BPF & G4S enter new 4-year partnership
Bhubesi Pride Foundation’s Board of Trustees are delighted to announce that G4S Africa has signed a new 4-year partnership with the charity, through to 2021. The partnership continues to go from strength to strength as both organisations seek to maximise on their shared resources to make lasting impacts with the communities we engage.
To celebrate the announcement, we talk to Stanley Blyth, Regional HR Director – G4S Africa, who discusses the value and opportunities presented by our unique CSR relationship.
G4S and BPF continue their remarkable journey together. Admired by industry experts and commercial organisations alike, what do you believe makes our CSR partnership so special?
“I believe that G4S has developed a unique partnership with BPF, which shares our vision of making a positive and sustainable difference in Africa. By developing and educating our youth, we make a sustainable difference in our communities together. The initiative promotes employee engagement and matches our company values, as well as our key CSI objectives.
The partnership allows G4S to actively seek, address and reflect on the interests and concerns of our employees, address our core CSI focus areas of health, education, social welfare and support of Africa’s youth – our recruitable talent of the future, make a demonstrable, measurable and sustainable difference in the lives of the people we touch, make our communities a safer place and capture the hearts of our employees and customers to inspire active engagement and participation in the programme.
Sport is the one thing that breaches all cultural, social and economic divides. It brings communities and stakeholders together, it has the ability to inspire and it provides a great platform to empower people. As BPF’s lead partner, we are very excited to embark on this inspiring journey for the sixth consecutive year.”
BPF’s goals are to UNITE, EMPOWER and INSPIRE, connecting with over 4,500 African children and 200 local teachers every year. How do these objectives resonate with G4S’ operations and its people?
“G4S and its individual business units in Africa fully embrace BPF’s goals to UNITE, EMPOWER and INSPIRE communities through sport. There are definite golden threads of similarity that connects BPF’s goals with our G4S Values – a fact that motivates our people to embrace the project and our communal goals wholeheartedly. This becomes even more apparent when we see the annual rise in the number of our employees that willingly participates in the programme in-country, for example, we had 330 employees who participated in 2016 vs 355 in 2017.
Sport – rugby, is used as an educational vehicle to UNITE our communities through rugby by promoting the sport’s values and delivering educational life skills lessons, EMPOWER and up-skill our local employees, male and female, to maximize sustainability and to INSPIRE long-term developmental outcomes via tangible G4S legacy projects.
The latter – to ‘inspire’ – is something we’ve increasingly been working on together. This goal drives our legacy projects. G4S, along with key stakeholders and customers, have over the last couple of years introduced a number of sustainable legacy projects that remain with the communities until the programme revisits the following year.”
See highlights of our partnership in action in 2017:
Together, we’ve made roads safer for children, raised important environmental issues within communities by planting trees and initiating recycling schemes, we’ve improved school infrastructure and security, installed computers, given community centres a new lease of life, opened libraries and spaces for sport. How do these types of projects make a lasting impact on the African communities G4S engage, as well as your employees?
“Our significant footprint across Africa means that the economic and social impact of our operations affects the lives of millions of people across the continent. Extreme poverty, illiteracy, safety and unemployment, continues to be one of the most challenging realities of doing business in Africa.
G4S has a sensitive understanding for the conditions in which our employees and their families work and live as we perform regular risk assessments as part of our ‘duty of care’ commitments to our customers and employees. Our commitment to identify and implement sustainable projects which improve the conditions in which our employees work and live is a key part of our business model across Africa. Our employees have a deep appreciation for the fact that we care about the wellbeing of their families and that we are putting tangible measures in place that would improve their communities. In many countries, our employees’ children go to the schools that forms part of the BPF programme.
Being in the business of ‘Securing your World’, we already possess many health and safety educational resources, expertise and tools, which we can now, through the BPF initiative, use to uplift and secure our youth, like for example the classrooms and school computer rooms that G4S renovated and restored with our in-house skills in Botswana and Kenya in 2017.”
Each year we involve over 300 G4S employees who contribute ~5,000 hours to our programs; delivering sports session, refereeing tournament matches, teaching life skills, engaging high-profile stakeholders and leading significant events. Can you describe the personal and professional growth this offers G4S employees?
“The partnership has empowered local G4S employees to become leaders in their community and to continue with uplifting their community, even when the BPF team is not present in-country. Besides definitively improving our employee engagement’s scores in these businesses, the programme has also helped us to identify employees with favorable leadership capabilities.
G4S offers our volunteering employees the opportunity to participate in a Community Leadership and Value Building workshops that is presented by the BPF as part of the programme. The aim of the workshop is to reward and celebrate G4S employees’ involvement in CSR activities in their community and to show how the G4S Values and Bhubesi Pride Foundation values can assist in enhancing their community leadership abilities. In 2017 alone, over a 190 employees attended the workshop – a number that keeps on rising annually.
The workshops, for example, helped to inspire our employees to start initiating the G4S Legacy Projects in-country. They found the project work done in collaboration with the BPF so encouraging that, on their own accord, they started launching CSR Legacy projects alongside the BPF’s activities, which adds to the sustainability of the project and benefits the broader community. Today, we have a G4S Legacy project in all 9 participating G4S countries/businesses.
Furthermore, G4S employees revisit the participating schools on a regular basis to see what progress pupils are making, provide the children with follow-up health and safety material and, in some areas, continue with rugby coaching sessions as in the case of Davis Banda. David, a G4S Malawi Coordinator for Health and Safety, continues to coordinate regular touch rugby coaching clinics with children at a local school in Lilongwe in his free time. This, along with the workshops offered, I believe, helps employees’ personal and professional development.”
BPF is committed to enabling wider growth opportunities for G4S employees and key people we engage. With education becoming of increased importance to you, what are you hoping to see from our relationship going forward, as we actively contribute to this goal.
“G4S understands that community upliftment is key to a sustainable business model in Africa. If we do not invest in the education and safety of our employees and the youth, we will not be able to employ the best people.
We would like to continue building on the work that we have already been doing in our African businesses to bolster education in schools and to empower our employees, but I do think that there is more work to be done, together with the BPF team, to promote the importance of education and acquiring skills to improve the livelihood of people and especially children on the continent.
Going forward, I would like to see all our work done alongside BPF to have a stronger upskilling focus and alignment to our CSI objective of Education. I would like to see even more employees participating in the leadership workshop opportunities, so that we can also do more work here to empower our employees.”
What legacy would you like to create for African youth, alongside Bhubesi Pride Foundation?
“We would like every child who participates in the programme, our employees, our customers and also the broader community to know in their hearts, G4S is a company that truly cares about creating a sustainable future for all – a company that truly ‘Secures your World.’”
See highlights of our partnership in action in 2016:
To further G4S’ development of its employees, BPF continues its provision of educational and professionally-applicable workshops with its Africa businesses. With topics to include, ‘values embodiment and promotion’, ‘mindset’, ‘empowerment and ownership’ and ‘leadership and culture setting’ over the next four years, what impact would you like to see translated over to each G4S business?
“To ensure the future success of our business, we need capable, skilled, innovative and motivated employees to take our business forward and to lead in reaching our ambitious business goals in Africa. It would be great to see more employees empowering themselves to move forward in their career, rising up to become the future business leaders of tomorrow. The leadership workshops is a great platform to identify new and upcoming talent and I hope to see more success stories coming out of this empowering initiative.”