The Ithemba Trust, a women’s empowerment organisation, and Bureau Veritas Southern Africa, a global leader in testing, inspection and certification, recently celebrated International Women’s Day together at Ntsikana Primary School in Daveyton, Gauteng, to honour and encourage the educators and learners.

    Yvonne Kgame encourages young girls at Ntsikana Primary School.

Aligned to Bureau Veritas Southern Africa’s strong social awareness, the Trust focuses on empowering girls and young women from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, particularly through education in the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through this partnership, the Trust is working with beneficiaries in areas where BVSA employees live and work. Since it was launched in June 2018, it has been involved in several projects and has provided two full bursaries for students: Keletso Moekona to study mining engineering, and Sanelisiwe Mabaso to study biological sciences, both at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Once these young women graduate, Bureau Veritas will take them into the business and provide them with soft skills and work readiness training. Going forward, enterprise development assistance will also be provided to those that choose to launch their own businesses and the company is committed to subcontracting work to them as part of the programme, to support small business growth and sustainability.

Ithemba Trust chairperson, Ms Yvonne Busisiwe Kgame, is described as a passionate leader with a 30-year career in education and television underpinned by her desire to serve and make a difference. Addressing about 30 educators at Ntsikana Primary, she used her trademark story-telling style to encourage action and change. While acknowledging women’s achievements throughout history and across nations, Ms Kgame encouraged those taking care of the education of our next generation, future leaders: “As teachers you need to teach with purpose,” she said. “Passion and purpose lead to greatness. Be a bold teacher and empower your students to become great.”

Sisanda Mamanzi, an employee of Bureau Veritas and former learner at the school, also addressed the educators, sharing her own story. Singing and celebrations followed, with all the educators and learners.

The independent Trustees of the Ithemba Trust include Yvonne Busisiwe Kgame and Zwelakhe Onwell Msomi, each well-known in the South African business community and involved in non-profit organisations concerned with the education and upliftment of women. Ms Sal Govender, Vice President of Bureau Veritas Southern Africa, is also a Trustee of the Ithemba Trust. 

For more information contact: Ms Sal Govender, sal.govender@za.bureauveritas.com

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