Standard Bank has supported Rays of Hope for several years, listing it as a preferred charitable organization, with multiple teams across the organization finding innovative – not always financial – ways to support the Alexandra community.

Riaz Adamjee, Product Economics Manager at Standard Bank, believes that Rays of Hope is a way for the bank to contribute to society in a way that’s not seen as an institution, but rather as a group of people interested in the livelihoods and wellbeing of the Alexandra community.

“Meeting the children from the schools that Rays of Hope supports is always a humbling opportunity for us,” he says. “Our volunteers come from various backgrounds, with many having similar contexts to the children we meet through the Rays of Hope mentorship and volunteering programmes. In addition to the knowledge and insights we share with the children, the pure joy on their faces when they receive anything is extremely rewarding, and a reminder of the gratitude and appreciation we must demonstrate every day.”

The Standard Bank team has completed these projects with Rays of Hope:

  • A tour of Alex to meet the team that dedicates their lives to giving back to the people of Alex, which helped the teams understand the difference that Rays of Hope was making to the Alex community.
  • Standard Bank sponsored a hole at a Rays of Hope fundraising Golf Day
  • Various collections for stationery packs, blanket drives, sewing machines, clothing (including work wear), non-perishables, etc.
  • Mentorship at an annual boys’ camp
  • Fundraising to take 100 children to Sci Bono for the day, including lunch, a gift pack and a PEP voucher. All funds raised by employees were matched by the bank. 

“The overall commitment that Rays of Hope has shown in striving to improve the lives of individuals in Alex, young and old, through various initiatives and programmes has been awe-inspiring,” says Riaz. “It is always a pleasure working with the dedicated members of the Rays of Hope team, who we see get great pleasure in seeing the lives of Alex residents improve, even if it is by the smallest of gestures.”

“The key aspects of sustainability and impact have always been key to Standard Bank, and this is shared with Rays of Hope through various partnerships ranging from ensuring that communities in Alex are kept warm with blankets during cold winter periods, to exposing children of various ages to possibilities in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields,” he concludes.