by Ruth Kedikilwe
As part of their corporate social investment, the Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) has now introduced a trust, which, according to Gaffar Hassam, the BIHL Group Chief Executive Officer, aims to aid the disadvantaged in a community.
Hassam stated that the BIHL realises that it does not exist in a vacuum. “Making profits for shareholders is just as important as the community they live in and therefore set up the trust,” he said.
Hassam further stated that the BIHL was guided by the principles of teaching a man how to fish rather than giving him fish for purposes of growth, sustainability and continuity.
The BIHL Board Chairperson, Happy Fidzani, outlined that through this initiative the BIHL was in a way acknowledging Batswana for their role in the growth of the group.
“This is what BIHL has always been doing through its various initiatives supporting various communities around Botswana.”
Dr Fidzani further stated that, “Nations develop and change which often requires new approaches to dealing with the social concerns. It became apparent that there was a better more efficient and effective way for BIHL to assist the community,” and thus the formation of the BIHL trust.
When explaining the selection criteria for this assistance, Fidzani explained that trustees are spread across the length and breadth of this country in order to identify various needs in communities through exploration and interaction.
Fidzani further explained that they try to achieve regional balance in the country to ensure that as many Batswana benefit from this move as possible in both urban and rural areas. Before investing in a project, the BIHL requires a contribution, though not financial from the beneficiary which entails dedication towards the project.
The BIHL, according to Fidzani also take sustainability into consideration. The trust also contributes towards a Maruapula School fund which assists in educating children from disadvantaged families, which according to Fidzani, is a way of, “Salvaging brains which would have otherwise been lost”.
Hassam also stated that the BIHL group donates 1 percent of their profits after tax towards this 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 that their primary areas of concern were poverty alleviation, education, arts and culture and nurturing young talent, guided by the Vision 2016 Pillar of being a compassionate, just and caring nation.