20. September 2023
Munich, 20 September, 2023 – The motto of this year’s World Children’s Day on 20 September is “Every child needs a future”. The fact is that hundreds of millions of girls and boys are not in school because they are excluded. In South Africa, too, a good education is an unattainable dream for many children. The non-profit organisation Sawabona Africa wants to change this and supports local aid organisations to give young people a future.
The first day of school is a very special occasion for both children and parents. For the little ones, the adventure of school begins. But while hundreds of thousands of children in Germany have taken their first steps into a new life in recent weeks, the situation in South Africa is very different. The government is investing money in education and trying to redress the injustices that still exist between black and white children. But there exist still huge problems in the country. There are schools without water, toilets or electricity. In many places, children do not receive school books and materials. In addition, teachers are poorly trained, poorly paid and regularly go on strike. As a result, the standard of education continues to decrease.
The numbers are dramatic
At the beginning of the year, the UN warned of an education crisis. 41 million of the 165 million school-age children in eastern and southern Africa are not receiving an adequate education. The consequences are dramatic: only a tenth of 10-year-olds can read and understand a simple text, the lowest reading level in the world. And this deplorable state of affairs runs like a thread through the rest of their lives: According to the World Bank, South Africa has the highest unemployment rate in the world. According to official statistics, the rate for 15 to 24-year-olds is 61 per cent, and 71 per cent if all those who are not economically active are included.
Every cent directly supports the education of the children
Sawabona Africa – Sawabona is the African greeting “I respect you. I appreciate you. You are important to me.” – aims to give disadvantaged children access to a good education. The non-profit organisation works with carefully selected local charities. The funds go directly to the individual programmes. To prevent abuse and corruption, Sawabona Africa subjects the charities it supports to a multi-stage due diligence process: This includes a detailed initial screening as well as regular checks after the partnership has been established.
Organisations currently supported include Bright Start’s education and mentoring programmes, PYMA (Phakamani Young Minds Academy) after-school education programme in Soweto, Help Lesotho’s school sponsorship and learning support, and Uthando (Love), which raises money for the community through fair trade tourism.
“Time is running out. We need to invest much more in the education, development and protection of young people,” says Zilla Stekhoven, founder of Sawabona Africa e.V. The South African-educated lawyer has worked internationally in many fields, including as a director at adidas in Germany, before founding Sawabona Africa in 2021. “Corruption in South Africa is widespread and leads to a lot of negative press. At the same time, there is a great willingness to help those in need. My goal was to create a platform where people can donate to South African charities without hesitation and without any administrative fees.”
19. July 2023
Munich, July 19, 2023 – The Munich-based communications agency PR-COM is now serving Sawabona Africa as a pro bono client. The non-profit organization cares for disadvantaged children in South Africa as well as Lesotho and provides them with access to education. The cooperation covers a wide range of communication measures – from classic PR work to social media activities.
In the last three years, there has been a lot of discussion in Germany about educational equality and equal opportunities. In the process, it has often been overlooked that in many parts of the world children are denied the start to a better life through education. In South Africa, the era of apartheid is now more than 30 years old – yet the social differences in schools are still immanent. 80 percent of all fourth graders cannot read properly and most children and young people leave school without an educational qualification. As a result, two-thirds of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are unemployed and nearly 50 percent of people of color live below the poverty line, according to Amnesty International.
Sawabona Africa – Sawabona stands for the African greeting “I respect you. I value you. You are important to me.” – aims to give disadvantaged children access to a good education. The non-profit organization works locally with carefully selected charitable organizations, which Sawabona Africa helps to raise funds and organize partnerships. The funds are passed on directly to the individual programs of the organizations. To prevent abuse and corruption, Sawabona Africa subjects the charities it supports to a multi-stage due diligence process: This includes a detailed initial screening as well as regular checks after the partnership has been concluded. Currently supported organizations include Bright Start‘s education and mentoring programmes, PYMA (Phakamani Young Minds Academy) after-school education programme in Soweto, Help Lesotho‘s school sponsorship and learning support programme and Uthando (Love), which raises funds for the community through fair trade tourism.
“Thanks to my family environment and my education, all opportunities were open to me. I would like to give something back from that and give South Africans who don’t have those opportunities the chance for a better future,” explains Zilla Stekhoven, founder of Sawabona Africa e.V. A South African-educated lawyer with postgraduate studies in psychology, Stekhoven has worked internationally in many fields, including as a director at adidas in Germany, before founding Sawabona Africa in 2021. “Corruption in South Africa is pervasive and leads to a lot of negative press. At the same time, there is a great willingness to support those who urgently need help. My goal was to create a platform where people could donate to South African charities without hesitation and without any administrative fees being withheld. Together with PR-COM, we want to raise awareness of Sawabona Africa.”
“Good ideas simply deserve to be heard. That’s why we are now supporting Sawabona Africa with customized concepts for successful communications and public relations work,” adds PR-COM Managing Director Alain Blaes. “If a non-profit organization wants to reach more people and thus fulfill its social mission, consulting by experienced experts is important. However, this advice costs money – money that is then missing elsewhere. We look forward to creating pro bono awareness for Sawabona Africa and thus making our contribution to greater educational justice.”
PR-COM in Munich is an expert in PR, social media and communications and focuses on the high-tech and IT industry in the B2B environment. Unconditionally high quality is the top priority for all 45 colleagues. As a result, our consultants inspire their clients with the success they achieve month after month in the media and the trust that makes collaboration so valuable. Our 9-strong editorial team impresses with its many years of IT expertise coupled with journalistic skills. Because we find nothing more boring than conventional communication, we always go the extra mile and put our heart and soul into working on new strategies and ideas for our 45 customers. We know: Behind every strong agency is a strong team. That’s why we do everything we can to ensure that our employees feel comfortable and can develop further. For us, standing still is not an option. More at https://pr-com.de/en/