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Vodacom Group

10 South Africans to Change the World

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Margaret Mead said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  On Thursday 29 March 2012, 10 South Africans took up this challenge and embarked on their journey of changing the world. 

The 10 volunteers form part of the second phase of the Vodacom Change the World initiative, where 10 Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) from around the country were asked to state the skills they would need to assist them in becoming sustainable.  A nationwide call was then issued for suitably-qualified South Africans, who met these requirements and who wished to give back to society, to apply to volunteer their time and skills for a period of up to one year.

By the closing date, over 580 entries had been received and so began the tough task of selecting the top 10 volunteers.  "It wasn't an easy undertaking," says Mthobi Tyamzashe, Vodacom CSI Executive Director.  "The calibre of entries was high and many skilled volunteers applied.  We are satisfied that our dedicated panel of judges did a great job of matching the right volunteers to the right NPOs based on interests, skills, experience and personality."

The 10 Vodacom Change the World volunteers and their host organisations, are:

Nicolien Joubert, Algoa Bay Care for the Aged
With 14 years of experience in nutrition and 23 years in the health care sector behind her name, Nicolien aims to improve the lives of the elderly by protecting their dignity, raising their standard of living and providing knowledge on health and nutrition.

Sindile Rubushe, Association for People with Disabilities, Polokwane
Sindile will bring his business development skills to the role of project co-ordinator at APD and aims to secure long-term funding and marketing opportunities for the organisation.

Nelia Van Deventer, FAMSA Upington
The combination of passion for family and a business background will allow Nelia to manage and implement projects with the aim of empowering the community and showing the importance of a strong family unit.

Gerhard Greyling, Vrystaat Nasorgsentrum
To the role of workshop manager, Gerhard brings both his love for teaching and his enjoyment of working with his hands to impart his skills and knowledge to the mentally challenged, so they can make a meaningful contribution to society through producing goods to be sold.

Rachael Tembo, Jo'burg Child Welfare
With a Masters Degree in monitoring and evaluation, coupled with a belief that children are the most important and often the most vulnerable members of society, Rachael aims to make a significant impact at Jo'burg Child Welfare through conducting research which will improve the effectiveness of its projects and programmes.

Jackina Mello, Ndlovu Care Group
As a professional social worker, Jackina has experience in the field of child protection and will be overseeing projects aimed at identifying child headed homes and ensuring that their needs are met, as well as providing therapeutic services to the patients admitted to the organisation's clinic for treatment.

Mpolokeng Kambule, New Beginningz
With qualifications in business administration and project management, as well as experience in social work, Mpolokeng will ensure that projects are managed at their optimum level to best meet the needs of the many abused, abandoned and neglected babies and toddlers which the organisation cares for.

Tamarin Dutton, NOAH
As an Early Childhood Development lecturer, Tamarin aims to impart her knowledge and skills by laying a foundation for a holistic, sustainable approach to early education for vulnerable children at NOAH in Umhlanga.

Sarah Barnes, The Smile Foundation
As a clinical psychologist, Sarah will provide therapy to the children, and their families, undergoing surgery as well as provide support to the staff and impart knowledge of the help available for those with cleft lip palettes.

Linda Brash, TSiBA, Cape Town
With a conviction that education is the key to improving people's circumstances, Linda aims to use her extensive marketing skills to raise both awareness and funds for TSiBA which will allow many underprivileged youth to receive a tertiary education.

"Vodacom launched the Change the World initiative to assist NPOs with much-needed skills, over a sustained period," states Tyamzashe.  "Although many South Africans have the willingness to offer their skills to improve the lives of those around them, not everyone has the means.  Through the Change the World programme, the volunteers can offer both their time and skills, at no cost to themselves or the NPOs."

He continues, "Moreover, the initiative aims at encouraging the transfer of skills.  Although NPOs rely heavily on traditional cash donations, the lack of appropriate skills remains a problem.  Thus, during their time at their host organisations, the volunteers will not only have the opportunity to make an immediate difference in people's lives, but they will also be able to impart their knowledge, skills and experience, allowing the NPOs to benefit from them for many years to come."

"We have seen how successful our 2011 volunteers have been and how many thousands of lives they have changed through this initiative.  We know that thousands more will now benefit from our 2012 volunteers and we wish them everything of the best in achieving their admirable goals," concludes Tyamzashe.


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