Who Will Change the World?
At the end of October last year, the Vodacom Foundation issued a nationwide call to the public to submit their applications to take part in the programme. Not only would they be afforded the opportunity to donate their time and expertise, full-time, for six months to one of 10 South African charitable organisations, but get paid to do so. By the closing date in December, 515 people had entered to take up this unique opportunity and then the gruelling task of narrowing down the entries began.
"It wasn't an easy process with so many eager and skilled people applying", says Mthobi Tyamzashe, Vodacom CSI Executive Director and Chairman of the Vodacom Foundation. "Luckily we had a great panel of judges who we believe have matched the right volunteers to the right host-organisations based on interests, skills, experience and of course, personality".
The 10 winning volunteers are:
- Funeka Mani who will be furthering her lifelong commitment to improving the lives of others in her community, through her role as a Community Worker at the SANCA Lowveld Alcohol and Drug Abuse Centre.
- Fiona Budd whose love of animals and vast marketing and fundraising experience will be put to good use at the Sandton SPCA.
- Matome Mahasha who will be using his extensive involvement in community development projects and fluency in all South African languages to assist people affected by crime at the Committee For Crime Prevention, Northern Cape.
- Julie Hay, a highly experienced Early Childhood Development Specialist, who will be taking on the role of pre-primary educator with the 1000 Hills Community Helpers.
- Dr Keith Wimble who in addition to providing healthcare to the community of Khayelitsha through Ikamva Labantu, has insisted that any payment he accrues be donated to a Non Profit Organisation of his choice.
- Susanna ‘Santie' Kotze whose previous volunteering efforts, passion for working with children and background in remedial education have earned her the role of Educator at Opkyk Pathways Therapy and Educational Centre.
- Hendrien de Klerk, a social worker with a wealth of experience in recruiting, training and managing volunteers will be applying her expertise at Free State Care in Action in her role as Volunteer Co-ordinator.
- Sithabile Mazibuko, a highly qualified teacher who is dedicated to educating people on children's rights, will be taking up the position of Remedial Educator at the East London Child and Youth Care Centre.
- Yvonne Eskell Klagsbrun, a social scientist with 13 years of work experience in the NGO sector, will be utilising and sharing her fundraising know-how at the Waterberg Welfare Society.
- Elna Latchman, whose desire to give back to the community combined with her considerable marketing and fundraising experience have resulted in her placement with the Sizanani Children's Home.
These volunteers, together with their host organisations, will be devising specific objectives to be achieved during the six-month programme and will be keeping the world up to date on their progress and experiences via Facebook and Twitter using the laptops, mobile phones and airtime that have been donated by Vodacom.
"We are certain that these high-calibre volunteers will succeed in achieving the goals set and inspire others to realise their dreams of making a difference", concludes Tyamzashe.
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