JOHANNESBURG - Today, Vodacom successfully announced its third group of Change the World volunteers who have given up their daily jobs for a year to help make a difference in the lives of ordinary South Africans in need.
Through this initiative Vodacom aims to mobilise skilled South African individuals to work for a non-profit organisation (NPO) of their choice for a year and get paid a salary.
The initiative underscores the importance of partnerships between the private sector and NPOs in the pursuit of the common goal of building a better life for all.
This year, Vodacom has doubled the number of volunteers to 20 due to the overwhelming number of South Africans who applied to be part of the programme. Vodacom received over a thousand applications for this year indicating a very encouraging growth in the programme.
Speaking at the launch event for this year's volunteers, Vodacom's Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs, Maya Makanjee said: "While non-profit organisations rely heavily upon cash donations and corporate funding to fulfil their mandates, we know that the introduction of skills development through the Vodacom Change the World programme can make a lasting difference in assisting NPOs to achieve their goals in society.
This year, the volunteers were selected by a panel from 1200 entries. The 20 Vodacom Change the World volunteers and their host organisations are:
Alta Brown - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory; Aviwe Mzazi - Lifeline Port, Elizabeth; Ayanda Makaula - Disabled People South Africa - Eastern Cape; Baveena Nathoo - SHAWCO, Cape Town; Caitlin Longman - Park Care/Parksorg, Gauteng; Jessica Vosloo - APD, Free State; Kelly Brownell - The Tomorrow Trust, Gauteng; Kim Gustafson - Etafeni Day Care Centre Trust, Western Cape; Linda Hill - Singakwenza Education and Health NPC, KZN; Michael Stevens - Jumping Kids Prosthetics Fund, Gauteng; Michelle Smith - The Jes Foord Foundation, KZN; Naazneen Tarmohamed - Afrika Tikkun, Gauteng; Norma Young - LEAP Science and Maths Schools, Western Cape; Nqe Jacob Dlamini - World Vision Southern Africa, KZN; Robyn Brown - Bright Start Education Support Programme, Western Cape; Sandile Dlamini - Bhekuzulu Self Sufficient Project, KZN; Stephanie Venter - Kliptown Youth Program, Gauteng; Taryn Yeoman - Lifeline East Rand, Gauteng; Yushene Rajkuar - The Amazing Grace Childrens' Home, Gauteng; Zandile Mtsweni - Headway (The Brain Injury Association), Gauteng.
As the Vodacom Change the World initiative pays the volunteers a salary and provides the funding to each NPO to cover the costs of projects the volunteers wish to implement, the programme is an opportunity for those who are willing to make a difference to their communities to do so at no cost to themselves or the NPO.