The UN describes education as key to social and economic development, and has put educational progress at the center of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In emerging economies, access to education in early years has the potential to raise those at the bottom of the economic pyramid out of poverty. In industrialized countries, education systems face the challenge of not serving all students equally, or of not meeting the needs of a fast-changing global economy.
At Deutsche Bank, we believe that all young people, regardless of social or cultural background, should have the chance to develop their talents and position themselves for success. The Born to Be youth engagement programme of Deutsche Bank and its foundations is designed to break the cycles that limit prospects for employment globally through a range of interventions. This includes building aspirations among children and youth, teaching new skills, and providing an open path to educational and employment opportunities. Our portfolio ranges from sport for development programs that help young people to improve their learning aptitude and projects that promote educational success or develop employability skills, to cultural education projects that not only foster the understanding of art and culture, but also drive educational attainment.
A partnership approach
By partnering with not-forprofit organizations, ranging from grassroots initiatives to corporations who share our mission, we focus on addressing the most pressing local issues affecting young people in each region. Whenever possible, our employees support our programs by volunteering their time and serving as mentors to the young people. With our Born to Be initiatives, we contribute to the SDGs, particularly goals 4 and 5, which aim to ensure an inclusive and equitable, quality education and empower women and girls.
Selected regional highlights
- Germany: Deutsche Bank Foundation provides Studienkompass scholarships for young people from non-academic backgrounds to pursue a higher education. Only 5% of Studienkompass graduates drop their courses later on (vs. 28% German average).
- UK: Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank has reached 137,000 state school students across London and Birmingham and trained over 1,000 teachers since 2007, enabling them to experience engaging performances that meet national curriculum requirements.
- US: the partnership with Strive for College has helped 2,616 students apply to and enter college so far.
- India: partnering with Educate Girls, we work to tackle some of the root causes of gender inequality in India’s education system.
- South Africa: we have partnered with Sparrow Schools since 2001 to improve the lives of 13,000 youth with learning difficulties.
- Middle East: Deutsche Bank MENA Foundation supports a hippotherapy program to improve strength and confidence of more than 30 physically and mentally disabled children.
We measure the impact of each Born to Be project to better understand young people’s journeys to employment and to assess the outcomes achieved along a defined theory of change. Through our partnership with New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), we help others concerned with youth unemployment to focus on what matters most. On top of that, our partnership with the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has already produced policy recommendations to improve educational equality in the UK. And in 2016, as a long-time champion of the value of art and creativity to society, Deutsche Bank backed the campaign to reform the English Baccalaureate (EBacc).
In the US, Deutsche Bank supports the Citizens’ Committee for Children’s (CCC’s) civic leadership program for high schoolers, and YouthAction NYC, which challenges teens to come up with public policy solutions to issues that directly affect them in their schools and in their communities. The CCC’s approach to child advocacy is fact-based and combines the most effective features of public policy research with a tradition of citizen activism to further its mission of ensuring that every child is healthy, housed, educated, and safe. In the German home market, we work with Kulturrat der Länder, a federal network promoting cultural learning to foster educational attainment.
Going forward we have set ourselves the goals to
continue to further improve the reach and the impact of our initiatives, setting a goal to reach five million young people with Born to Be initiatives by 2020. To achieve this, we will focus on:
- continued cooperation with community partners to tackle the root causes of educational failure through a range of impact-led interventions
- engaging ever-more Deutsche Bank employees to serve as mentors for the young, and
- working collaboratively with multi-stakeholder organizations that can accelerate effective policies and skills development.