2016, Johannesburg. Being the sponsor of the Sun International CEO SleepOut™ for a second year comes with a financial, time and overall business commitment, not only by those ‘sleeping out’ but by the staff and people you engage to help raise funds for the future of our country – the youth.
BDO’s CEO, Mark Stewart, will spend the night of 28th July on the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge along with Third-Year BDO trainee Pat Mokgatle, Darron Solomon, head boy of Parktown Boys’ High School and Sibongakonke Kheswa, a BDO Durban bursary student who is studying at the University of Johannesburg.
Mark Stewart believes that the CEO SleepOut™ is a natural fit for BDO as it aligns very closely to the brand values and the company’s personal approach to business – if it matters to you, it matters to us. In fact at BDO, CSI and Transformation are grouped together, both forming an integral part of BDO’s strategy for sustainable growth. The business sees transformation as the right thing to do and not merely a regulatory requirement, with Stewart emphasising the need to acknowledge, celebrate and respect diversity.
A recent Times Live article spoke to the fact that individual big businesses have historically supported education reform - but while there are pockets of change, it is not being felt on any measurable scale, partly because it hasn’t been co-ordinated, and partly because, in spite of the good intentions, it hasn’t had the critical mass to lead to systemic change. This is a key reason why BDO is sponsoring the CEO SleepOut™ for a second year – Stewart believes CSI and Transformation are two sides of the same coin - change in silo doesn’t lead to true change.
The proof of the need for both CSI and Transformation to work together is evident in the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) which aims to improve resourcing, focus on learner welfare, call for courage in leadership, drum up citizen participation in education, and professionalise teaching.
The above objectives are strategic priorities within BDO’s CSI and Transformation agenda and have resulted in a number of initiatives at BDO. These include, but are not limited to – Cell C’s Take a Girl Child to Work Day, Tracker’s Men in the Making initiative, BDO’s Bursary fund through the Thuthuka Trust, adopt-a-school initiative and Accountants2be.
The BDO Adopt-a-school initiative is a rural schools adoption programme aimed at increasing awareness of the CA(SA) profession and the other careers within BDO, and in which staff will be able to share and educate children from disadvantaged schools who wouldn’t normally have access to these professions.
For Cell C’s Take a Girl Child to Work Day BDO had over fifty young girls enjoy a real-world work experience at all five offices nationwide. Twenty five girls were selected by the schools who are a part of BDO’s Adopt-a-School programme and the other 25 girls were nominated by our staff.
For Tracker’s Men in the Making initiative BDO was excited and honoured to host 20 boys for the day. Staff helped empower and develop young teenage boys by exposing them to positive role models, career guidance and to the working world, all with the aim of allowing them a crucial and inspiring glance into their future careers.
In terms of bursaries, during the current ﬁnancial year, BDO will spend more than R500 000 on bursaries for qualifying candidates. BDO’s partnership with Accountants2be, makes pre-recorded accounting lessons available online and on a disk for both teachers and learners. BDO has contributed to the recordings for the Grade 10, 11 and 12 lessons.