Tigers backs programme developing IT skills in South African townships

Disadvantaged young adults in South Africa are benefitting from an IT training scheme, launched by Ubuntu Education Fund and supported by Tigers.
Thirty students are taking part in a six-month pilot of the programme at the Ubuntu Centre in the townships in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Hong Kong headquartered supply chain specialist Tigers, whose South African subsidiary was originally founded in 1888 in Cape Town, is backing the programme, which teaches coding and IT skills to young adults to prepare them for work and secure their futures.
“At Ubuntu, our North Star is stable health and stable income,” said Jacob Lief, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ubuntu Education Fund.
“Starting with HIV-positive mothers, we ensure the children in our care are born healthy, and continue to support them in all aspects of their lives until adulthood.
“The partnership with an established company, such as Tigers, comes at a crucial junction in our Cradle-to-Career model.
“This training creates opportunities for these young people to become highly employable leaders in their communities and to provide for their families.”
Luzuko Clay, 31, will be one of the students to graduate next month.
“I didn’t know anything about coding and programming, but being part of the programme gave me an opportunity to lose myself in a completely different world and explore so many other different opportunities,” said Clay.
“It is all about grabbing each opportunity as it comes and making the best of it.”
Tigers, which recently opened an eShop in China and has a dedicated suite of e-commerce products, developed the curriculum for the new programme.
The Ubuntu Centre, where the new scheme is based, already provides some IT support for the Hong Kong headquartered supply chain specialist.
“Education is an important ethos at Tigers, and this is why we chose to assist Ubuntu with this project by offering support and developing the curriculum to be as agile as the tech industry is,” said Andrew Jillings, CEO, Tigers.
“We have created a curriculum that can take a child from learning how to create a simple spreadsheet, to coding a piece of software that could change the world.”
Ubuntu Education Fund is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1999 by Jacob Lief and Malizole “Banks” Gwaxula, currently supporting more than 2,000 children.
Lief recently appeared in Fortune Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list of the most influential young people in business.

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