LEGALWISE. CSI PROGRAMME. Introduction. LegalWise aims to facilitate transformation in the communities within which it operates, through the establishment of shared-value partnerships.
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LegalWise aims to facilitate transformation in the communities within which it operates, through the establishment of shared-value partnerships.
It has adopted an Asset Based Citizen-led Development (ABCD) approach as it believes these principles are more likely to bring about meaningful transformation.
We seek to develop long term relationships with organisations who have adopted a similar approach. Our aim is to link each of our 39 branches across South Africa to local organisations thus encouraging our staff to add value within their area of operation.
The budget is divided into Socio-economic Development and Enterprise Development in accordance with the BBBEE Codes of Good Practice.
The budget is apportioned with the main focus on Enterprise Development. Long and medium term initiatives are accommodated in successive financial years while short term initiatives are reviewed on an annual basis.
The length of the involvement is determined by the community and budget constraints.
We do not have specific focus areas as we are never able to predict what will come out of an ABCD process but we try to align our initiatives to the NDP 2030 to ensure that what we are doing has long term relevance. The majority of our spend is allocated to small business development which includes business skills training and funding. In addition, we provide for education through our bursary scheme, supporting Early Childhood Development Centres, a youth development programme and consumer education.
LegalWise has linked its East London branch to the ECNGOC to provide unrestricted funding and support to their member organisations.
In the same way, our Port Elizabeth branch has been linked to the Ikhala Trust. Both organisations follow an ABCD approach and provide us with opportunities for responsive investment as well as opportunities to learn about ABCD in practice.
LegalWise CSI has been afforded room to experiment and develop a more significant approach to community development. This has allowed us to learn valuable lessons and to determine the “most appropriate practice” for our organisation and the communities in which we operate.
Our successes include forming partnerships with like minded organisations and facilitating meaningful transformation in the minds of those who have embraced their strengths and assets to improve their social and economic conditions.
The ABCD process is never straight forward and will often require adjustments in expectations and thought patterns. This can be a challenge when working within the confines of a corporate structure and complex community structures.
We constantly have to remind ourselves that the community are the experts in their own development and that our role is merely to support their plans.