By EMILY KUWEMA-
STUDIES have shown that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) creates social value and improves social welfare, which meets part of the main goals of Government policy.
It is in this regard that the New Dawn administration has called on the private sector to continue partnering with Government in fostering development and social welfare.
PKF Zambia is one of the private institutions that have taken interest in supplementing Government efforts through its CSR initiatives.
Recently, the accounting firm, which is based in Lusaka, decided to give back to Bauleni Special School by sharing knowledge, skills and resources aimed at helping to empower the lives of school pupils with special needs.
PKF partner Thulile Mumba said besides the audit firm providing accounting and other business support services to its clients, it also cares for the community where it serves.
Ms Mumba said every year, PKF Zambia endeavours to give back to the local community by finding ways in which the institution can be of service to the people in the community it operates, with the aim to empower and better lives and help the local people to realize their full potential.
She said in addition to sharing knowledge and skills, PKF also champions care for the natural environment and, therefore, makes positive contributions to the development of communities and the nation at large.
“As we all know, it is important that we all do our part in looking after and preserving the world we live in as not doing so directly affects us in form of climate change and the natural disasters that can occur as a result of it. It is, therefore, important that we direct some of our efforts to this cause,” Ms Mumba said.
Under the theme ‘PKF Cares About People and the Environment,’ PKF members of staff visited Bauleni Special School and taught the pupils how to bake and make reusable sanitary towels, after which the staff planted some trees and vegetables as part of environmental care.
“We identified this school because we saw a great need as the school has over 1,000 pupils with special needs. This is the second year we are helping this school because it has special needs,” Ms Mumba said.
She disclosed that most girls often refrained from attending class when they were attending their monthly periods and hence the need to teach them how to make reusable sanitary towels.
“We have also brought with us some cleaning products and snacks provided by our client, Trade Kings Group. We trust that the children find these activities beneficial as we strive to make a positive impact on their lives and well being,” Ms Mumba said.
She said the project to support the school was done with the help of cooperating partners namely Robert Chikwaulo, the proprietor of Trebor Bakes and Bites; Maggie Shane, the founder of Water Empowerment Foundation; Trade Kings Group and Amiran Zambia.
Bauleni Special School Assistant Director Sister Margaret Katabwa said the number of pupils with special needs, who were vulnerable at her school, has continued to increase because the learning institution entirely depends on donor funds.
“At this school, we have children and young adults. So we are giving skills to young adults and giving academic education to children. Because we are dealing with special children, you find that some pupils would be learning for 20 years as they can’t learn as fast as the others. However some pupils end up not capturing anything, so we transfer them to skill training just to prepare them for society,” St Katabwa said.
She said pupils are trained with catering and knitting skills so that they can transfer the skills to the society where they live.
St Katabwa said the skills that PKF Zambia was transferring to the pupils would help the learners not to depend on white collar jobs, but to become entrepreneurs.
St Katabwa said the skill of making sanitary towels, which was being introduced to the school pupils by PKF, would improve the hygienic standards of the girls not only in school but also in their communities as well as help them to avoid missing classes.
She said because most of the pupils come from vulnerable homes, teaching them how to bake was a good idea that would help them start their own baking businesses when they leave school.
Bauleni Special School pupils were elated to have received the skills which they felt would go a long way in improving their lives in and out of school.
It is important that more private sector organisations are encouraged to complement Government efforts in supporting local communities especially in areas of empowering vulnerable young people, such as school pupils with special needs.