Sixteen graduates of the SOS Children’s Village had cause for celebration when Stanbic Bank wrote them out a cheque for P50,000 handed to the organisation on Thursday.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Stanbic Bank’s Managing Director, Leina Gabaraane, noted that they are humbled and privileged to contribute to the future of Botswana.
“This money will be used to help the children graduating from the Tlokweng SOS Children’s village to start up their lives as adults on their own foot,” he said.
He said they set up the fund for the resettlement of graduates when they leave the village. “We put up an amount of P50,000 into the account which have since earned interest in terms of the normal bank rates for similar accounts. And we will continue doing this for the upcoming graduates. This will be a contribution that we will continue making”, Gabaraane said.
Gabaraane added that as a business, they cannot survive if the community is not well. “We believe with our contribution we will be investing in the growth of our future as a business.
We also need to contribute to the social welfare and uplifting of our society,” he added. He likened their relationship with the bank to that of an extended family.
“What you make of your future is entirely in your hands. Move out of this village and be what you can be. Be passionate and steadfast,” he urged the graduates. He warned the graduates that they may trip along the way but they should always stand up and look at the brighter side of life.
SOS board chairperson, Motshwari Kitso, commended Stanbic for their continued support. “Our relationship with Stanbic Bank dates way back from 1994 and it is based on mutual respect. The bank has bought vehicles for the village and also sponsored the children in many different ways,” he said.
The P50 00 resettlement fund will go towards three activities. “All the graduates, and that is anyone above the age of eighteen, will be assisted with P5,000 for use in housing development, furthering their education or buying equipment for those who did carpentry so that they can start off their own workshops,” Kitso said.
“Everyone of them is ensured where they are going before they leave here, some get re-united back with their families and some go and stay with their relatives,” he said. He said these arrangements are made through social workers.