Employees Contribute More in a Challenging 2020 to Help SA’s Youth Through Education

1 February 2021: Momentum Metropolitan Holdings is handing over a total of R260 000 raised through staff payroll contributions in 2020 to two non-profit organisation (NPO) partner beneficiaries aimed at helping South Africa’s youth through education: R160 000 to the Limpopo Maths & Science Academy and R100 000 to Youth Potential South Africa in the Eastern Cape.

“Monthly payroll contributions is one of the initiatives under the staff volunteering programme at Momentum Metropolitan Holdings. The staff volunteer programme (SVP) encourages employees to choose the form of volunteering – from payroll giving to face-to-face and virtual volunteering – that best suits and enables them to give back to communities,” says Patronella Sono, Staff Volunteer Specialist at Momentum Metropolitan.

Last year was the fourth-year employees were able to show their support and help make a difference to the communities around South Africa that need it most – and contributions grew significantly, revealing an interesting trend.

“The past year was a particularly challenging one, with the impact of a global pandemic and associated lockdown taking a heavy toll on people mentally, physically, socially and financially – but somehow, even in the midst of these obstacles, our people opened up their hearts and wallets because they could see people that were worse off and wanted to help in whichever way they could.  Many managed a small, monthly contribution taken directly off their salaries.  This soon added up and now will go a long way towards helping youngsters in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape,” says Sono.

And help they did. Payroll contributions grew from R200 000 in 2019 to R260 000 in 2020, prompting Momentum Metropolitan to identify two NPOs to share the contributions, so that a greater number of young South Africans, particularly in rural areas of the country, could benefit.

The two selected beneficiary NPOs, the Limpopo Maths & Science Academy and Youth Potential South Africa, both aim to develop and uplift young South Africans through education.

Limpopo Maths and Science Academy works to improve the level of mathematics and science in Limpopo and South Africa more broadly by providing quality education and career development programmes to learners. It currently helps about 300 learners from villages surrounding Mokopane through extra lessons, support over WhatsApp, educational camps and Saturday classes.

“Our organisation has operated for over three years without financial support. Through the dedication of the founders we were able to contribute from our pockets the little we can afford to keep the program running. Seeing that we have a short year ahead of us our services will be highly needed and with this donation we will provide much needed support to our learners.  With this donation MASA will not only be able to reach out to more students and continue to operate for the 10 months but will also feed more than five families who rely on a weekly stipend they get from the after classes.” says Thabo Makwela, General Manager of MASA.

The funds will also be used for the development and printing of learner material, tutor and teacher stipends, chalks and other material needed in the classroom.

Youth Potential South Africa (YOUPSA), which operates in the Gamtoos Valley area of the Eastern Cape and is the only education NPO in the region, aims to ignite the spark in the youth of the Gamtoos Valley to help them find their purpose and contribute to the broader wellbeing of their community.

It does this through five core programmes: Creative Youth Empowerment, Creative Teacher Empowerment, Leadership and Team-Building for Students, Teachers and School Governing Bodies, ‘Words Can Change Worlds’ Literacy Programme, and Creating Health with Community Gardens.

“Rural children and youth are the vast majority in our country, but the least supported and most forgotten,” says Ray Schöne, Co-Founder and Director at YOUPSA. “Momentum Metropolitan’s support means that disadvantaged Primary School children can attend YOUPSA’s After-School Enrichment Programme in 2021, which includes arts, drama, team & leadership building, Maths learning with fun, literacy skills, socio-emotional skills, problem-solving, creative and critical thinking skills and fun activities for body and mind, as well as enjoy some healthy snacks.”

The funds will be used for the necessary programme resources, healthy snacks, transportation costs, facilitation and educational outings.

“There is a lot of potential in this partnership, for example starting mentorship between Momentum Metropolitan’s employees and our kids. YOUPSA put great emphasis on building teamwork, life skills and sparking creativity in the children because we know that this enables them to grow into confident and successful young adults,” says Schöne.

“The overall increase in payroll giving shows the willingness of people to play their part and do their most to help others – and is an important step in equipping South Africa’s youth with the skills they need to grow into successful adults. We would like to thank our employees for continuing to give so generously even when they were facing their own challenges and encourage them to maintain the momentum to create a wave of positive change,” says Sono.