FNB Credit Card and FNB Cheque Accounts are working with social enterprise Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) to plant 10 000 trees around South Africa. FNB engaged in this initiative beginning last July by urging customers to sign up to receive statements via email to reduce the carbon footprint, use of paper and be more efficient. For every 50 customers that sign up, the two divisions donate a tree.
The project was launched on 15 September 2010 in the community of Lehae when Lucas Radebe, former captain of Bafana Bafana and a close friend of the bank, eagerly rolled up his sleeves and jumped in to assist the community to plant their trees. Between the 15th and 19th September 2 850 trees were distributed to this community and a further 650 distributed during the month of October.
“We are proud to be part of an initiative that encourages the preservation of the environment. Not only will this project contribute towards a greener environment, but it also promotes skills development and food provision among community members.” says Raj Makanjee, CEO of FNB Cheque Accounts and CIO of FNB.
On the 23 October 2010, FNB contributed towards the greening of 500 housing units within the community of Mpumalanga settlement in Hammersdale, an old township 15km from Durban City centre.
This small semi rural settlement, with abundance of virgin land, used to have a number of industrial factories nearby which employed many of the residents. Between 1996 and 1999 this township was greatly affected by the riots during the years of struggle and liberation. That resulted in a number of factories closing down and a lot of people lost their jobs. Since then, the community has been greatly affected by high unemployment and this problem has became great concern for this local youth organization called Youth For Change, whose mandate is to provide hope, vision and a sense of direction for the youth in Hammersdale to stay away from drugs and to help them to deal with peer pressure and channel them to understand that education is the pathway to success.
As part of curbing unemployment and empowering the youth of this settlement, Youth for Change contacted FTFA to help rehabilitate the culture of this community through planting of trees.
On 6 October, 10 unemployed volunteers were trained to become Community Based Educators to enhance awareness and education within this community about the benefits and impact of trees.
The event will started with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries officials, Department of Health, the Councillor and the community converging to celebrate this FNB tree gift.