Posted by Brenda Whisenhunt, Director of Vertical Marketing, Retail

South Africa is a country of striking physical contrasts. From lush coastland to dry scrubland, from mountain peaks to great stretches of plateau. These contrasts extend to the people as well. Once caught in the throes of government-sponsored apartheid, South Africa still struggles with equality across races, across gender, across access to opportunity.

Education is a great equalizer and is the key to closing the opportunity gap that is dividing South Africans.

LUO, a RetailROI partner, is an organization dedicated to changing the course of South African children living in poverty by providing them with nutrition, education and medical care.

Last year in Ithemba School, LUO educated 160 preschoolers and kindergartners in four small, 10’x16’ rooms for six hours a day – 40 children per room.

NetSuite is thrilled to have had the opportunity to sponsor the RetailROI project to help aid in the construction of 10 new classrooms, enabling LUO to educate 100 more children while also decreasing class size.

These new classrooms are three to four times the size of the original rooms, and allow the classroom numbers to decrease from 40 children per room to 16-17 per room.

In addition, sound proofing was added to cut down on noise, and an exercise room and four bathrooms were added. These improvements also benefit the larger community, because in the afternoon, Ithemba becomes a daycare and tutoring center for students all the way through high school.

Lives are being bettered; poverty is being challenged; courses are literally changed.

To find out how you can help RetailROI, go to:

To find out more about LUO, go to: