The Absa Scholarships touch real lives

Prosper | Written by Absa Staff Writer

03 November 2017

‘I am because you are.’ The popular adage of Ubuntu makes all who live in Africa an integral part of the continent’s success. That’s why Absa sees itself as more than just a business and the introduction of the Shared Growth strategy is a commitment to this way of living.

“We see our destiny as interwoven with that of the continent, we have given careful consideration to how our growth can prompt the development of the communities we serve. This speaks to our values as a business and in particular to our sense of stewardship – leaving things better than we found them,” says Maria Ramos, CEO of the Barclays Africa Group.

Shared Growth is firmly rooted in the mutual progression of the continent through three pillars – education, financial inclusion, and enterprise development.

“Our job is not just to strengthen our business, but to help create wealth for our customers and shareholders, and make our continent a better place to live,” she adds.

As part of its fulfilling the promise of Shared Growth through education, Absa founded the Education and Skills Scholarship Programme in 2016. This was in response to protests and calls for higher learning institutions across the country to lower the cost of tuition fees, and Absa endeavoured to play its part in the national plight. The aim is to help alleviate some of the financial pressure on students from previously disadvantaged communities.

Since its inception, 1 579 students in the University of the Free State, University of Johannesburg, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Limpopo, Tshwane University of Technology, Vaal University of Johannesburg, Wits University, University of Pretoria, University of Western Cape and Venda University have received scholarships. 112 scholarships have also been granted to Absa staff dependents.

This year, the programme has its sights set on 3 000 scholarships to the value of R210 million. 505 Absa employees have already received scholarships for their children.

Who are these beneficiaries? Meet Joshwin Sampson, one of the recipients. He is the first person in his family to attend university, currently doing a BA in Media Studies and Journalism at the University of the Free State. His family’s financial difficulties saw him lose his father in an attempt to fulfil tuition payments. But now with this scholarship programme, Joshwin will be able to complete his studies and make a meaningful contribution to society. Watch his story here:

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