It was fantastic to be part of the Deloitte21 workshop. I enjoyed interacting with the Deloitte21 Fellows and benefitted from the various presentations. I was particularly amazed at the amount of enthusiasm the students from Deloitte UK’s Employability Initiative showcased during their presentations. It reinforced the notion that if people are given opportunities and are nutured from a young age they can become exceptional future leaders.
Since our meeting in London, I have been involved in ensuring that two Project Siyakhula events take place. Project Siyakhula (which means, “we are growing”) is a programme which started in 1998 and is predominantly run by Deloitte trainee accountants across South Africa to assist disadvantaged pupils from townships in areas of accounting and mathematics. The programme has been taken to scale across the country, and today it is active in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Pretoria, and Johannesburg.
Our vision is to guide our students to see their lives beyond their immediate circumstances and to empower them to become phenomenal leaders. Volunteers from Deloitte teach accounting and mathematics to students in grades 10, 11, and 12. They also provide some guidance on soft skills such as problem solving, motivation, decision making and self awareness.
With the World Cup tournament taking place in South Africa, we thought that many of our students would not want to be tutored during this period. We were wrong! It is so inspiring to see the students’ willingness to learn, and they certainly want to make a better life for themselves by getting an education.
From the 21st – 25th June, volunteers from Deloitte’s Johannesburg office, from across all service lines, gave up their time to tutor 90 students from Zimisele Secondary school. The course involved tutoring and assessments of mathematics and accounting. A life skills component, with an emphasis on self awareness and decision making was held during the course of the week. We also hosted a sports event to ensure the students were given a well rounded experience.
In the last week of June, the Deloitte Port Elizabeth office ran an action packed, learning filled week for 30 children from several previously disadvantaged schools. During the maths and accounting lessons, study guides and helpful tips were provided to the learners. The students were also required to write tests so that any problem areas could be identified, which also provided the Deloitte volunteers with the opportunity to observe improvements. All free time was filled with team activities and soccer and a big screen was erected so they could watch some soccer matches.
Feedback from the learners and Deloitte volunteers has been phenomenal, and we look forward to the rest of our programmes in our other regions. Below are some quotes from the learners:
- "We appreciate all the work done for us, may you guys keep it up."
- "I wish this programme could continue until the schools re-open. I was motivated."
- "The programme went really well, now we understand a lot of things we couldn’t understand at school."
Samuel Payne is responsible for developing and managing the implementation of the corporate citizenship strategy and program for Deloitte Southern Africa. As a Deloitte21 Fellow he is responsible for strengthening the implementation of the firm’s various projects.