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Vodacom Foundation

“Every Great Dream Begins With a Dreamer”

Friday, 25 February 2011

Is there something that you've always dreamt of doing to change the world but have never had the time, the money or the opportunity to do so? As of last week, a group of passionate people are one step closer to making their dreams of changing the world a reality.

Over the past two weeks the top 20 applicants selected from the 515 entries received to take part in the Vodacom Change the World programme, have undergone a rigorous adjudication process. First they spent some time with the NGOs for which they are being considered and then they were flown to Johannesburg where they were interviewed by the judging panel. This panel comprises of Resource Development Manager of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Ruth Rensburg; TV and radio personality Romy Titus; Avusa's HR General Manager, Puleng Namane; Vodacom Head Coach, Lawrie Golding; and Steffan van der Male, a volunteer from the Netherlands who has been placed in South Africa through the international version of the Change the World programme, titled Vodafone World of Difference.

Of the top 20 Namane said, "It was interesting to see so many people that applied from various places and for various reasons. I was awed by their selflessness and even said to a few of them if they could mobilise more people like themselves to make a difference we could do so much more". Van der Male added, "I'm very impressed by the professionalism of the finalists and their passion".  

This was echoed by Mthobi Tyamzashe, Vodacom CSI Executive Director and Chairman of the Vodacom Foundation, who said: "The finalists are hungry to be part of this initiative and it's fantastic to see how seriously they are treating this opportunity. The judges have a difficult job to do, as they have the duty of matching the right volunteers to the right host-organisations based on interests, skills, experience and of course, personality, to ensure a constructive relationship between volunteer and organisation for the sustainable transfer of skills."

To ensure that the selection of winners is all above-board, the judging process, which the finalists described as "exciting", "fun", and "nerve-wrecking", is audited by Deloitte & Touche. In this process the vote of the NGOs has as much sway as that of the judging panel. "Over the past 10 years, Vodacom, through the Vodacom Foundation, has assisted hundreds of charitable organisations with funding. Now through the Vodacom Change the World initiative, we are giving the public an opportunity to join in our dream of making a real and sustainable contribution to South African communities" concluded Tyamzashe.

The volunteers to take part in the initiative will be announced in March. For more information about the Change the World programme and to track its progress please visit or

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."   - Harriet Tubman


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