June 2023, Johannesburg – The FEM Education Foundation (FEMEF) recently hosted a workshop that brought together several organizations from the education sector in South Africa. The focus of the workshop was to explore how collaborative work could enable positive development within the education space. FEMEF is a non-profit division of The Federated Employers Mutual Assurance
Company (RF) Proprietary Limited (FEM). FEMEF is focused on making a significant and real impact in promoting educational and leadership development in South Africa and aims to improve the public- school system, preferably on a regional to national level.
The event brought together representatives from 8 FEMEF partner and beneficiary organisations, as well as board members from FEMEF. Organisations in attendance at this inaugural workshop were: Citizen Leader Lab, Make A Difference Leadership Foundation (MAD), Funda Wande, Research on Socio Economic Policy (RESEP), SmartStart, Thandulwazi Trust, Columba Leadership and Khanyisa Inanda
Seminary Community Projects (KICP).
The purpose of the event was to create a platform for knowledge-sharing between the various
organisations, with the intention of gaining insights and perspectives into the work done by each respective organisation, as well as strengthening relationships and fostering a better understanding of educational needs within the South African context. The end goal of the initiative is to build collaborative capacity and cross-referrals within this particular group (and beyond), aimed at positively
impacting the country’s education sector.
The session’s facilitator, collaborative specialist, Dr Robyn Whittaker, employed unique methodologies and tactics designed to encourage meaningful engagements, support and understanding between the various organisations, as well as promote respect for the work done by each other.
Programme Manager – Leadership Development at KICP, Nomcebo Dladla, expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to participate in the workshop, stating that it empowered various organisations (including those not in attendance), to work together more effectively, share insights and amplify collective impact. “The workshop was an exceptional platform for fostering connections and preparing the soil for collaboration to thrive. It emphasised the importance of establishing strong relationships as the foundation for successful partnerships. I am truly grateful to the FEM and FEMEF boards for creating and providing such an intentional space for implementing partners to come together, build relationships, engage and collaborate towards a common goal,” she said.
Silke Rothkegel van Velden, Project Manager at RESEP, echoed these sentiments, stating “It has been an enlightening experience to connect with individuals who are deeply committed to addressing South Africa’s education crisis. The insights and discussions we had, have truly left an impression on me. I want to express my sincere gratitude to FEMEF for organising and hosting this meaningful engagement.”
The positive reception of the workshop supports FEMEF’s belief that partnerships and collaboration are winning solutions in moving the needle forward when it comes to developing the education sector in South Africa. FEM CEO and FEMEF chairperson, Ndivhuwo Manyonga, thanked the delegates for their willingness to engage in an open and forward-thinking manner and for their valuable contributions to the success of the initiative. She said, “FEMEF is committed to making a meaningful contribution to improving the education landscape in South Africa. Partnerships with like-minded organisations are fundamental in building capacities that lead to exponentially more impactful efforts and solutions. Ongoing support and collaborations are what will help us realise the shared vision of a transformed educational sector in South Africa.”
FEM is a mutual insurer that provides Workman’s Compensation Cover to the construction industry in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 1993 (COIDA).
FEM was established as a mutual insurer in 1936 and, on the introduction of the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1941, was granted a license to continue to transact workmen’s compensation insurance for the construction industry. FEM business operations are essentially confined to the insurance of employers against their liabilities under the COIDA Act, and related Bills.
FEMEF is a non-profit organisation that was established on 19 October 2016 as a landmark corporate and social investment initiative during a General Meeting of FEM Shareholders. To this end, R750 Million payment has been made into the foundation. The objective of FEMEF is to make a real and significant impact in improving education in South Africa. This end will be achieved through partnering with a few carefully selected NGOs that operate in the education space. Each partner plays in a specific area of specialisation to ensure that FEMEF has a meaningful impact and that initiatives are not duplicated. FEMEF intends to do its best to make a meaningful contribution
towards the upliftment of education for all South Africans.
For 1Africa Consulting (Communications Agency)
Contact: Ms. Nompumelelo Mngqibisa
Telephone: +27 10 824 5611