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Santam bolsters investment in crime prevention and extends partnership with NICRO

27 May 2014 Santam

Santam, South Africa’s largest short-term insurer has committed an additional R2,7 million in support of the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders’ (NICRO) work to help adolescents reduce their risk of falling into a life of crime. This brings the insurer’s total investment to this cause close to R5 million and extends its partnership by another four years.

The cash injection from Santam has enabled NICRO to expand the Safety Ambassador Programme to a group of 60 grade 9 - 11 learners from the Hodisa Secondary School and Moemedi Secondary School in Rocklands in the Free State where the programme will run for three years.
 
NICRO, a non-governmental organisation, ultimately aims to find lasting solutions towards crime prevention. Forming part of their basket of interventions is the Safety Ambassador Programme which aims to curb the spike in juvenile offenders by inspiring young people to lead a crime-free lifestyle.
 
Santam sponsors the programme at 24 schools across South Africa and as a result of their investment since 2009, close to 800 learners have successfully completed the Safety Ambassador Programme.
 
Tersia Mdunge, CSI Manager at Santam says the insurer appreciates the potential of young people, and therefore strategically invests in partnerships that help youth realise their potential. "The scourge of crime in our country, particularly in disadvantaged communities, impedes people’s potential to thrive – psychologically, socially and economically. Programmes such as the NICRO Safety Ambassador Programme are a vital contribution to society because they ultimately help to nurture community wellbeing.”
 
NICRO has been developing constructive solutions to breaking the cycle of crime and violence in South Africa since 1910. It was the first organisation to develop intervention programmes specifically for children and young people involved in crime.
 
Vuyo Nelane, a Grade 10 leaner from Hodisa Secondary School says he looks forward to participating in the initiative. "I cannot wait to get involved in this programme that will help me become the best person I can be. I also think it will help us to make positive changes in our school while having fun in the process.”
 
The programme will be implemented as a structured curriculum that involves peer education, building learner capacity, clarifying values and value systems, as well as developing and implementing practical projects and activities.
 
"I am confident that the programme will enhance our efforts to give the learners direction and purpose. Learners will not only gain skills on how to deal with crime, but the programme will also prevent them from getting involved in such activities,” says Mrs Rebecca Mpailane, who teaches at Moemedi Secondary School.

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