Since 2011 MTN Business has been working in partnership with the Wildlands Conservation Trust and Qhubeka, to empower rural communities and children across South Africa. Over the past 12 months, as part of the MTN Business Qhubeka product offering, MTN Business with customer Etana Insurance, have raised funds to the value of over R35 000, and today, MTN Business Qhubeka has benefited the lives of the broader community in Vosloorus, by handing over 20 bicycles to children in the area, all of which was aided through the funds raised.
The MTN Business Qhubeka product offering differentiates MTN Business by allowing businesses the opportunity to embark on a social responsibility initiative while simultaneously addressing their communications requirements. This enterprise solution offers voice, data and ISP solutions, customised to the corporate, where a portion of the total spend is contributed towards the Qhubeka initiative.
Says Angela Gahagan-Thomson, Managing Executive of MTN Business; “MTN Business is proud to be part of the broader Qhubeka initiative, one that is aimed at not only empowering communities in rural areas around our country, but is also focused on undertaking youth focused educational programmes to share the importance of recycling and planting trees as a means of ensuring a more sustainable future is built for South Africa”.
Qhubeka is a corporate social investment project which aims to improve rural communities by providing bicycles to children in return for work done to improve their environment and larger communities. The Wildlands Conservation forms part of the MTN Qhubeka initiative, which supports a network of thousands of ‘tree-preneurs’ and ‘green-preneurs’. Through Wildlands, children in rural communities can barter their trees and recycling efforts/products for food, clothes, water tanks, building material and any form of educational support. Since 2004, Qhubeka has provided thousands of bikes to children.
Adds Gahagan-Thomson; “As Qhubeka is all about moving forward and progressing through the use of bicycles, and considering the fact that the MTN brand has supported cycling for many years now, getting involved in this initiative was a natural fit. Along with the MTN Business Qhubeka offering, Team MTN Qhubeka continue to race to raise awareness of the Qhubeka initiative which is essentially about mobilising children on bicycles, to allow them the opportunity for a better future”.
Says Josie Holley, head of marketing at specialist business insurer, Etana; “Upon hearing about the innovative layers of the Qhubeka initiative and the MTN Business Qhubeka product offering in this regard, Etana immediately wanted to get involved and selected the MTN Business Qhubeka offering. This is not only due to excellent service and integrated solutions they provide, but also because they care about the future of SA’s children and education as well as the environment. This is what makes MTN Business stand out for us and this initiative is certainly something that we believe will go a long way in enriching rural communities in South Africa.”
The benefits that accrue to such communities not only include reducing the time it takes for children to walk to school, by up to 75%¹, but it also allows the children to get to school on time without exhaustion or fatigue – which aids to concentration levels and improving the learning experience. Additionally, through the use of the sport of cycling into these communities, and providing these children with bikes, Qhubeka is inspiring potential new athletes to arise within these communities and go forward to achieve more. Furthermore, through providing these communities with a means of transport, Qhubeka aids in the access to services such as education, healthcare and community services that may have been previously lacking.
“Today is proof to the community of Vosloorus that by putting their minds to something, they can achieve anything. Today these children received a bicycle that will assist in the upliftment of their entire community. MTN Business is proud to be able to be a part of this project and our thanks must also be extended to Etana for getting involved here by selecting the MTN Business Qhubeka solutions and playing a role in giving back to communities. The Qhubeka project will continue to be a focus for MTN Business as they strive to reach as many communities across South Africa as possible. One child, one tree and one bicycle at a time,” concludes Gahagan-Thomson.
For more information regarding MTN Qhubeka, please visit: http://www.mtn.co.za/Sponsorships/Cycling/Pages/Qhubeka.aspx