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    Sumayya Davenhill

    Head of Marketing & Retail Client Services

    May 2024

    Empowering women through holistic education

    In a world where opportunities are often unequal, education stands as a beacon of hope, empowering individuals to transcend barriers and achieve their full potential. Recognizing this transformative power, M&G Investments Southern Africa has embarked on a journey to support holistic education for young women through its corporate social investment program. This initiative is closely aligned with our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) #4 “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” as well as #5 “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.

    At the heart of M&G Investments' Corporate Social Investment (CSI) program lies a steadfast commitment to promoting inclusivity and socioeconomic equality through education. This commitment finds expression in the partnership with Endurocad, an organisation dedicated to empowering young South African athletes, particularly women, through comprehensive programs that extend far beyond the realm of sports.

    Endurocad's mission is clear: to inspire and develop the next generation of South African athletes by providing them with the infrastructure, guidance, and support they need to excel not only in athletics but also in life. The organisation caters to a diverse range of individuals, from elite athletes with Olympic aspirations to social enthusiasts setting personal fitness goals.

    Endurocad recognises the importance of holistic development, addressing not only athletic prowess but also educational attainment, skills training, career development, and personal growth. By offering access to expert coaching, scientific training, and essential supporting services like balanced nutrition and apparel, Endurocad ensures that young women have the tools they need to thrive in all aspects of their lives.

    M&G Investments focuses its support on Endurocad's Achieve Young Women Empowerment Program, which was established with the ambitious objective of emerging as the leading women's empowerment and athlete development academy in Africa.

    M&G’s support enables the program to conduct quarterly clinics that provide young women with the chance to engage with each other while acquiring new skill sets. We facilitate the participants' entry into various athletic events, fostering their growth and development and play a crucial role in the program by aiding in the development, support, and integration of coaches into the schools associated with the initiative. This multifaceted support underscores M&G Investments' commitment to empowering young women and promoting their athletic endeavors.

    The program offers a holistic framework that includes athletics, career development, personal growth, and enterprise development, providing young women with a comprehensive and enriching experience.

    In 2023, the results achieved through the Achieve program by Endurocad have been nothing short of outstanding. Operating in 15 schools across the Stellenbosch area, the program has successfully impacted over 120 young women, demonstrating its significant reach and influence. Moreover, the program has successfully integrated 15 coaches and over 10 assistant coaches, highlighting its commitment to developing coaching capacity. The program has also conducted three full-day workshops and facilitated participation in seven athletic events, further enhancing the participants' skills and opportunities. These impressive outcomes underscore the effectiveness and importance of the Achieve program in empowering young women and fostering their athletic and personal development.

    The importance of holistic education for women cannot be overstated. Beyond mere academic achievement, holistic education prepares young women to navigate the complexities of the modern world with resilience, adaptability, and a sense of purpose. It instills confidence, fosters leadership skills, and empowers individuals to become agents of change in their communities.

    M&G Investments' partnership with Endurocad underscores a shared commitment to realising the full potential of young women in South Africa. By investing in holistic education, we pave the way for a future where every woman can thrive, contribute meaningfully to society, and inspire generations to come.

    As we embark on this journey of empowerment and transformation, let us reaffirm our dedication to creating a world where education knows no bounds and where every woman has the chance to shine. For more information on the Achieve program, please visit Endurocad's website. Together, we can build a brighter future for young women in South Africa.

    *Sumayya is the Chairperson of the Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Committee at M&G Investments Southern Africa.

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