corporate social iNVESTMENT
Two of our main projects are:
For the past 4 years, Bay Union has been an active supporter of the KZN Rally to Read, a literacy development programme focused on supporting learners and teachers in rural primary schools.
The over-arching aim of the Rally to Read is to develop the reading and writing skills of learners in remote schools – to ensure they are equipped to cope with secondary school education and positioned to craft their own careers, thereafter. Such schools generally face unique challenges including inadequate facilities and resources and under-prepared teachers. The Rally provides them with support in both these areas.
The Rally programme is implemented by the Read Educational Trust which selects excellent quality reading materials for the grade R-7 learners; and provides in-person support and training to the teachers of these schools. Each carefully-selected cluster of schools is supported for a 3-year period, ensuring that the programme becomes embedded in the schools and continues to have an impact into the future.
Rally partners, including Bay Union, collaboratively fund the purchasing of the books and the employment of expert Read trainers who are committed to working in support of these remote schools. Rally partners also volunteer their time, on an annual basis – and use their own off-road vehicles – to help deliver the materials to the schools.
Browse our Rally-to-Read gallery to see more of this project:
Deliveries incoming from the Rally team.
Students choosing their favourite topics and reads.
Hands up for books, books, and more books!
It’s smiles all round on delivery day.
Behind the scenes
The Keary’s with students and deliveries.
It’s all song and dance!
Heavy load incoming…
Bay Union has been a key and active supporter of the Siyaphambili Surf Ski Club since its establishment, by the Durban Undersea Club and Paddling Academy, in 2018. Its purpose? To facilitate the active participation of KZN youth, from disadvantaged backgrounds, within this sport.
Participation in surf ski paddling requires very specific physical skills, appropriate equipment, a sound understanding of the oceans, determination and perseverance … as well as practice! For many young people in KZN, this was (and is) not practical. But for youth who joined Siyaphambili, this would become a reality.
Experienced and committed members of the Durban Undersea Club and the Paddling Academy, guided by volunteer Jacqui Boyd, pooled their expertise and commitment to ensure that the first group of young enthusiasts could be correctly equipped and introduced to the ocean at Vetchie’s Beach. Bay Union and other funders contributed the funding – and became actively involved – to ensure this exciting programme could commence and proceed apace!
The group of 10 youth who participated in the pilot, 6-month programme, were from Umgababa, 40 kms south of Durban.
Every Saturday they were transported, via mini-buses, to the Durban Undersea Club where they were provided with surf skis, safety equipment and essential training as well as the mentorship and practical involvement of experienced surf skiers. A breakfast concluded each session, before the boys were transported back home!
This pilot programme proved to be highly effective and inspiring, and ensured that the programme was able to gain traction, momentum and support over the subsequent years and that its format could be formalized into a Trust and registered as a PBO. Since then, additional youth have joined the group whilst some of the maturing members have moved on, confident and passionate about paddling in the ocean.
Siyaphambili in 2021
Siyaphambili is an ever-evolving programme and is making a sound impact in ensuring the surf ski sport becomes increasing inclusive and that the participating paddlers gain, in addition to sporting capabilities, broader life skills and ever-expanding life horizons.
In 2021 the programme actively pursued this expanding vision:
A team of 8 Siyaphambili paddlers travelled to East London to compete in the Pete Marlin 20km downwind race – a popular annual event – which these paddlers passionately embraced;
Several of the boys won gold and silver medals in the SA Inter-schools and SA Sprint Champs. One of these, Lungelo Gumede, earned a spot in the Junior Olympics Hopes team which Canoeing SA sent to the Czech Republic in August 2021;
A new “layer” of support is being provided in the form of a broader “life-skills” programme. Speakers are invited to address the youth and to inspire them to adopt a more structured, informed and deliberate approach to their futures.
Thubelihle Banda, a Siyaphambili paddler, attended a UNICEF-organised, 4-day Environmental Awareness Workshop in Johannesburg. This equipped him – on his return to Durban – to use carefully planned, sustainability-related tasks to share, with his Siyaphambili team-mates, his new knowledge and insights.