When one thinks of helping to create a bright future for the youth, education certainly comes at the very top, with sports following closely. And not just classroom education but the whole ecosystem that creates an enabling environment for good learning.

Absa Bank Kenya PLC has today announced that it has set aside Kshs.45 Million to pump into the local education sector. The bank which has recently re-branded from Barclays Bank Kenya and whose purpose is to bring possibilities to life intends to split this money into two major projects. Kshs.20 Million will go into constructing ablution blocks in 40 primary schools around the country. Then, in a strong recognition of the crucial role that Information Technology is playing worldwide, Absa has set the remaining Kshs.25 Million towards building and equipping 66 computer centres in schools.

ReadyToWork

This is not the first time that Absa is coming through for education in the country. What comes to mind my immediately is the 2015 launch of Ready To Work –  a finishing school for those leaving higher learning institutions to enter the corporate and business world. Because when you think about it, classroom education makes people book-smart but not street-smart.

In-fact there has been strong language about some of our universities releasing half-baked graduates into the highly competitive workforce. Young men and women who blindly rush into the world with impressive degrees but no skills in how to relate with people, how to approach the menacing entrepreneurial world and probably most important of all, no skills on how to relate with money when they finally start making it.

That is what ReadyToWork is all about. Imparting additional skills so that by the time they start looking for jobs and earning, they’re equipped with the required skills to navigate this world.  200,000 students from tertiary institutions have already successfully been through ReadyToWork.

Also in matters education, in the last three years, the bank has invested Kshs.161 million to support 574 university students through the Absa Scholarship programme which is being run in partnership with HELB.

Torch of Possibilities

Today’s 45 Million donation was announced during the launch of the ’Torch of Possibilities’ campaign, which aims to inspire and motivate a new crop of present and future athletes, as well as millions of Kenyans to reach for nothing short of greatness. The campaign is being aptly spearheaded World Marathon Record holder and Olympic Title holder, Eliud Kipchoge and a host of other distinguished athletes including Catherine Ndereba, David Rudisha, Janeth Jepkosgei, Paul Kipsiele Koech and Jackson Tuwei. Kenyans are welcome to register for the charity run at any Absa bank branch near them and be part of the power combo that is education and sports.

The Torch of Possibilities campaign will be implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage; National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOCK), Athletics Kenya (AK), Kenya National Sports Council and the team of top athletes.

What is the thinking behind the Torch of Possibilities?

Ambition. Zeal. The bank’s enthusiasm to not only thrive in the Kenyan market but also to celebrate who we are as a people and the direction in which we’re moving. A bank that is “ready to inspire and mentor the future generations by availing the necessary resources that they need to make significant strides towards their dreams”, Jeremy said.

No organization can grow in a vacuum without the community around it growing and Absa’s MD Jeremy Awori highlighted the bank’s intention to participate in more and more projects that uplift communities.

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