change.”

In 2022, we donated 3.5% of our annual profits, which paid for the education of teachers and a set of educational materials for the children. Next to that, we set up a pro bono ‘train-the-trainer’ program for Rhiza Babuyile. Our consultants trained the people working at the NGO. Providing online short courses on project management, communication, goal setting, time management, and so on. The people from Rhiza Babuyile, in turn, trained the teachers in those skills as well.

Sofie: “It’s very inspiring to be in touch with the teachers and the people from Rhiza Babuyile. Everyone is very motivated to work on the future of these townships. It’s also a reality check for our consultants. For instance, we had to postpone classes twice. Once, there was a power outage because of the theft of the electricity cables. Another time, there were riots, making it unsafe for people to join our class. Although people live very different lives, there’s an instant connection during the classes. I guess we all like learning and connecting with others.”

Robbert Popken from Rhiza Babuyile: “Been Management Consulting’s workshops are a valuable addition to the curriculum. I attended a few of these online short courses last year. I must say, the consultants did a great job in connecting with the South Africans. We all had fun too!”

As one of the attending teachers told us after one of the classes: “Thank you for having the time to share ideas. I hope you bring me more insights to gain more experience.”

In 2023, we will continue this training program, next to donating 3.5% of our annual profits. This time, we will support a township near Johannesburg called: Tembisa. It means ‘promise’ in Xhosa. It’s a township that hosts houses many refugees and immigrants from other parts of Africa.

Sofie: “A special thank you goes out to Net4Kids, an NGO that finds local charities and projects in emerging economies to connect with companies like us, so the perfect match can be made. The team of Annelieke Brackel did a great job in finding such an impactful program for us.”

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