First Capital Bank Enhances Support for Learn to Play Maatla Mamas, Inspiring Positive Progress

First Capital Bank P50,000 cheque handover
First Capital Bank P50,000 cheque handover

First Capital Bank remains passionate about supporting women and children across Botswana in a meaningful and significant way.

The long-standing partnership the bank has with Learn To Play exemplifies this commitment, which continues to be nurtured. To strengthen this dedication, the bank welcomed Maatla Mamas from the Bontleng community on Wednesday, 6th March 2024. These Maatla Mamas, sponsored for the year with stipends for their work, visited the bank's head office to engage with executives. During their visit, they had the opportunity to network with female bank executives who inspired and motivated them. The Maatla Mamas, women nominated in their communities to run and deliver early childhood playgroups, were encouraged to continue inspiring and championing Early Childhood Development (ECD) progress for more vibrant villages across Botswana.

First Capital Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Reinette van der Merwe, expressed the bank's commitment to fostering growth and equity throughout Botswana, “It is important to us that everyone is given equal and fair access to opportunities, and this begins from early childhood. Therefore, our partnership with Learn To Play is an opportunity to ensure enriching the skills and knowledge of the people within the communities themselves. We are honoured to be given the opportunity to be able to help ensure that Maatla Mamas can provide for themselves and their families, while developing the next generation of leaders in their community.”

The partnership aims to be a well-sustained one to ensure long-term impact. This began in 2023, when First Capital Bank Botswana committed P50,000 to fund the stipends of three Learn to Play Maatla Mamas. These dedicated mothers, part of 41 Maatla Mamas across 13 communities in Botswana, have acquired essential skills in early childhood development (ECD), enabling them to run early learning playgroups daily in some of Botswana’s most marginalized communities. The bank's contribution ensures these Maatla Mamas can sustain themselves while contributing to community growth through Learn To Play playgroups.

In 2024, First Capital Bank reaffirms its dedication to supporting Learn To Play’s holistic approach to ECD even further, where play is integral to learning, wellbeing, and growth. This supports Learn To Play’s bold ambition to drive progress, rooted in its purpose of being Inspired by Play and Informed by African communities. “Our Maatla Mamas are the driving force in our efforts towards providing culturally relevant early childhood education. The support provided by organisations such as First Capital Bank ensures the sustainability for women and mothers to be meaningfully employed while making a lasting impact in their communities,” said Learn to Play Founder, Priyanka Handa Ram.

The Learn to Play programme breaks intergenerational cycles of poverty through their work. By investing in uplifting women’s economic opportunities to address early childhood education, Learn to Play is uplifting the socio-economic status of families in the country. Every single one of the women they support previously lived and earned below the poverty line, before they became Maatla Mamas. Through the early childhood training and support from Learn To Play, these head-of-household women now earn fixed monthly incomes, bringing 100% of them above the poverty line. In fact, nearly half of them now have bank accounts, and some have even invested in insurance for their households and families. The generosity of First Capital Bank makes this vision for the children and women of Africa, the wider community residents this impacts in a more inclusive manner, more tangibly achievable.

To date, First Capital Bank’s support through P150,000.00 as well as engagement for Mindful Play, building children’s emotional wellbeing and additional support to children’s education and their nourishment, have contributed to Learn To Play’s journey.

“We look forward to providing further support to community development efforts across Botswana. We believe that this is the key towards unlocking great potential in Botswana. Organisations such as Learn to Play are a part of this goal, and we look forward to seeing the great success stories that come from these collaborations,” concluded van der Merwe.

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