FUTUREGROWTH Lap-desk Initiative creates returns that matter for learners
An initiative by Futuregrowth Asset Management’s Community Property Fund (CPF) provided thousands of learners across the country with customised lap desks. The project was executed in conjunction with Capital Land, the investment property specialists managing the CPF portfolio of shopping malls. More than 3 800 lap desks have been distributed to four schools across South Africa so far. An estimated 95-million learners in Africa do not have access to a writing surface at school, which means they inevitably end up using the floor. Bending over for long periods of time is uncomfortable and does not stimulate learning. This inevitably results in reduced concentration and consequent poor academic performance.
CPF Product Manager Smital Rambhai said, “The lap desks are a cost effective and innovation solution to address this challenge and provide children with a sense of pride and dignity and reassurance that they do matter.”
The lap desks have been imprinted with educational material including South African provinces, times tables, days of the week, seasons, and important numbers to aid in literacy development
and improved academic performance.
Capital Land facilitates the lap desk donations to schools in communities surrounding the respective shopping centres in Futuregrowth’s portfolio. The lap desks are distributed to the schools with the greatest need—which generally are located in rural areas. Each child is issued with a lap desk, which they use at school and at home, and when they graduate they get to keep it. Together with the
shopping centre managers, Capital Land, and Futuregrowth have to date provided lap desks to students at the following four schools:
• Mpithi Combined School, Thulamahashe
• Mbulelo Primary School, Carletonville
• Xhobani Primary School, Carletonville
• Magewu Primary School, Nkomazi
Rambhai said Futuregrowth was committed to pursuing sustainable business practices and creating returns that matter. “Our investment philosophy is underpinned by how we can deliver profitable returns for clients, while positively effecting change and empowering communities to advance economic growth,” he said. CPF is a Futuregrowth portfolio that invests in previously underserviced
communities. Since June 1996 this flagship fund has acquired and developed shopping centres in underserviced communities throughout South Africa. The composite provides investors with a low-
cost, high-value property investment that focuses on emerging market retail property growth in underserviced rural communities and high density townships. More than 30 properties have been funded to date and currently the CPF portfolio includes 24 centres in seven provinces. Today, its composite assets are worth