While a significant part of the community development work FNB achieves is done through the FNB Fund, other initiatives in the company further reflect the commitment to bettering the lives of all South Africans. The FNB employee volunteers programme was launched in December 2002 as part of the larger FirstRand Employee Volunteers Programme. The programme was launched to support the spirit of giving and to encourage more employees to participate in giving.
Employees are encouraged to give of their time and money to support community development projects of their choice, with the aim of helping communities to help themselves. The volunteers are encouraged to share their knowledge and skills, and to support income generation projects such as the implementation of veggie - tunnels and bread ovens, in addition to handouts and fun activities for disadvantaged communities. The FNB Volunteers programme also encourages staff to get involved in various national drives, such as the CANSA Shavathon, Employee Volunteer Week, and Casual Day.
In the true spirit of 'how can we help you?' FNB volunteers have donated over R3.68million to charities of their choice. This amount has been doubled to just over R7-million through the FirstRand Volunteers Programme matched funding approach.
Food relief during tough times
This year's three month long winter drive, 'Hands CAN' saw FNBers across the country collecting canned food and blankets to help feed and clothe the poor during winter. The FirstRand Volunteers Programme will match each can of food donated by a staff member for R5 and each blanket for R25. All matched funds go directly to community initiatives.
FNB Interbank, Risk and Compliance empowers a community
FNB Interbank, Risk and Compliance volunteers have helped the community of the Andeon Plot, to help themselves. The Andeon Plot, situated in Danville Pretoria, houses 20 homeless families. The volunteers donated five innovative low-cost and insect free shaded veggie tunnels measuring 4m X 9m to the Andeon Plot. Long life cropping is undertaken on a simple hydroponics system in the veggie tunnels. While a range of nutritious produce - spinach, tomatoes and green beans, can be grown in these tunnels, the team decided to grow spinach. Seed potatoes and an irrigation system have also been donated to this community. Thousands of rands have already been made in profit through the sale of the harvested potatoes and spinach. While the FNB volunteers have been quite instrumental in the success of the veggie tunnels and the potato farm, the community of Danville has also been very hands on with the projects.