THE HISTORY OF UNITY IN AFRICA FOUNDATION
Originally born out of the demutualization of the African Unity Insurance company in 2003 and registered as a Trust and later as a PBO, the foundation started operating as an independent organization in 2008. In 2012 we changed our focus to speak to the needs of the South African society and industry.
The Foundation has chosen to focus on education because we believe that improving education is the key to lasting socio-economic transformation in South Africa, through stimulating economic activity and employment, developing active and responsible citizens, and addressing social ills such as poverty, crime and disease. Education is the living force for the future. A good education can lay the foundation for the future of South Africans to make good decisions through critical thinking to live balanced and productive lives.
Donating through the UinA Foundation enables business to focus on their core activities, while the Foundation focuses on identifying credible projects for social investment, monitoring and evaluating to ensure meaningful impact of funding and transparent financial reporting, and regular feedback to donors.
THE HISTORY OF iGEMS
Our flagship programme speaks directly to industry needs while addressing the high youth unemployment rate.
iGEMS in a proud, positive contributor to Project Nelson Mandela Bay, a good citizens initiative that was sparked through a group of Port Elizabeth business people with the objective of making Nelson Mandela Bay “The greatest City in South Africa”.
After 18 months of research and discussions with industry and other organisations, iGEMS (incubating Great Engineering MindS) was born.
Based on the 4 phase education-to-employment initiative implemented in Cape Town, called Go for Gold who operate within the built environment, iGEMS has modelled a hybrid version of the programme, forming strategic partnerships with industry and other implementing partners with a broader focus on engineering.
iGEMS has been successfully received by industry partners, students and collaborators. The objective of the programme is to incubate youth to eventually graduate with a tertiary engineering qualification that possess the strong ability to obtain permanent employment with our member companies.
2015 saw our first pilot intake of 16 grade 11 pupils with the interest and aptitude for engineering. These students have successfully entered their 3rd phase of the programme and are currently attending various universities throughout South Africa. 90% of our students have been successful in obtaining scholarships from industry.
iGEMS currently recruit approximately 25 grade 11 pupils annually to follow the 4 phase incubation journey of education-to-employment.