With East New Britain playing host to BSP Executive Management and Board Directors this week, the visitors took time out to hand over 100 desks to the Anglicare Elementary school in Kokopo as part of the Kokopo Branch’s Community Project.
As part of their third quarter board meeting activities, BSP Group Chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou and his board of directors including BSP Group CEO Robin Fleming and his the senior executive team took part in the handover ceremony to the Anglicare Elementary school.
Established back in 2002 by the Anglican Church Congregation in Kokopo, the school has a student population of close to 400 students catering for students from Prep up to Grade 3.
“Equipping students with required knowledge & skills in a much more conducive learning environment will help the development of the child at the foundation stage of learning. BSP Community project will definitely have a great impact to the school as part of the development; bring excitement to children and give a feeling of satisfaction to the parents who are also our BSP customers. Providing 100 desks to the school will be a great benefit to the school in the long term,” said BSP Kokopo Branch Manager Joe Makinta during the handover.
The tourism hub of the New Guinea Islands region has two branches - Kokopo and Rabaul, and two Sub- Branches - Kerevat and Palmalmal, in the province delivering banking services to customers as far as New Ireland and those along the East-West New Britain Highway.
The Rabaul Branch although smaller than what it used to be prior to the 1994 twin volcanic eruption, continues to service the customers almost 40 years on and remains the only Commercial Bank operating in Rabaul Town.
The Kokopo Branch has been in operation since 1995. Apart from the Community Projects, Mr Makinta said the Kokopo Branch has also been in collaboration with the Education Department in the province, getting schools to register as Mobile Banking Merchants and providing another payment option for School Fee Payment for parents and schools. “As traditional banking moves into digital banking and making service more accessible to customers, BSP is targeting schools in the province to look at alternative easy access for payment such as Mobile Banking.
“We have so far registered 11 schools who currently use the service. Mobile Banking Merchant has also been part of our drive to deliver convenient digital banking to the communities and business houses in the province. Currently we have a total of eight (8) active merchants.
Mr Makinta added that another priority for BSP in schools is the Financial Literacy Training. “This training targets the unbanked involving schools, tertiary institutions, women groups, church groups, corporate societies and other organised groups. Most gained the simple steps of saving and budgeting skills.”
Apart from this year’s Community Projects of ‘Equipping Schools with Desks,’ the Kokopo Branch had also delivered computers and printers to Tanaka Primary School in 2020 while Rabaul Branch assisted the Malaguna Primary School, completing one of its double classrooms.
In terms of COVID-19 response, hand-wash basins were delivered to Tanaka Primary School, Butuwin Health Centre and Kokopo Secondary School last year.
This year the BSP Kokopo Branch delivered desks to Anglicare Elementary School valued at total of K30,000.
Overall, BSP has invested a total of K550,000 through 24 Community Projects delivered by both Kokopo and Rabaul Branches since 2009.