South Africa’s economy has taken a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the majority of the country’s population frustrated as the future looks increasingly uncertain. According to experts, South Africa’s unemployment rate could reach 50%, as a result of the forced closure of various businesses because of Coronavirus. This does not bode well for South Africa’s youth as many of them would be left without work.
The MiHeart Project is continuing to equip local learners with the necessary skills to reignite the economy, by providing them with adequate resources and learning tools. So far, MiHeart project has provided six South African schools with fully installed computer labs and internet services. In addition, the insurance provider has also provided fully stocked libraries to selected schools and introduced numerous activities into their curricula, including mentorship programmes and career days.
“In this time of crisis, it’s even more important to us to go out of our way to nurture our youth, who will ultimately have a large role to play in rebuilding our economy for the future. It’s time that we start changing the narrative in South Africa, addressing this pressing social issue, one young mind at a time. It’s only by taking small steps to address larger problems that we can truly affect change and enable South Africans to live their way,” said Nthabiseng Moloi, Head of Brand and Marketing at MiWay.
Four top academic achievers are chosen from two of the high schools on the MiHeart Project to partake in a mentorship programme in their Grade 12 year, during which they are paired with MiWay management staff, who provide guidance and support. Thereafter, the top-performing learners obtain bursaries for their tertiary studies.
Itumeleng Mnisi, a former learner from Moletsane Secondary School, was in grade 9 when MiHeart began working with her school. She is now a third-year BCom Finance student and believes that MiHeart’s Leaders in the Making programme contributed significantly towards her career prospects.
“I was confused at first and didn’t know what I wanted to do until I became part of the programme and had an opportunity to job shadow. After that, I decided to pursue a BCom Finance and had the opportunity to work with the finance department at MiWay, which gave me great exposure and helped me to understand what I really wanted to do,” said Mnisi.
Baninzi Mdoda is currently studying a BCom in Law with a bursary from MiWay said: “The programme has widened my path, enabling me to pursue my passion and ensure that my studies are monitored, which will hopefully allow me to be recognised nationally once I graduate”.
The MiHeart initiative’s Leaders in the Making mentorship programme is uplifting 83 high-potential learners from underprivileged communities, 30 of which have since gone on to join internship programmes and seven have been awarded tertiary education bursaries.