Casual Day beneficiary
Entrepreneurship development and Job Creation.  From job creation projects that improve the lives of women and the disabled, to emerging enterprises that can graduate to Absa's New Enterprise Banking division.
The programme is implemented in 4 grades (Grade 4-7) and educators from participating schools are trained to use these programmes.  
Absa provided assistance for the provision of Business Ventures entrepreneurship learning materials and educators training to fourteen schools in the Eastern Cape.
Vision for the Nation
Vision for the nation was established in 1999 and operates in Tlhabane in the North West province. The project promotes integrity and the moral fibre of the society with the intention of fighting HIV/AIDS and taking care of people infected with life threatening diseases. The project targeted people infected with HIV as well as Aids orphans.  
Through Absa's support, the project had the following results:
   Changes in behavioural practices  The project runs a youth programme in partnership with Love Life which aims    at encouraging the youth to change their behavioural practices, live a positive life and so avoid HIV infection.
·   Ways of tackling the silence/taboos around Aids  The community received education on HIV/Aids encouraging them to talk about Aids and also to accept and support people infected.
·   Improve quality of life for the infected/affected  These received home-based care, counselling and food. Care-givers were also trained.
With the Absa funding, 270 community members and orphans benefited, as well as 20 volunteers.
Maths, science and technology
(MST) is now considered key gateway subjects to post-school education, leading to opportunities in high-earning jobs, and serving as a foundation for basic career development. Likewise, the South African economy is moving away from a dependency on primary industries like agriculture and forestry. For the economy to grow, the education system has to provide skilled workers, competent in these subject areas.
Maths, Science and Technology
The Ort Tech Absa
Advanced Certificate
in Education (ACE)
The project operates in the urban and rural areas of Wellington, Stellenbosch, Elsies River and Belhar in the Boland and Cape Flats regions of the Western Cape Province.  Ort Tech's vision is to empower the hearts, minds and hands of mathematics, science and technology teachers.  
The Ort Tech Absa Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) training project improves teacher capacity to apply the new curriculum through training and development.  Participating teachers are better able to teach mathematics, science and technology, as well as be equipped to apply this through outcomes based education and fulfil the new curriculum needs.  
Most of the participating teachers are women.  Through the MST programme, the Absa Foundation also make available material and equipment, research and development, covers the training costs, planning, administration and management, resource materials, mentoring and support, rural transport and external evaluation.  
Ort Tech and Cape Technikon were able to accredit 150 teachers at the end of the successful completion of the training and development year.  The project impacted on 159 grade 1 to 9 teachers.  They in turn will impact on 15,000 learners from 40 schools each and every year.
Entrepreneurship Development
SA Institute for Entrepreneurship (Schools-based programme)
The South African Institute for Entrepreneurship (SAIE) was established on 25 October 1996 and operates in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal in urban and peri-urban areas.  
The organisation develops training material for entrepreneurship at school level and engages learners in this field.  The aim of SAIE is to develop and cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit amongst the youth of South Africa through developing unique, high quality entrepreneurial learning materials, providing primary and high schools with these materials for use in the curriculum and providing training to the appropriate Economics ad
Management Science educators to equip them to use the learning materials within the curriculum.  
Their Entrepreneurship Education project has identified schools to participate in the programme called Business Ventures where learners are trained in entrepreneurship.  Schools are provided with learning resources in entrepreneurship which are used by educators and learners.  
Mamodie Helen Makitla
Early Childhood Development (ECD)
The ECD method conveys the importance of an integrated approach to a child's development, considering a child's health, nutrition, education, psycho-social and additional environmental factors within the context of the family and the community.
Case Studies:
Wozabona Early Childhood Development  Orange Farm
ECD teacher training
Wozabona was established in 1985 in Gauteng with the understanding that ECD needs to be within the context of basic education, training and development.  
It was recognised that in previously disadvantaged communities, families are often not able to meet the developmental needs of the young children. In order to address these problems, teachers are trained to produce their own preschool equipment and are taught how to use it with the children in their care.
Teachers also learn the theory of child development and the purpose of the activities as they make the equipment. The teachers also receive HIV/AIDS education in order to create awareness and prevention for the children at an early age. The objectives of the organisation are to provide vocational skills training courses to train, broaden and enrich the knowledge and experience of pre-school teachers with appropriate skills.  It also provides follow-up service and mentorship in order to enhance sustainability pf early childhood development.
The funds received from Absa were used for recognition of prior learning and screening, preparation and printing of training manuals and materials, facilitation fees and quality assessments.  25 pre-school teachers benefited directly and 875 children indirectly.
To build partnerships with the recipients to ensure the success of projects, To encourage disadvantaged communities to help themselves.
Governance through the Foundation
The Absa Foundation was established in 1994 and is the primary channel for the group's social investment programme.  The Foundation is governed through a Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees has the ultimate deciding power on allocation and distribution of CSI resource.
A dedicated team is appointed to execute the CSI programme. The team is responsible for:
Prioritising and selecting CSI programmes
Coordinating and managing social    investment initiatives
Reporting and accounting on all CSI programmes
Stakeholder and partnerships management for CSI purposes
Mobilises and facilitates employee    community involvement and    participation in corporate social    investment initiatives.  
pursue their dreams, will offer a return not only to the economy, but also in terms of an increased customer base for Absa's banking products and other financial services.
The Financial Sector Charter prescribes that 0.5% of pre-tax profit should be spent on Corporate Social Investment. In comparison to the sector in general, Absa is ahead of the pack in that the Group has always aligned itself with contemporary models of addressing socio-economic imbalances.
Absa's CSI also continues to enjoy its position as a benchmark and leader in forging strategic partnerships with government and with communities. The nation knows that in Absa bank it has a partner that it can rely on to build a better economy for all the people of South Africa.
Supporting our company and our nation
Corporate Social Investment is not merely a philanthropic exercise, but a business imperative, supporting Absa's business goals. When individuals are uplifted, communities flourish and strengthened; entrepreneurs emerge to take capital and they further build the nation.  Thus we believe in helping communities reach their full potential through partnering with government in its efforts to achieve South Africa's development imperatives.
Valuing diversity within the common vision that unites us is part of our way of doing business. We are committed to employing, empowering and developing people from all cultural backgrounds, and strive to create an inclusive, diversity-friendly corporate culture. Central to this philosophy is our ongoing campaign to involve our employees in our social investment activities, giving back to our most important stakeholders  our people and our country's communities.
A focus on welfare, education and development.  Reducing poverty by half by the year 2015 will take a concerted effort to achieve just within the borders of South Africa. Thus we have elected to focus our attention on three key areas:
·   Health  with a specific emphasis on fighting the HIV/Aids    pandemic.
·   Education  through early childhood development, the improvement of maths, science and technology learning.
·   Entrepreneurship development  from job creation projects that improve the lives of women and the disabled, to emerging enterprises that can graduate to Absa's New Enterprise Banking division.
The way we work with communities
In our quest to improve the living conditions of underprivileged communities, we have aligned our work closely with the government's development goals, building strategic partnerships to maximise impact, and helping to build the capacity of development organisations towards better long-term community and environmental sustainability.
We embrace four tenets that are central to the way in which the Absa Foundation operates. These are:
To focus on community development as opposed to one    of mere cheque handovers,
To engage in active intervention from the Absa staff in project management as well capacity building,
·   Ranked 1st in the Banking Sector     Awarded Diamond Status on the basis of the Group's
BEE Strategy, Corporate Governance, Environmental Care and Social Upliftment.
·   Rated 1st as the financial sector                       company making the strongest       contribution to development.
·   Nominated as having the most       hands-on approach to CSI.
·   Nominated as the corporate      that most strongly involves its       employees in CSI.
Mail & Guardian: Investing in Life
·   2nd in Foundations and Trusts most    innovative HIV/Aids Programme.
Mail & Guardian: Investing in the Future
·   2nd in Corporate Award for the       Partnership with Masoyi Home    Based Care in Mpumalanga.
Numismatic Society of South Africa
Absa Group Museum was awarded the Bob Morris Trophy for the best numismatic exhibitions in South Africa.
Pan South African Language Board
Absa Bank received the Multilingualism Award for being the only bank to give its customers the option of transacting in 5 indigenous languages.
Absa is one of South Africa's largest financial institutions and is fast becoming a regional and global player in the financial services industry. Such a market position calls for the company to support the government in its efforts to achieve the fulfilment of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals. Absa is determined to contribute by:
·Aligning its social development programmes with targets set by the S.A. Government, countries around the globe and the United Nations,
Partner with local government in a more vigorous way in pursuit of
local development goals.
It is with this development agenda in mind that Absa concentrates its CSI activities on education, health (in particular the fight against HIV/Aids) and entrepreneurial development. This report chronicles the achievements of Absa and its Foundation over the last financial year, and provides a glimpse of the passion with which the whole Absa community, including its employees engage in helping our bank grow our community.
By making a substantial social investment  some R18.1 million in 2004  in education, entrepreneurial development and the fight against HIV/Aids, we are taking the long term view. Healthier, better educated entrepreneurs are the future leaders of the South African economy. The input we make that energizes them now to pursue their dreams, will offer a return not only to the economy, but also in terms of an increased customer base for Absa's banking products and other financial services.
The Financial Sector Charter prescribes that 0.5% of pre-tax
Major Achievements
Awards and Recognition
Since 1994, the Absa Foundation has taken its place amongst the leading performers in the Corporate Social Investment arena in South Africa. The Absa CSI programme has won many accolades and awards, the following in 2004 alone:
Absa's ranking in national
surveysyndicated Surveys
Corporate Care Check
·   5th most caring company in South  Africa.
·   Ranked 1st as most caring financial       institution in South Africa.
Business Social Monitor
·   Ranked 1st as most caring company    according to decision makers.