The Legacy Centre has various programmes for child development which are run by permanent employees, but they also engage the passion, skills and gifts of volunteers. This is where her department could become involved, decided Ruellyn Snyman, a Business Analyst at Capitec who passionately supports goodwill causes in her community.
All Capitec’s employees are encouraged to use their time and skills to positively impact their communities. The bank supports employee initiatives through the Capitec Volunteer Programme that aids with fundraising and allocates time during work hours for employees to volunteer. So Snyman rallied Capitec’s Client Engagement teams at the bank’s main campus in Stellenbosch and the Bellville Service Centre (BSC) to volunteer at the Legacy Centre.
“We planned a day filled with so much fun that it could become a lasting and wonderful memory for the children at the centre,” she says.
But Capitec’s volunteers got more than what they bargained for. They were the ones who ended up playing, dancing and having just as much fun as the kids. “The day started out with a bag of chocolates, but it grew into an afternoon that taught big and small so much about life,” Snyman says.
“There is abundance despite absolute scarcity. To experience the energy that gets unlocked by something small like playing netball or soccer or handing out a box of juice, is unbelievable. And all of this coupled with shrills, laughs and little jumping bodies!”
Volunteer Avendran Appaduray, a Capitec innovation architect, says the experience inspired him to become a better person. “I want to be a better version of myself and do more than just provide something to fill kids’ bellies for a day, for instance to share skills with their mentors. We take so much for granted. Giving back helps me to be my best.”
Research done by various institutions confirms that volunteering can have enormous emotional and physical benefits for both the receiver and the volunteer. It can reduce stress, combat depression and provide a sense of purpose. Having a sense of purpose is associated with being more optimistic and better heart health.
According to Irma van Rooyen, the Wellness Manager at the Legacy Centre, the day was properly organised by the volunteers. “They understood our needs and really contributed to our program. Capitec being there meant that our 10 facilitators got support and loads of energy from the volunteers.”
Van Rooyen says the children felt very special as people from outside Kayamandi made an effort to spend such a fun time with them.
Snyman challenges others to do good and give back to the people around them. “For us it offered a real connection with our community and an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the children and their mentors. But then, we also benefited from the experience. The children have so little in material value, but so much life to give!”