Anglo American’s dedicated corporate social investment (CSI) arm, the Chairman’s Fund, has once again demonstrated the group’s commitment to engendering positive social change and making a real difference in poverty nodes, through grants provided to the Columba Leadership organisation.
Inspired by a youth leadership programme developed in Scotland, Columba Leadership offers a values-based leadership development programme to young people, in order to empower them to make better life choices and drive social change within their schools and communities.
Columba Leadership operates through partner schools, including those from townships and rural areas in Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Western Cape.
The organisation’s primary vehicle for delivery is a six-day residential leadership academy. During this period, self-selected learners, educators and principals from disadvantaged schools are engaged in a process that encourages the transformation of their core values.
The academy offers experiential training according to six leadership values including awareness, focus, creativity, integrity, perseverance and community service.
Since 2010, the Chairman’s Fund has provided R180 000 in grants toward Columba Leadership. The fund’s support has helped Columba increase organisational capacity, as it was able to grow its number of students from 135 graduates in the year ended February 2011, to 420 in the year ended February 2012.
As a result, Columba is better equipped to help disadvantaged young people assume greater control of their lives.
Founding chairperson of Columba, Rob Taylor, notes that support of the Chairman’s Fund is proving critical to furthering the organisation’s objectives.
“The strategic benefit of our relationship with the Chairman’s Fund has been considerable, as we have been able to significantly increase the number of graduates we have. More than this, Anglo American’s blue-chip reputation has also allowed us to attract numerous other corporate investors to Columba Leadership.
“Ultimately, the Fund’s support is testimony to what can be achieved when civil society and businesses work together for the development of young people.”
Chairman’s Fund chairperson Norman Mbazima concludes that the Fund’s support of Columba is consistent with Anglo American’s overarching philosophy.
“The sterling work produced by Columba aligns with our strategy to make a real difference to South Africa’s socio-economic growth, through providing young people with the means to be active citizens and profound agents of change in their communities.
“Therefore, we are proud to support Columba in its endeavours, as it helps ensure a new generation of South Africans are afforded the necessary skills and expertise required to advance our country’s development.”