Corporate Social Investment
The Imara Group is confident in the future of Africa and believes that the continent’s influence will grow as its economies continue to develop. Education is widely accepted as one of the leading instruments for promoting economic development and with a population where some 40% of its people are under the age of 20, education plays a crucial role in unlocking Africa’s potential.
The Group’s purpose is to accelerate the prosperity of Africa and has identified entrepreneurship – the combination of initiative and resourcefulness – as one of the key drivers of sustained social development and economic development.
The focus of Imara’s Group Social Initiate (CSI) is to identify candidates from economically disadvantaged African communities who possess the qualities of innate talent and entrepreneurial drive and provide them with the tools to become economically empowered. These individuals, known as Imara Lightwarriors, benefit from assistance in the form of education, on-the-job training, small business development and corporate contracts.
Imara Lightwarrior – Teddy Sambu
Imara’s first Lightwarrior is Teddy Sambu, a 24-year old man from the township of Khayelitsha. Prior to being identified as a candidate for a bursary, Teddy, driven by passion and an instinct for survival, carved his own humble niche in Africa’s capital market and founded a one-man business. With no formal training, it was self-belief and sweat- equity alone that enabled Teddy to launch his fledgling operation two years ago. Since then the professional experience, technical support and formal training that he has been afforded through his bursary and mentoring programme, has to some extent, levelled the playing field.
Teddy is currently on a photographic bursary and his work features in some of the artworks commissioned as part of this year’s Imara Collection, which appear in various corporate communication elements. These artworks are the product of this year’s Imara Lightwarrior fieldtrip to the Okavango Delta in Botswana and comprise the third instalment of Imara’s burgeoning independent art collection.
Watch Teddy’s Incredible Journey to the Okavango
Read the Teddy Sambu Story
Additional Corporate Social Investment Initiatives
Imara chose to cut costs on Christmas gifts and cards to corporate contacts in 2012 and donated the planned budget – and more – to the AIDS orphans at Gabane Community Home Based Care Society in Botswana.
The Gabane Community Home-Based Care Centre, a community project founded in 1997, has provided care to hundreds of patients over the last 15 years. It originally focused on providing home care to those with HIV/AIDS, but later branched out to support a broad range of population groups that have been affected by HIV and AIDS.
The centre’s major focus today is operating a preschool program for orphans and vulnerable children while empowering people to live positively with HIV and AIDS, with the vision of one day eradicating HIV/AIDS from the community.
The preschool program currently supports 41 children aged 2 to 6. The children are not only learning to read, to speak in English and to do basic math, but they are also learning important social skills that they are often deprived of learning in their home environment. Peace Corps volunteer Danzig is assigned to work full time at the centre.