Take a girl child to work! - Alcatel-Lucent South Africa Employees Engage in Corporate Citizenship

June 10th, 2014
Author: Carole Podetti Ngono, VCI and Sherine Aziez, Alcatel-Lucent MEA Communication

The Alcatel-Lucent South Africa team conducts regular employee engagement activities and on Friday, May 30th 2014 they hosted 10 "Bridging for Life" learners from the Ponelopele High School, through the yearly campaign "Take a girl child to work".

Valued Citizens Initiative's learners had the opportunity to engage with the team and learn about various career paths such as Pre-sales, Sales, Finance, Human Resources, Communication and Marketing. Our Bridging for Life learners questioned the world of work and how we plan growth in Africa as the second largest continent in the world, with rich diversity, culture and challenges.

Many questions were asked regarding internship opportunities and procedures relating to discipline, support and guidance when an intern does not perform accordingly, as the new B-BBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) score cards will shift in October 2014. Inquisitive and relevant, the Bridging for Life learners explored deeper the layers of the world of work, from policies to the care and growth of employees within Alcatel-Lucent. They were fascinated about the branding of a company and its impact in society.

Mr. Ravin Naidoo, Enterprise Regional Director South & East Africa , delivered an inspirational talk looking at how technology can make us loose ourselves. He defined IT as Innovation and Transformation. He also emphasized the importance of understanding "Why" you choose this career path and not another one, and the importance of knowing your strengths in order to build from them. He also reflected on the fact that cell phones and new social media expose who we are and our families, and the importance of respecting the privacy of one's life. Mr Vrek Meyer, Sales Manager at Alcatel-Lucent, left our learners with these words "Never give-up as failures will improve your success".

"Alcatel-Lucent South Africa has a long history in terms of corporate social responsibility in the country - Our company and employees’ volunteerism show clearly both our commitment to CSR and our strive to make a sustainable difference by supporting education and youth development programs…. I am very proud of our teams for their continuous and selfless involvement in social change initiatives and we will continue to support employees who contribute their time, skills and generosity to the nonprofit organizations of their choice or to global educational programs funded by the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation" said Nthabiseng Mashilwane, HR Director for Africa, Alcatel-Lucent.

About the "Bridging for Life" Program

The "Bridging for Life" programme was launched in 2010 in South Africa by Valued Citizens Initiative (VCI) with support from the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation. VCI provides life skills support programs which are endorsed by the Department of Higher Education and Training of South Africa and the National Department of Basic Education. These programs offer a great mix of innovation and practicality, and the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation is pleased to support their efforts to help young people realize their potential.

"Bridging for Life" is an effort to raise well-rounded young citizens who will have a chance at a meaningful life despite disadvantaged backgrounds and challenging life conditions. The 2010/2011 edition started by covering six public high schools in rural and township communities from three provinces: Gauteng – SG Mafaesa and Forte' Secondary Schools; Free State – Mohato and Thalabodiba Secondary Schools, and Limpopo – Bokamoso and Mphengwa Secondary Schools, with very successful results: 85.89% pass rate amongst the learners; 74.35% who qualified to enroll at University, and 30,12% who achieved distinctions in certain subjects. 300 committed candidates grade 11 initially took part in the program. The distinctions were achieved in Life Orientation, Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences. VCI currently supports grade 12 learners (124 learners) from Mamolemane (Ga-Moledji), Eqinisweni (Ivory Park) and Nkhobiso (Qwa-Qwa) public high schools, whom they motivate to achieve excellence.

VCI is passionate about building a citizenship movement where young people take responsibility for their future, strengthen their self-esteem and develop a "walk-the-talk" attitude towards constitutional values. In March 2014, after 4 years of successful partnership and continuous support, the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation has renewed its confidence in the Bridging For Life program, supporting two high schools – one in QwaQwa (Free State, rural) and Kopano High School, Lebowakgmo (semi rural- 38Kms from Polokwane) in the Limpopo province.

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