BIHL Trust aims to uplift Botswana’s core poor
by Ruth Kedikilwe
Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) has rolled out a trust that aims to aid disadvantaged people in Botswana’s communities.
BIHL Group Chief Executive Officer, Gaffar Hassam, says this is in a bid to continue the Group’s corporate social investment.
“Making profits for shareholders is just as important as the community they live,” Hassam said, adding that BIHL realises it does not exist in a vacuum.
The BIHL group donates 1 percent of its after-tax profits to the trust and hopes through various mass media tools the word regarding this trust will spread to enable more people to come forward and benefit from it.
Hassam also said their primary areas of concern were poverty alleviation, education, arts and culture, and nurturing young talent. They are guided by the vision 201 pillar of being a compassionate just and caring nation.
He said that BIHL is further guided by the principle of teaching a man how to fish rather than giving him fish for purposes of growth, sustainability and continuity.
BIHL Board Chairperson, Dr Happy Fidzani, says that through this initiative, the Group was recognising Batswana in their role in its growth.
“This is what BIHL has always been doing through its various initiatives that support various communities around Botswana,” Fidzani said.
“Nations develop and change which often requires new approaches to dealing with the social concerns. It became apparent that there was a more efficient and effective way for BIHL to assist the community,” he added.
In outlining the selection criteria for this assistance, Fidzani explained that trustees are spread across Botswana in order to identify various needs in communities. He said they do this through exploration and interaction.
Moreover, Fidzani said the trustees strive to achieve regional balance, ensuring that as many Batswana as possible in urban and rural areas benefit from this move.
Before investing in a project, the BIHL requires a contribution, though not financial, from the beneficiary which entails dedication towards the project. The BIHL also takes sustainability into consideration, says Fidzani.
The trust also contributes towards a Maruapula School fund which assists in educating children from disadvantaged families, a way he describes as “salvaging brains which would have otherwise been lost”.