Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives should be more than a brand image activity – this is a philosophy that OUTsurance believes in. It is with this in mind that their CSI projects have managed to go beyond their ethos of, ‘you always get something out.’
OUTsurance’s culture of giving back to communities officially began in 2007, with the launch of their CSI initiatives through Staff Helping SA OUT (SHSAO) NPC. What was initiated as a campaign to get their staff to roll up their sleeves and help uplift their communities, has become a socially impactful initiative that makes a real difference in the lives of ordinary South Africans.
The SHSAO staff volunteer programme makes it accessible for OUTsurance staff to donate their time, resources and energy to help South Africa out. All of the projects vary in social impact ranging from education, social development, to health, and skills development. All sharing a common thread that ordinary South Africans can do small things to help the country.
“Our CSI initiatives demonstrate the heart of the company. We’ve made them part of our business activities. Giving back is part of our DNA at OUTsurance, and these projects are just another way of ensuring we are making a positive contribution to the communities we live and work in,” says Danie Matthee, OUTsurance Chief Executive Officer.
While a wide variety of community projects are supported throughout the OUTsurance Group, with the focus on projects that make a significant difference and have a lasting effect, the SHSAO projects are not driven as marketing initiatives, but instead have a strong developmental approach and utilise company resources to benefit and enrich communities. Of the 30 CSI projects that are executed yearly, these are the ones that have made a notable difference:
In 2018, OUTsurance identified education as a CSI focus area as they believe that every child deserves the right to quality education. As a result, they partnered with Catch-Up, a volunteering project where people from all walks of life invest their time to tutor struggling school kids at underprivileged schools, to ensure that the learners “catch-up.” With a total of 9 schools registered in the programme, 64 children being assisted in grades 4 to 7, and 205 staff tutors involved, the learners’ overall average school mark has improved from 50% (at the end of 2017) to 55% (at the end of 2018 term 3). The average English mark has improved from 46% to 57% and the average Maths mark from 46% to 51%. By championing this programme, OUTsurance aims to promote literacy in the formative years in order to build a strong foundation and help the schooling system produce more matriculants who can contribute positively to South Africa.
Dignity Dreams Project
More than 2.1 million young girls from ages 12 and 18 cannot afford sanitary products. As a direct result of this, they miss on average five days of school every month and around 60 school days per year. This alarming statistic compelled OUTsurance to partner with Dignity Dreams – a company that produces and distributes reusable, environmentally friendly sanitary pads to disadvantaged communities and schools across South Africa – in order to help keep young girls in school.
OUTsurance has continued its blanket drive tradition winter after winter since 2013, which empowers people to make a positive impact in someone’s life one blanket at a time. This yearly charity initiative challenges OUTsurance staff to raise funds and donate quality winter blankets and food essentials to those who need it most in winter. In its 7th year, the project has become more than just about handing out blankets, but about bringing comfort and support to the homeless.
“Our Blanket drive is a very special project that means a lot to our staff” says Mariske Keyter, SHSAO Coordinator. “It’s humbling to experience first-hand the hardships so many South Africans endure, you realise how privileged you are just to have a warm place to sleep and food in your belly.” Charitable community involvement is a fundamental part of OUTsurance’s CSI initiatives. Although money for these projects is raised via monthly payroll contributions from staff, the hands-on approach of the staff in these projects help to deepen the company’s human connection with the community.
“We realise we cannot operate in isolation. Our aim is to become a social enterprise that consistently works on improving the communities in which we operate, through socially impactful projects. That’s because, we care about what our communities care about,” OUTsurance Chief Transformation Officer, Keneiloe Selamolela concludes.
While it is an OUTsurance Group CSI and not a SHSAO initiative, The Pointsmen Project was launched fourteen years ago by OUTsurance and Traffic Free Flow (TFF). It was extended in Tshwane in 2011, in a bid to assist the city’s Metro Police with traffic management. The Pointsmen Project is a free service to help motorists navigate peak-time traffic with ease. Motorists can request that a Pointsmen be deployed to a specific location by making use of the OUTsurance App. Static Pointsmen are assigned to specific locations with daily traffic congestion, whereas mobile Pointsmen, equipped with their OUTsurance branded motorcycles, are deployed to traffic hotspots when needed. With R190 million invested and over 200 jobs created, OUTsurance has remained the anchor sponsor of the Pointsmen Project since its inception.