First Mutual Holdings Limited as part of its group Corporate Social Responsibility  Programme initiative is adopting the First Mutual Foundation, to offer education assistance to children from economically challenged backgrounds. The foundation assists selected children ranging from primary school through to university level, though there will be a deliberate emphasis at university level on students studying towards insurance and actuarial degrees.

“The rationale is that as our business belongs to the tertiary sector, it is important that we play a role in educating our future market as well as capacitating the skills base at tertiary level to create competent, skilled additional manpower and talent pool at university level for the continued regeneration of our industry”, says Douglas Hoto, Group Chief Executive Officer.

Education was chosen as the main focus of the foundation because it is the bedrock of development for any nation.  Evidence from the Ministry of Education (BEAM statistics) reflect that about 250,000 secondary school children and 750,000 primary school pupils are in need of assistance.  The bulk of these children are orphaned and are cared for by grandparents or other relatives who cannot provide the basic needs as they, as care givers, are also experiencing hardships due to the current economic decline. As a result there is a high school dropout prevalence due to non-availability of school fees and food and poor health.

The beneficiaries will be selected from all areas across Zimbabwe.  In order to do this effectively, a suitable partner with an extensive network covering the whole country, whose core activity is running such projects, is required.  This will ensure the programme is run efficiently from an administrative perspective given that we have limited manpower as a company to carry out this initiative effectively.  In that regard, a suitable partner, World Education, has been identified.  They have existing infrastructure to carry out this function, and their core purpose is to source funding to assist children in need with educational funding.

The First Mutual Foundation has an initial injection of $26 000 to cater for 114 primary school children to be grown annually.  This amount includes school fees payment, uniforms and books.

A committee with representatives from First Mutual Holdings Limited and World Education Incorporated will meet bi-annually to select recipients who meet the agreed criteria for financial assistance.  The selection process will be based upon

Recommendation from World Education (as the administrator on the ground cognisant of the needs of the affected children)

  1. Direct application
  2. Humanitarian need
  3. Academic merit. – (for Tertiary Education)

To further complement the Corporate Social investment Programme under the First Mutual Foundation, there are specific programmes which will run through our subsidiary companies within the group to assist with community building, restoration and transformation.

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