Introduction

Since 1904, the People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) has been providing quality and affordable banking services to all Zimbabweans in line with its mandate of encouraging a culture of savings and championing financial inclusion in the country. POSB is a proudly home grown brand that has undisputedly touched the lives of countless generations over the years. It is precisely due to this rich heritage and our experiences in closely serving Zimbabweans from all walks of life that we are cognizant of some of the challenges besetting the various communities in which the Bank conducts its operations. In this regard, POSB views itself as an agent of social change and is committed to assisting these same communities by initiating and participating in transformation programmes that improve the lives of socially or economically vulnerable segments of the country.  POSB’s assistance and support is therefore premised on two broad focus areas of the Banks Corporate Social Responsibility policy, namely Heath and Philanthropy and Financial Education and Literacy.

Disaster Relief Efforts to Communities Affected by Cyclone Idai

Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall near Beira, Mozambique as a Category 2 storm with sustained winds exceeding 168km/hr on the 14th and 15th of March 2019 before  ploughing through eastern Zimbabwe a day later on the 16th. In its wake, the storm left a trail of unparalleled devastation including loss of life, scores unaccounted for and levelled infrastructure in Chimanimani and Chipinge.

 Cyclone Idai unimaginably shattered and traumatised the unsuspecting communities which survived its ferocity. It also simultaneously unified the nation in the true spirit of Ubuntu as government, private individuals, religious and civic organisations as well as the corporate world swiftly answered the call to feed, clothe, heal and restore dignity to fellow Zimbabweans in need. It was under these exigent circumstances that POSB responded to the plight of the affected communities by contributing 200 blankets as well as several tonnes of groceries valued at RTGS$15 000 towards Cyclone Idai Disaster Relief efforts on the 20th of March 2019. The donation was received by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Honourable July Moyo at the Mutare Government Complex.

‘Boreholes For Health Programme’

This initiative seeks to provide healthcare institutions facing acute water shortages with safe and reliable water sources in each of the nation’s provinces. Since the programme’s inception, POSB has installed several fully functional boreholes complete with accessories over the years with the most recent donation in 2018 at Mahusekwa Hospital in Mashonaland East. Past beneficiaries have included St Killian’s Primary School in Manicaland and Mwenezi Rural District Hospital in Masvingo, St Portberry Clinic in Matebeleland South and Kadoma Hospital in Mashonaland West among others.

POSB’s Participation in the National Environment Cleaning Days

In December 2018, His Excellency, Cde E. D Mnagangwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe declared the first Friday of every month, a National Environment Cleaning Day. This day was specifically set aside for individuals and collectives to carefully contemplate the impact of societies’ activities on the environment in addition to encouraging all stakeholders to combine efforts towards that will ensure a clean and healthy Zimbabwe for the current and future generations.

The 1st of February 2019 marked POSB’s maiden participation in the National Environment Cleaning Day initiative when the Bank collaborated with the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to clean the area surrounding Causeway building where the head offices of both organisations are located. In a statement to the press after the event, POSB CEO, Admore Kandlela said that “In addition to it being a noble endeavor worth everyone’s support, the national clean up exercise dovetails with the Health and Philanthropy pillar of our Corporate Social Responsibility policy as POSB. We therefore remain committed to this and other initiatives to make our workplaces, communities, homes and the general environment clean and healthy for all.”

 Since then, POSB has decentralized its monthly participation in the campaign by enabling all branches to partner with neighbouring organisations, municipalities and town councils in their localities as we all fight for a cleaner environment.

‘LEND A HAND’ Programme

In 2017-2018 POSB embarked on the ‘Lend a Hand’ programme, which enabled the Bank to identify and respond to the plight of Healthcare institutions and care homes around the country that are in need of support to help them in their critical role of caring for patients and residents.

Beneficiaries included;

  • Harare Central Hospital
  • Parirenyatwa Hospital
  • Chitungwiza Hospital
  • Mpilo Hospital
  • Bindura Provincial Hospital
  • Marondera Provincial Hospital
  • Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital
  • Mutare General Hospital
  • Gweru Provincial Hospital
  • Masvingo Provincial Hospital
  • Lupane Provincial Hospital
  • Gwanda Provincial Hospital
  • United Bulaway Hospitals
  • Bumhudzo People’s Home
  • Matthew Rusike’s Children’s Home
  • Ekhupumuleni Old people’s Home
  • Thembiso Children’s Home

POSB Donation Towards The Cholera Outbreak Of 2018

As POSB we understand that life is unpredictable and sometimes the communities we serve find themselves besieged by life threatening problems that can only be solved through concerted efforts by all stakeholders. One such occurrence was the deadly cholera outbreak of 2018 which resulted in the loss of several lives and threatened the nation as a whole.

On the 3rd of October 2018, POSB joined in the fight against the fearsome scourge by donating $100 000 to the Government of Zimbabwe – Cholera Crowd Fund. This was presented by POSB Chief Executive Officer, Admore Kandlela to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Professor Mthuli Ncube and Minister of Health and Child Care, Honourable Dr Obadiah Moyo who jointly received the donation during a short handover ceremony at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Harare.

The POSB Scholarship Programme

‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest’ Benjamin Franklin

 POSB’s currently running scholarship programme provides support to financially disadvantaged children who are studying at various high schools and universities around the country. This support covers the student’s tuition, boarding fees, transport costs as well as the purchase of uniforms and groceries thus giving them the peace of mind to fully pursue their studies without any fear of lack.

 It is an undisputed fact that the benefits of educating children are indeed immeasurable. Enlightened youths have greater chances of rising above limiting individual circumstances, an increased ability to make better life choices and most importantly have higher potential to become productive citizens capable of making positive contributions to society. In this regard, POSB is proud to be able to play a meaningful part in directly improving the welfare and futures of these beneficiaries.

 Two of the beneficiaries are currently enrolled at tertiary institutions while another eight will be sitting for their A’ Level examinations at the end of 2019  

University Graduation Sponsorship

Every year, POSB sponsors prizes to university students who distinguish themselves by graduating top of their classes in Banking and Finance, Retail Banking or related financial degree programs. 

We believe that academic excellence especially at tertiary level is reflective of an individual’s self-discipline, work ethic and aptitude; these being some of the most crucial qualities requisite for one to be successful in the banking sector.

 Moreover, we believe that these future bankers are also laden with the potential to revolutionize the banking sector.  It only follows that we recognize these high achievers and motivate them to keep striving for excellence.

Global Money Week

The People’s Own Savings Bank’s commitment to fostering financial literacy amongst the youth has steadily grown over the years with participation in the annual Global Money Week (GMW) campaign being the Bank’s flagship initiative in this regard. Every year, POSB conducts a series of activities in line with GMW’s primary objective of inspiring children and youths to learn about money matters, saving, entrepreneurship and gaining employment. In recent times these activities have included;

  • Sponsored tours for high school students to the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe where they learnt about the importance of these institutions and their respective roles in the nation’s economy.
  • Hosting hundreds of students in POSB banking halls where they experienced banking operations first hand
  • POSB financial literacy presentations at primary and secondary schools which have impacted thousands of students.

The Bank has also hosted 3 consecutive editions of the POSB Global Money Week Interuniversity Debate Tournament which has grown in leaps and bounds since its first installment in 2017. In the tournament, debate teams are all presented with an equal opportunity to compete for the respective title as well as improve their critical thinking, research and public speaking skills in the process as they argue thought provoking financial and banking related motions. 

 The eagerly awaited 2019 edition of the competition saw teams from 16 local universities and tertiary institutions converge at Holiday Inn, Harare between the 28th and 31st of March. This year’s competition was witnessed by a live audience composed of team patrons and supporters in addition to a social media audience which followed the daily live streaming of the tournament’s progression on the POSB, Zimbabwe Independent, Standard as well as Heart and Soul pages.