In an innovative deal, Rabie Property Group financed the construction of the initial two Futbol arenas at Century City, on the proviso that a portion of the net profit from the venture would be paid to Sinenjongo High School to provide a sustainable income stream and to help fund their intervention programmes at the school which has seen the school improve its matric pass rate from an abysmal 27% to 93% over the past six years and being named one of the top 10 improved schools in the province for three consecutive years.

A further four Futbol arenas have since been funded by international philanthropist Dr. Handa on a similar basis.

In terms of the deal, a third of the net profits accrue to Sinenjongo High School and a third to Dr. Handa’s ISPS foundation to help fund their CSI programmes.

Rabie managing director, Leon Cohen, says rather than just donating cash, the arrangement had enabled them to fund a multi-million rand sports facility for the youth and community, to create jobs as well as provide a sustainable revenue stream to help fund their extensive CSI work at Sinenjongo which has included paying the salaries of five additional math’s and science teachers and programmes to improve English proficiency among learners and teachers.

The R250 000 now being donated to Sinenjongo represents the maiden dividend from the operations.

“And we expect the annual dividend to increase as Fives Futbol grows from strength to strength,” says Cohen.

“What's great about the whole venture is the facility is used by the kids as well as generating funds. Not only does this improve them as soccer players but 'Healthy body healthy mind" can only further accentuate the educational improvements mentioned. We at Fives along with our partners are proud to be making a difference.”

As the needs of the school far exceed what Rabie and Fives Futbol alone can fund, an independent trust – the Marconi Beams Schools Trust – has been set up. For more information on how to get involved with the Marconi Beam Schools Trust, email Maggie Rowley on [email protected].