It’s estimated that South African companies spend more than R10 billion per year in total on Corporate Social Investment initiatives. As a proudly South African company, Citadel understands the need for structured and sustainable giving.As such, one of the beneficiaries that we continue to support, through the Citadel Philanthropy Foundation, is the Blair Atholl Pre-Primary School.
“Our children are not only getting the best education; they are learning life and social skills to deal with everyday challenges,” says Metlheng Ngwepe, whose playful three-year-old son is one of 125 learners between the ages of three and six who attend the Blair Atholl Pre-Primary School.
According to Ngwepe the school gives children significant advantages in language, literacy, social skills, listening skills and self-control. “The school means a lot to the community, by meeting their basic needs and by giving hope to the community. It helps children to know more about themselves and how to tackle challenges such as unsafe environments, family violence and homelessness.”
“Education breaks the cycle of poverty,” says Citadel Head of Philanthropy, Jean de Villiers. “The Blair Atholl Pre-Primary School is a good example of how, through a holistic approach to education, a school can become a beacon of hope to hundreds of vulnerable families in its surrounding community.”
The school principal, Marlize Visser adds to this: “We serve a disadvantaged community and go the extra mile to give our learners the best possible start in life. This includes providing each child with two healthy meals a day. Most of the learners are from single-parent households.”
The school was founded by golfing legend Gary Player and his late wife Vivienne on their farm in 1990. In 2018, Player and music icon, Ronan Keating, alongside the Citadel Philanthropy Foundation started hosting annual charity gala events to raise funds for two worthy beneficiaries – the Blair Atholl Pre-Primary School is one of them. Since then, more than R7.1 million has been raised and net proceeds are equally divided between the school and the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. The donations go towards the general day-to-day running and sustainability of the school.
“The 2024 charity gala event will take place in March, and we hope to make an even bigger impact than before. To further support this worthy cause, we were also sponsors at the 2023 Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational that took place at The Lost City Golf Course from 18-19 November, the event raised over R3 million to ensure the sustainability of the Blair Atholl Pre-Primary School. We have a long-standing relationship with the Gary and Vivienne Player Foundation, and this sponsorship is another way in which we are able to make a sustainable difference. We are proud to support a cause that leaves a legacy and contributes to uplifting children and the greater community,” says Andrew Möller, Citadel Chief Executive Officer.