While thousands of South African children prepped to go back to school yesterday, an estimated 400 000 children did not. With this concern in mind, FedGroup Financial Services launched a back-to-school-themed initiative on popular social media site, Twitter, last week.
Grant Field, Executive: Operations, FedGroup Financial Services
Turning to Twitter, FedGroup launched a “make a difference” initiative with a set goal in mind - to raise awareness around the FedGroup Education Trust Fund and the reasons for establishing such a fund in the first place.
FedGroup Executive, Grant Field, clarified the initiative, termed the #FedGroupMakesADifference initiative: “For each new Twitter follower, FedGroup donates R10 on their behalf to the FedGroup Education Trust Fund. Our aim is simple, to see how many followers we can get, how many R10s we can donate, how many children we can educate.”
Through its campaign, FedGroup has hoped to re-enforce the fact that while most children and parents were preparing to kick-start the 2012 school year, there were many that were not. Thousands of South African children have, in fact, lost their parents and are reliant on beneficiary trust funds.
“For the child unfortunate to have lost his or her parents due to unforeseen circumstances, a beneficiary fund is the vehicle through which a bright future can be realised. These trusts, however, do not always cope with the ever-increasing cost of education. That is where the FedGroup Education Trust Fund steps in,” Field explained.
The concept of the “make a difference” initiative dates back to FedGroup's 2011 year-end function. In 2011, FedGroup acquired R100 million in beneficiary funds. To celebrate this milestone, the Group chose to do something different, something meaningful, to thank employees for the contribution they had made throughout the year. Instead of thanking employees for their contribution to achieving the beneficiary fund milestone with gifts, FedGroup chose to donate R100 on behalf of each employee to the FedGroup Education Trust Fund.
“Our 2011 employee donation ensured that each member of the FedGroup family played their part in ensuring education for the fund beneficiaries,” Field explained. Due to the fact that the “back to school” vibe is felt so strongly at FedGroup's offices, with up to thirty-five sets of school fees being paid on a daily basis, FedGroup decided to invite fellow South Africans to join the family in making a difference and ensuring education for fund beneficiaries.
FedGroup's #MakeADifference Twitter initiative
As part of FedGroup's employee benefit offering, the FedGroup Education Trust Fund falls under the Group's Beneficiary Care product. Defining the product, Field stated: “The unexpected can creep up on anyone, the FedGroup family aims to protect its clients against the unforeseen. Should that unforeseen result in you not being able to look after your children, then we will.”
FedGroup's Beneficiary Care utilises retirement fund death benefits to care for orphaned children. Designed to ensure education for FedGroup beneficiaries, regardless of whether their trusts are able to, the FedGroup Education Trust Fund is utilised as a “top-up” should the trust be depleted before the fund beneficiaries' education is completed.
Most importantly, the FedGroup Education Trust Fund complements the ethos of family characterising the Group. “At FedGroup, our beneficiaries are considered as part of the FedGroup family. In a socio-economic environment riddled by poverty, education is identified as our beneficiaries' greatest need. Through the FedGroup Education Trust Fund, we hope to ensure that, regardless of circumstances, our beneficiaries are given access to the roots they require for optimal development. Above all, the FedGroup Education Trust Fund and the current Twitter campaign driving it was created to ensure that the FedGroup Family does its bit in making a difference,” concluded Field.
To join the #FedGroupMakesADifference initiative, follow the company on Twitter: @Fedgroup. For more information on FedGroup's Beneficiary Care, visit its Web site: www.fedgroup.co.za.