"We are determined not to spend simply for the sake of it," says BBD CEO Peter Searle. "We have elected to focus on programmes which are proven as both sustainable and effective. Our goal is to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to the future of South Africa by empowering the upcoming generation with real skills. This will pay dividends not only for the individuals, but also the nation as a whole."
BBD stepped in during a recent school break and sponsored eight hard working students between the ages of 15 and 17 from Roedean Academy for Girls in Johannesburg to a two day basic life skills programme at BBD's premises. The top performing Maths and Science students are selected for the programme. The students received personality profiling and a life skills programme provided by psychologist Nico Liebenberg.
"The academy's vision of establishing a sustainable world class training environment for local girls to enhance their English, Mathematics and Science education mirrors our passion in believing that education is the key to addressing the current critical skills shortage in South Africa," says Searle.
An after school facility, Roedean's goal is to provide facilities and expertise to develop both students and teachers. Existing teachers from the local schools are afforded the opportunity to develop their teaching skills and are provided with access to the Internet which is used as a tool to perform research.
Students are nurtured to develop essential job skills such as learning how to think critically, work collaboratively, utilise the Internet for research and to remain up to date with current affairs. Their ultimate aim is to adequately prepare students for university degree courses or sustainable careers in the engineering, medical, law and accounting fields. The school provides free learning materials, transport, uniforms and an all important meal.
Searle continues: "The students were mentored on how to recognise defining moments in life and to make significant change in order to compliment their academic skills and equip them with the ability to effectively develop their own personalities. Both are equally important criteria for success in today's stressful environment.
"The enthusiasm of the students was clearly visible over the two days, as was their passion in embracing the subject matter. Not only will we remain in touch with the students but monitor their future successes and be available for assistance if required. The project was a resounding success and something which we will definitely repeat in the future," Searle concludes.
BBD is actively involved in other meaningful projects relating to education, healthcare and social welfare throughout South Africa.