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July 31 2013

Citi Foundation Commits $50,000 to Banking on Our Future South Africa

Johannesburg – July 25, 2013
 – Financial dignity leader Operation HOPE (HOPE) today announced a $50,000 award from the Citi Foundation to continue its efforts to promote entrepreneurship and financial independence for youth and adults in South Africa.

“We are pleased to receive $50,000 from the Citi Foundation in support of the Banking on Our Future initiative in South Africa," said President Global Youth Empowerment and Chief Executive Officer, New York Market for Operation HOPE, Mary H. Erhsam. “We appreciate the Citi Foundation for valuing the important work we are doing and look forward to sharing our program achievements as we continue.”

Since January, 24 Citi volunteers have assisted HOPE Corps members in training 892 learners in the Gauteng Province at the African Leadership Academy, the Iphutheng Primary, Leap School, Minerva High, and Sandton View High schools.

This June, Banking on Our Future South Africa celebrated its sixth year in South Africa. The program was launched in June 2007 as part of HOPE’s global initiative to extend “silver rights” to underserved communities globally. To date, nearly 45,000 South African community members have participated in empowerment trainings.

The award-winning Banking on Our Future curriculum provides the financial literacy program core, includes a special focus on entrepreneurship for the South Africa curriculum approved by the provincial and national Departments of Education.

The Citi Foundation supports the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of low-and moderate-income people in communities where Citi operates. The foundation works collaboratively with a range of partners to design and test financial inclusion innovations with potential to achieve scale, seeking to support leadership and knowledge building activities.

Since its inception in 1992, HOPE, a nonprofit focused on financial dignity, has empowered more than 2 million individuals and directed more than $1.5 billion in private capital to America's low-wealth communities. It has recruited a growing army of nearly 20,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, and helped raise average credit scores for financial case management clients more than 120 points over an average 18-month period. It currently serves more than 300 U.S. cities, as well as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and most recently, the United Arab Emirates. Its effort to empower underserved communities is a “silver rights” mission to make free enterprise work for everyone.