Bridging The Digital Divide This Mandela Month

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing crises and made it more challenging to meet the demands of social justice.  This year, more than ever, we are reminded about how important it is for us to stand together as a nation and let one hand feed another. 

“And that does not only pertain to food security,’ says Kennedy Dembetembe, Corporate Social Investment Head at African Bank. “African Bank is passionate about education, specifically helping to bridge the digital divide.” Dembetembe stresses the importance of assisting learners, especially in disadvantaged communities, who without support, have little chance of ever finishing school and pursuing higher education.

“As part of our efforts to improve education outcomes, we will be donating laptops and tablets to students primarily through staff in our Branch Network to eight institutions around the country between the 21st June and 29 July.” This includes a donation of:  

•             10 X Laptops to Leap Science and Maths School (Western Cape)

•             5 X Laptops to students at the University of Western Cape (Western Cape)

•             15 X Laptops to University of Cape Town (Western Cape)

•             5 X Tablets to Mavambe Primary School (Limpopo)

•             5 X Tablets at Vezulwazi Primary School (Mpumalanga)

•             5 X Tablets at Livangeli Primary School (Kwa Zulu Natal)

•             5 X Laptops to students at the Vaal University of Technology (Gauteng)

•             5 x Laptops Kgomotso High School (Northern Cape)

Dembetembe believes the future of education worldwide will be technologically driven. “We need to embrace the move to digital platforms as quickly as possible and make sure that our schools are equipped with Smart Boards, tablets and computers to make the sharing of information easier, better and faster. 

We need to invest in technology and put learning in the hands of learners. There is nothing more inquisitive than a young mind, and with access to a world of information the potential to learn is infinite,” he says.

In addition to laptop donations, African Bank have also been running a Virtual Volunteering campaign through “Trash to Treasure”. The campaign will see African Bankers use their 67 minutes for Mandela day to make educational toys from everyday items that can be found in most South African homes.  The toys will then be donated to our long term Non-Profit Partner, Love Trust.  African Bank is also donating funds towards a library at Mosetlha Primary in Hammanskraal and distributing blankets to the beneficiaries of the Halli Trust in the Western Cape, an organisation dedicated to advancing the lives of youth and supporting historically disadvantaged communities in and around Cape Town.

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