Nordea Private Banking have been a Star for Life School Partner since 2010 and are one of Star for Life’s long-term partners. They are creative partner who are willing to take initiatives. In addition to sponsoring Kufezekile High School, they have also been actively leading and shaping new projects and concepts, as well as sponsoring students with scholarships in order for them to be able to attend university. We talked to Lena Zachrisson, the coordinator for the partnership at Nordea Private Banking. Em>
How did Nordea Private Banking first get in contact with Star for Life? Strong>
We work with the fortunes of tomorrow and one of our most important tasks is to find the products and services that meet the needs of our individual clients, in order for them to achieve their personal goals.
We also help our customers with advice on how to best help make a difference in areas that matter. For Nordea Private Banking it is important to take a stand, to emphasise the positive forces that exist in society. Making a difference – that’s what it’s about. That’s why investing in Star for Life was an obvious choice for us.
Faced with the choice of organisation, we asked our customers to give us their views on what was important. They gave us four pointers – youth, education, health and Africa.
With these words in our mind, we searched for organisations and found a handful. After evaluations and visits to the different organisations, we chose Star for Life.
Why did you choose Star for Life over other larger organisations? Strong>
We had formulated several criteria regarding the nature of our chosen organisation and how cooperation between us would work. These included a small, transparent organisation with low administrative costs where we could clearly see for ourselves as well as show our customers what the money actually goes to. Star for Life met all those criteria.
Our last requirement was that the cooperation would bring opportunities for new experiences and on this Star for Life could more than deliver, with concerts in Sweden as well as the opportunity to visit the school and take part in other activities in South Africa. February 2017 saw us on our sixth trip to South Africa together with our customers.
By being a Star for Life-partner Nordea Private Banking is doing a good deed and it is of vital important for the students at Kufezekile High School, but besides that – how does the partnership benefit your staff and your brand?
For Nordea Private Banking community engagement goes without saying. Our collaboration with Star for Life has created opportunities for both customers and employees to get involved on many levels for the benefit of young people in South Africa.
During two full concert tours in 22 Swedish towns, we bought tickets and invited our customers. The reactions after the concerts have been amazing and since then our customers have contacted us many times to thank us and share their appreciation for the value that supporting Star for Life provides. The concert itself is a ’happy pill’but at the same it gives our customers and staff an understanding of what the collaboration means and what it leads to.
In addition to the staff here in Sweden, we have contact with staff working in South Africa, we meet them every year, we know the name of the coach in our school and every year we get a short film showing the students in the school environment. It becomes tangible. You can grasp it. The closeness gives a better understanding and greater personal commitment. For me the commitment has become very personal. Since 2011 my children have had a “brother” in South Africa whom we support by contributing to his studies.
Do you get any feedback showing what the money goes to? What does that feedback look like? Strong>
Twice a year we get a report on all Star for Life activities at the school during the year as well as insight into some of the problems that the pupils are facing. We also get updates on any additional projects that we have commited to during the year, such as scholarships or material donations. We also get one or two short greetings from the school through photos and sometimes even a short film.
How come you stay as School Partners to Star for Life? Strong>
From the beginning, we set out to launch a partnership that we knew could be long term. Our cooperation is working well and we feel confident that the work of Star for Life really makes a difference to the students who have the opportunity to participate in the program and comparative studies show that the life choices and academic performance of Star for Life students are significantly better than those in comparative schools. That return on investment is so much greater than any monetary currency.
Thank you Lena. We are very happy to see your engagement in Star for Life and the youth of South Africa! Strong>