Photo: Nibela Primary SchoolSigma Technology actively supports the Star for Life program, which is aimed to help youth in Southern Africa fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, get higher self-esteem, and get access to better education. In the beginning of May, a group of Sigma Technology representatives visited three schools that are sponsored by Sigma Technology in KwaZulu-Natal – Mmemezi High School (400 students, aged 15-21), Nibela Primary School (600 students, aged 5-12), and Nompondo Primary School (400 students, aged 5-12) – to meet the students, teachers, and Star for Life representatives.
Sigma Technology regularly takes part in activities that contribute to a sustainable future, by supporting innovation and development through education. Within the framework of the Star for Life project, we provided each school with coaches, training programs, and social activities, all of them contributing to a better medical awareness, self-esteem, and education. Not less important part of the program for us is to share information about Star for Life and the social situation in South Africa among our colleagues.
We achieve this through the internal ambassadorship program. Every year two employees get a chance to work closer with the schools and organization and meet students in South Africa during a shorter trip. Jason Gleeson became Star for Life ambassador of Sweden, and Norbert Orgován became Star for Life ambassador of Hungary in 2017.
During the onsite visit to South Africa, Sigma Technology representatives spent one day at each sponsored school. In the daytime, we attended Star for Life workshops, met students, teachers, and the principals, and enjoyed performances prepared by the students.
Jason Gleeson comments: “Each school is very different and has its own challenges. I have been communicating with Nibela Primary School before the trip, but I was still very surprised by the highly professional school management, high discipline, and cleanness at the school that lies remotely in a rural area with no access to running water. We will see how we can support the school further, but we surely see that Star for Life program pays off at Nibela.”
Photo: Star for Life workshop at Grade R (children that are 5-6 years old), Nibela Primary School
Norbert Orgován has never been to South Africa before and he notices quite a lot of differences both across the country and between the schools:
“South Africa is definitely a country of contrasts. I saw how rural area and schools are different from universities in big cities. I got also a unique opportunity to speak in front of 1,400 students in total, something that I have never done before. During our trip, we focused on establishing personal communication and collecting as much information as we could to understand the situation better. All of that becomes a basis for us to successfully continue cooperation with Star for Life and the schools.”
Photo: Student of Nompondo Primary School cites his poem “I am a proud African”
Carl Vikingsson, CEO at Sigma Technology Group, adds:
“I am very satisfied with the level of teachers and the surroundings of the schools, especially the primary ones. We see their ambition, and it gives us a proof that we can support them. I believe that this trip helped us understand the problems of the schools better and establish a good contact with the teachers and the students. Star for Life coaches and managers are doing a great job.”
During the last day of our visit, we got a chance to visit Mfundo Mafuleka, the former Mmemezi High School student and one of the winners of Sigma Technology’s monetary support that covered the registration fee for a higher education institution. Mfundo Mafuleka studies Communication Science at the University of Zululand now and feels that education makes difference. He doesn’t forget his own family and school and often visits them trying to motivate fellow Mmemezi students to follow their dreams and study hard.
Photo: Nataly Duyko, Jason Gleeson, Mfundo Mafuleka, Norbert Orgován and Carl Vikingsson during the visit to Mfundo Mafuleka’s family.
The schools have also received soccer balls, netballs, and jump ropes from the Sigma Technology team, which were appreciated by the students.
Photo: Mmemezi High School students after their received netballs, soccer balls, and jump ropes.
“Our ambition now is to analyze everything we have seen during the trip and establish good communication between two new schools, Nompondo and Nibela, and our ambassadors as well as improve cooperation with Mmemezi High School. Jason and Norbert will work closely with the teachers and students to support them in their challenges and get regular updates to share with their colleagues at Sigma Technology,” adds Nataly Duyko, PR & Communications Manager at Sigma Technology.
For more information about Star for Life, visit starforlife.org.
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