Star for Life operates with the help of a number of big and smaller partners. Most partners take on funding the Star for Life program in a high school, but some go on to making the partnership both bigger and deeper. After 10 years of partnership Star for Life and Volvo Trucks have developed a partnership that stretches through nine schools in the Johannesburg area and eight schools in the Durban area in South Africa, as well as an apprenticeship program where invite students from Star for Life schools to learn to become engineers at the Volvo Trucks shops. We got in touch with Tobias Dahlgren, Vice President Global Brand & Customer Experience at Volvo Trucks Southern Africa to hear his take on how the partnership has evolved and what it means to the company today.
How did Volvo Trucks get in contact with Star for Life and why did you choose Star for Life over other larger organisations?
Volvo Trucks involvement with Star For Life began in 2008, with a local sponsorship of schools in areas around Durban. Star for Life has a well proven concept that makes a real difference in South Africa and especially for schoolchildren in vulnerable areas. We can see the results of the efforts and also have the opportunity to recruit apprentices to our workshops and factories from these schools.
By being a Star for Life-partner Volvo Trucks is doing a good deed and it is of vital importance for the students at the schools your sponsor, but besides that – how does the partnership benefit your staff and your brand?
South Africa has a big need for various efforts in many areas to ensure a good start for the next generation. Volvo Trucks is very proud to have been involved in Star for Life for 10 years and have developed this into one of our biggest CSR engagements. It is important for our brand and staff in South Africa that we support a well-functioning program that makes real difference. Apart from sponsoring 16,000 learners yearly in the Star For Life programmes, Volvo Trucks Southern Africa has also donated computers and a new library, as well as given out 18 scholarships for university studies per year.
Do you get any feedback showing what the money goes to? What does that feedback look like?
We get yearly reports from the school, as well as have ongoing meetings with the local Star for Life organisation and see the results in place in the schools where we are engaged.
How come you stay as School Partners to Star for Life?
We regard this as a long-term commitment that has now evolved over the years to an important recruitment base for us in our business.
Thank you Tobias. The important role Volvo Trucks play in funding our organisation cannot be over stated. Thank you for being both a committed and creative partner.