Business & Economy

Monday, 12 February 2018 09:27

Aon commits to two-year sponsorship of the Cape Wine Auction Trust

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“Education is the most powerful weapon for changing the world.” Nelson Mandela

Aon South Africa has committed to a two-year sponsorship of the Cape Wine Auction (CWA) Trust  to help further its work in cultivating a learning culture in the Cape winelands.  By funding passionate, well-managed organisations that provide a range of quality holistic educational services, from cradle to career, the CWA Trust is driving measurable change to re-imagine the lives of future generations in the South African winelands.

Now in its fourth year, the Cape Wine Auction which is the annual signature fundraising event, has raised nearly R55 million with all proceeds procured at the auction allocated to beneficiaries via the CWA Trust, making a profound impact on education and the lives of children in the Cape Winelands.

According to Terence Williams, CEO of Aon South Africa, the focus on education by the Cape Wine Auction Trust was a natural fit for Aon.  “Aon’s CSI projects are broad-based in nature but typically have an educational basis, from mentoring and educating children from previously disadvantaged communities, through to working with vulnerable children and families in our inner cities, sports development through to greening projects at schools.

“A major drive for Aon is that of education that results in the employability of a young person, or providing them with the skills and confidence to start their own businesses. One simply has to look at the crisis of unemployment, lack of education and transformation of our economy to realise that we need to support and supplement initiatives to assist young people with the skills, education, mentorship, leadership training and fundamental business skills in order for them to break out of the cycle of poverty and unemployment.  Our support of the CWA Trust is premised in ensuring that the socio-economic challenges in the region do not perpetuate the cycle of poverty by undermining the ability of families to provide for their children’s education,” explains Terence.  

Mike Ratcliffe, Trustee of the CWA Trust, explains: “I firmly believe that most social ills in our society can be addressed through education, and that building a better future lies in transformation through education.  This is our way of helping to make a tangible difference. Our signature annual fundraiser, the Cape Wine Auction, is now regarded as the most significant international wine charity auction ever conceived in South Africa, and for many of our generous sponsors, it has become a benchmark in their corporate social investment efforts as the outcomes are so tangible. I think when one considers the social and economic landscape our country finds itself in, the CWA provides our sponsors the opportunity to maximize their purpose and benefits to society, create real, grass-roots societal value where it is needed most, and fulfil on all their stakeholder mandates,” says Mike.

The idea for auction was born four years ago when trustee, Mike Ratcliffe (managing director of Warwick & Vilafonté) was inspired by a trip to Auction Napa Valley in the US, a wine auction with the mandate of subsidising health costs. He was joined back in South Africa by a powerhouse group of trustees, which now include Paul Cluver, Wendy Applebaum, Raymond Ndlovu, Ken Kinsey-Quick and Siobhan Thompson, and the dream of making a tangible difference soon became a reality. Together, the Cape Wine Auction trustees instituted a new model of distribution for the auction proceeds with greater collaboration amongst the organisations who receive assistance. An annual workshop includes all 27 beneficiaries – who share their experiences – and helps optimise productivity by eliminating duplication and concentrating on key areas of expertise.

In closing, Terence Williams adds:  “We believe in empowering possibility in our communities. We’re determined to deliver long-term returns to stakeholders by maximising our value to society and being an organisation that “does well by doing good”.

For more information go to:  Cape Wine Auction (CWA) Trust

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