“This is an experience I will never forget. Through one freezing night, the people living on our streets became visible to me,” enthused Tanya Mwakashinga, a Grade 10, Alexandra High learner who formed part of the Marsh CEO SleepOut team.
Jurie Erwee, CEO Marsh Africa invited three individuals to accompany him to the CEO SleepOut- one being a colleague, Daniel Moeti; graduate, Thabo Sephiphi and an inspirational school leaner from Alexander High, Tanya Mwakashinga. The SleepOut took place on Thursday the 28th of July 2016, on Braamfontein’s Nelson Mandela Bridge. In addition to Marsh Africa, approximately 300 South African companies took part in this memorable event. The SleepOut allows leaders to experience first-hand the plight of the homeless and raise funds for education which is a vital step on the path to assisting with ending homelessness.
The CEO SleepOut is one of the world’s premier philanthropic events. It has seen business leaders in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and across the US and UK, take to the pavements to experience first-hand the hardships of the world’s homeless communities and to help generate funds for education. Erwee explains that having a learner from Marsh’s own Boost-A-School CSI programme and a young intern from Marsh’s 2016 Graduate Programme on the team, helps to raise awareness among future generations. “Education is an important factor in the upliftment of children and their future”, he says.
“At a time when existing state welfare services are coming under great strain due to the need for fiscal prudence, it is great to see corporates increasing their commitment to initiatives which uplift less fortunate residents in the communities in which they operate.”
“One of the positives to come out of the experience for us as a team, was being able to network with captains of various industries, staff members and students about ways we can work more closely with each other and government to address this widespread social problem through the promotion of education,” he concludes.
Education is an important CSI focus for Marsh. The organisation's Boost-A-School programme, is aimed at improving school performance and the quality of education in disadvantaged communities in South Africa through investment in developmental interventions. The programme aims to provide holistic developmental support at school level for learners and teachers to improve performance. We have been very impressed with the effect that our teams have been having at ground level, and we are committed to continue with our efforts.’