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Download Brouchure CSR school project in South Africa with Tamar and Across the Divide
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rep. Marta Hofstrom
t. 020 7840 6005
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CSR School Project South Africa - Tamar South Africa

22 May 2010

One of our most ambitious projects involved working with Tamar to construct a new classroom at a township school in South Africa. To celebrate the company’s 10th birthday, they were looking for an extra special event that would give something back to the communities they worked in, and with a new office recently opened in Cape Town this was the perfect location. They wanted their entire staff team to participate in a shared experience and learn from working together on a demanding project.

The Tamar team set themselves a fundraising challenge of £20,000 to buy materials. Across the Divide managed the preparation process which included overseeing planning permission, partnering with a materials supplier and engaging a local township building company to support the project. 

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The Tamar team were very clear about the right sort of project. It needed to be linked to children and importantly, Tamar was looking for a long term relationship. It had to be the sort of project, where employees in both South Africa and the UK could continue to stay involved. Tanya also outlined her vision of how the team were going to be involved throughout the project. This included:

  • A steering team made up from representatives of the business.
  • Facilitated learning to enhance organisation performance.
  • The company would pay all costs and expenses, but the employees would have to fundraise to buy the materials.
  • This was not going to be a fundraising exercise alone; the team were going to ‘get their hands dirty’.

After an extensive sourcing process, Tamar chose Vuyani as their project partner. A primary school based in the township of Guguletu. The school and its pupils suffer from high levels of social deprivation and HIV Aids is rife in the township. Even with these hardships, the school exudes positively and is led by an inspiring headmaster. It immediately felt like a great relationship. The school initially requested some basic painting and decorating by the team. At the site visit however, Tanya noticed that over 60 five year olds were crammed into a leaky portacabin for their lessons. The construction of a new classroom became the Tamar challenge.

The week was an extraordinary display of teamwork, commitment, team building leadership and support. The end result has made a significant difference to the youngest pupils at the school.

The Tamar team is already working with the school to plan where they can help next.     

The two teams from the UK and Cape Town offices worked alongside each other and both gained invaluable experience from each other.  To date the Cape Town office has seen 35%, of those involved in the project, promoted.



In one week the Tamar and ATD team worked alongside the builders to deliver two modern classrooms (with toilets) for the children. They also constructed a Jungle Gym playground, erected basketball hoops, fitted 14 new chalk boards, painted a mural and re-glazed 22 windows.



At Tamar we spent a lot of last year thinking about how we as a company can make ourselves sustainable and responsible, and a CSR project was high on our list. Having worked with some of the 'Across the Divide' team before on separate projects, we knew how enthusiastic and creative they could be, so we didn't hesitate to contact them to help make our CSR vision a reality. Piers, Ian and Steve spent over 6 months preparing both us and the project for the tasks ahead, which culminated in a life-changing trip to Cape Town for the entire company, where we helped to upgrade classrooms in a Township school. As well as getting the job done, Across the Divide helped us to make sure our company objectives for the trip were fulfilled as well, making it our most successful CSR project to date. Tanya Goodin, Chief Executive Tamar

Before I came out I couldn’t visualise what we were going to do.  But now, seeing conditions out here, the scale of the project and the effect it will have on people’s lives has really hit home.  Rob

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