FREE to those who care.
June 2017. First Edition.
When we created the first CEO SleepOut – which
sees business leaders spend the night outdoors
gaining empathy and raising funds – in 2015, we
had no idea that we’d find some of our biggest support
coming from schools. Without much promoting, schools
decided to make their own SleepOut Events at their
schools, to show their support of The CEO SleepOut
Event, and collect items for charities. Over the last two
years, The School SleepOut has grown into an official
Event, with over 65 schools participating in 2016.
One thing was clear; children want to know more about
empathy, charity, and helping others – and they’re some
of the most compassionate people we’ve ever met. That’s
why we decided to create KIDlanthropy, to offer more
information about philanthropy and empathy to kids. In the
process, we also learned a whole lot about the benefits
of ingraining these ideas in children; it’s healthier for their
mind and body; it can curb anxiety; and it can stop bullying.
Barbara van Wyk
Zama Nkosi Mabuye
So, kids, this one’s for you – our future philanthropists,
social innovators and entrepreneurs. We salute you!
...and The CEO SleepOut Dream Team
Trends to know about!
Initiatives worth knowing abouT
Celebs with a cauSE
Have an idea? Kick it into action
Worth a watch
Why you should volunTEER
July’s caring calenDAR
Careers in caring
It’s Not Just in Your Head,
This Is Why Helping Others Feels gREAT
Meet the difference MAKERS
Schools That Are Doing gOOD
What Giving Back Means to ME
How Empathy Combats Bullying
What is the School SleepOut?
Meet The 2017 School SleepOut TM
Brand Ambassadors #squadgoalS
How Empathetic Are you?
Take the Quiz to find out!
Trends to know about!
Kidventurers, teen-preneurs, volunteens, festivals of
action; the philanthropic scene is choc-a-block with
trending do-good opportunities. Here are the top trends
you need to know about in this exciting arena.
Words: Samantha Hartshorne Morrison
No doubt your school has an “enviro club” where
nature-savvy teens can get involved in environmental
activities that improve the planet while also earning
their community brownie points. The focus on the
environment is no coincidence though; the new
generation, those after the Millennials everyone likes
to talk about, are more in tune with planet Earth than
ever before. Futurist consultant Anne Boysen says
generation Z kids care more about the environment
than any generation previously and have in fact gone
beyond the “environment is hurting” phase.
From Hollywood talk-show hosts to school kids
lobbying a cause, social media has played a key role
in creating interest in worthy causes in innovative
ways, such as the Ice Bucket challenge, which raised
awareness for ALS. Instagram is the perfect tool
to showcase good work and also encourage your
friends to do the same.
When Brent Lindeque, aka The Good Things Guy,
turned the NEK Nomination on its head a few years
ago, his Random acts of Kindness (or RAK), went
viral on social media, as he encouraged people to
do one good thing for someone else. Using tech
to solve social and earth challenges is popular with
the youth, who embrace futuristic solutions. We’re
even using drones to deliver water!
Teens are also aware that their involvement and
philanthropic work today can translate into a career!
A social entrepreneur builds a business with the aim
of solving social problems. The Ashoka foundation,
a global organisation that identifies and invests
in leading social entrepreneurs say tomorrow’s
“...there is nothing as powerful
as a new idea in the hands of
a first-class entrepreneur.”
“change-makers” can channel their passion and do almost
anything. “Over the past two decades, the citizen sector
has discovered that there is nothing as powerful as a new
idea in the hands of a first-class entrepreneur.”
The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS)
describes social entrepreneurship as a “blend of for and
not-for-profit approaches, which balances the value and
trust of social organisations with the efficiencies and
profit motive of business.” What’s more, studies show
that teens are also cool with businesses making a profit
out of ‘doing good’ and will in fact reward such brands.
Many teens are being enticed into community work
thanks to ambassadors they can relate to, such as actors
and musicians who promote doing good. Jeremy Loops,
for instance, put his name to the GreenPop foundation.
The NPO was started by Misha Teasdale when he aspired
to changing his personal footprint on Africa by planting
1000 trees and his “tree-volution” was born.
Gone are the days when you marched around the
neighbourhood with a form asking for donations for
swimming pool laps or miles run; fundraising has taken
on a new face thanks to digital innovation. There are
a number of highly successful online platforms that
market and collect for charity causes by providing an
online mechanism for people to donate. These include
GivenGain, Backabuddy and ForGood. It’s also a great
way to get donations for your business idea.
Words: Christy Chilimigras
If you’ve ever felt like you’d like to give back to a volunteer or
charity initiative but you wouldn’t even know where to begin,
you’re not alone. There is so much out there to be inspired by, that
sometimes it can be daunting. We did the work for you, and found
the coolest initiatives to know about and get involved in.
If you want to be inspired:
Some of the biggest celebrities out there are just as famous for their volunteer work as they are for their
careers. However, some celebrity-run initiatives still manage to fly under our radars. Here are some really
innovative and powerful initiatives that were created by celebrities.
Smart Girls - Amy Poehler
The brilliantly funny Amy Poehler is all about
creating a space for girls and women to come
together to share and learn. Her site will keep
you inspired and up-to-date about the battles
and triumphs of being a woman.
Check out www.amyssmartgirls.com
Thorn - Ashton Kutcher
The mission that Ashton Kutcher and Thorn are
on is a huge one. Thorn: Digital Defenders of
Children, combats child sexual exploitation.
They’re always looking for donations and some
amazing tech and hacking skills.
Check out www.wearethorn.org
If your phone is glued to your hand:
If you love technology and spend a ton of time
on your phone, what you need is an initiative that
happens from the palm of your hand. Don’t feel like
you can’t contribute because you’re stuck at home.
There are still ways to make an impact.
Why not check out: OLIO
OLIO is a free food-swapping app which cuts
back on waste and helps other families. If you have
bought too much food, simply snap a photo, add
a brief description and provide pick-up details. A
neighbour who needs it will be delighted to take
it off your hands! This means your family is cutting
back on waste and improving the lives of others.
OLIO is available on Android and iOS.
For more info, visit: www.olioex.com
Call: 076 155 4439/ 0845852418
If you love to read:
Reading is a skill that changes your entire life and
affords you so many opportunities. Sadly, there are
so many children who have never been taught how
to read. That’s where you come in.
Why not check out: help2read
Cape Town, Johannesburg
and the United Kingdom
This awesome volunteer initiative is always on the
hunt for Reading Helpers. They believe that when
you teach someone to read, you not only change
their life but also your own. What an amazing gift to
For more info and to sign up as a volunteer, head
to their website www.http://help2read.org
If you’re looking for something unbelievably unique:
Like we said, there are heaps of ways to make a difference from your couch.
Why not check out: Be My Eyes
One of the smartest apps we’ve heard about is called Be My Eyes.
It connects blind and visually impaired people with sighted helpers
from around the world via live video connection. For example, if
someone who is visually impaired is getting ready for dinner with
friends, and isn’t sure which jacket matches their pants, they will
video call you, and you can help them out by being their eyes for a
little bit – and letting them know which one to choose.
Right now the app is only available on iOS, but you can sign up
on the site to be notified when it’s available for Android, too.
Head to www.bemyeyes.com for more info.
If you love animals:
Have you considered having a career as a vet one day? Would you rather spend some
quality time with your pets than with your siblings? If your answer is “yes”, you could
be the perfect person to make a massive difference in the lives of animals.
Check out: Woodrock Animal Rescue NPO, Johannesburg.
This shelter is all about keeping animals alive and healthy, and finding them
their forever homes. If you’re older than 16, you can be a Woodrock Warrior
Volunteer. If you’re younger than 16, you can get involved in other ways. You
can volunteer with them for your school community service hours
or even donate money or items off their wish-list. You’ll find many
organisations have their own wish-list. This tells us
exactly what things they need, and helps us figure out
what to donate.
For more info, visit: www.woodrockanimalrescue.
Call: 076 155 4439/ 0845852418
If you want to save the world:
It’s not easy hearing about the damage humans have
done to the earth, but the good news is that there
are so many ways to help.
Why not check out: Greenpop
Greenpop is all about making a “treevolution”
happen across Southern Africa. By planting trees,
you’ll also be making a social and economic
difference. Greenpop has plenty of volunteering
options on offer. You can run a Greenpop fundraiser,
attend a tree-planting event and get your hands
dirty, or you can join a team of people – just like
you – who are a part of the treevolution.
If you love numbers:
If you’re passionate about maths, you can understand
how hard it must be for kids who struggle with it.
Why not check out: OLICO
OLICO is a non-profit that has been going since
1999, and they help children in areas like Diepsloot
with maths and literacy through their online
education systems. All of their resources are free
because they understand that everyone has the
right to be educated.
Have a look at their amazing
programmes at www.olico.org.
Head to www.greenpop.org for more info.
Celebs with a Cause
Words: Norma Young
Passing it Forward
5FM’s DJ Fix loves music but is also quite the bookworm. She moved
to the U.S. a few years ago to study at Columbia College in Chicago
and at New York University. When she came back to South Africa,
she signed up for a Social Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme.
This course was all about how to start businesses that solve problems.
Studying this was so impactful, that Fix decided to start the Fix
Scholarship which pays for other people to take this same course.
Every year, Fix gives a study bursary to one candidate. This is her way
of giving other people the same wonderful opportunity she once got.
Go to: www.fixscholarship.org
Go to: www.goodbyemalaria.com
Multi-tasking for Malaria
In addition to being a great musician, J Something from Mi Casa is also very good
at fundraising for charity. Over the past few years, he’s helped raise money for an
organisation called Goodbye Malaria. One of the most memorable activities was
in 2015 when he competed against a group of grannies and grandpas to see who
could bead the most bracelets in 24 minutes. While the group collectively made
over 8 000 bracelets, J Something was the top beader, as he managed to finish 15
bracelets. The musician has also been involved in another fun project that saw him
model colourful printed pyjama-style pants. Money made from sales of the bracelets
and pants has gone towards helping Goodbye Malaria with their work.
Committed to Kids
In 2009, Selena Gomez was 17. She was a star on the hit TV series,
Wizards of Waverly Place. She also appeared in the movie Princess
Protection Programme. It was a great year for her acting career, but
also the year in which she became the youngest United Nations
International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Ambassador in the U.S.
Her work to save children’s lives has involved traveling to countries
such as Ghana and Chile where the organisation works. She’s also
hosted charity concerts such as one in 2012, where Selena Gomez
& The Scene raised over R2 million for UNICEF.
Go to: www.unicef.org
By TeamPiper -
Own work, CC
BY-SA 3.0, https://
Image - https://
Go to: www.make-a-wish.com
Wrestling for Wishes
He may look like a tough guy when he’s in the wrestling ring, but John Cena is
actually quite a softie. In addition to all his championship belts, he’s also been
called a champion for his charity work. For the past few years, John has been
working with the Make a Wish Foundation to help the dreams of sick kids come
true. He’s granted over 500 wishes for experiences like dinner at the Hard
Rock Café and front-row seats to WWE competitions. Even though wrestling
takes up a lot of his time, he regularly makes himself available for the Make a
Wish Foundation, showing that some things are worth fighting for.
Using Fame to Feed Children
Throwing a party is a great way to celebrate your birthday. But when
Zendaya turned 18, she spent the day raising money for charity. She set a
goal to get enough money to feed at least 150 children in Haiti, Tanzania
and the Philippines. Partnering with an organisation called Convoy of
Hope, she asked her fans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to help her
raise the amount. Today, one of the cool ways fans can join her in making
a difference is by buying her cover version of John Legend’s ‘All of Me’.
Proceeds from sales of the single go to Convoy of Hope.
Go to: www.convoyofhope.org
Happy to Work Hand in Hand
In 2008, singer Pharrell Williams started a charity organisation called From
One Hand To Another Inc. (FOHTA) in Virginia Beach, U.S. He believes
that every child can be a success if they have the right tools. In the early
years, FOHTA provided children in need with school supplies, but they now
also offer after school programmes and a six-week summer camp.
Go to: www.fohta.org
The Purpose Games
During PE, netball is just another ordinary game. But when it’s played during
the Thando Thabethe Women’s Day Netball Challenge, it’s a game with a
very important purpose. The actress and 5FM DJ grew up in a home where
her now-late father beat up her mom almost every day, so Thando decided
to help other abused women. Funds raised at the sports day are given to the
Bethany Home for Abused Women. The sports day takes place every year in
early August and is held at the University of Joburg’s Soweto campus.
Go to: www.bethanyhome.co.za
- Own work, CC
BY-SA 4.0, https://
Have an Idea?
Kick it Into Action
Words: Nicole Samakosky
Have an amazing idea for
an invention or innovation
that can change the world?
Don’t wait! Apply for funding
and courses available to young
people, and get it started.
Who knows, you could be
the next Zuckerberg...
Back in the day, the usual order of things went
something like this: go to school, get a degree,
and work for a company. While there’s nothing
wrong with the tried-and-tested way of doing things,
today’s generation of kids and teens are breaking the
mould and making an impact on society. You could
have an amazing idea for a business, or innovation,
and you might just need a little help to jump start it.
Just ask South African Ludwick Marishane. He was
only 17 when he invented DryBath. As he puts it, his
idea was born from something we’ve all experienced:
pure laziness. He didn’t want to have a bath so he
came up with a game-changing alternative. DryBath
is a germicidal gel that eliminates the need for water
when bathing. Take a moment to think about the
impact it could have on people who live in areas
with no access to clean water. Or how it could
benefit the city of Cape Town, which is currently
going through a major water crisis.
Another bright teen that harnessed a great idea is
Nadav Ossendryver. His passion for wildlife morphed
into Latest Sightings, a wildly popular online
community where Kruger Park-goers can report
their sightings. Other people in the park can hurry to
the sighting and people stuck in the city can feel as
though they’re in the park, even just for a moment.
The app does more than provide a fun safari
experience; it actually has a handful of ‘do-good’
benefits. Latest Sightings has contributed towards
various wildlife research projects and has had a
positive impact on wildlife conservation. The
platform can be used to report any suspicious
animal activity so authorities can be alerted. Latest
Sightings has saved rhinos, hyenas, wild dogs and
lions that have been hurt by poachers.
spirits and setting participants up as leaders of
change within their communities. YLED focuses
on job creation and kick-starting entrepreneurial
culture within promising young people. If you have
an idea, they can help you turn it into a reality.
It works like this: groups of young entrepreneurs
learn to develop skills like personal mastery and
self-confidence. Then, the groups visit communities
and assess their needs. They brainstorm an idea,
pitch it and then sell it. This process goes a full 360
degrees as funds funnel back into YLED and also go
towards other NGOs.
You can apply for YLED if you:
• Are in Grade 11 with a 55% Grade 10 average
• Are willing to dedicate your Saturdays to the
• Are within a 60km radius of the Joburg CBD
Ideas into Action
Ideas can come from anywhere; it’s what you do with
them that counts. To turn your idea into something
tangible, you’ll need to flesh it out – and you’ll need
money and support.
There are a few organisations that can help you get
your idea from your kitchen table to the boardroom.
YLED stands for Youth Leadership and Entrepreneur
Development. The aim of the organisation is to
improve the lives of teens and young adults (aged
16-26). They do this by firing up entrepreneurial
2. The Anzisha Prize
If you’re a young entrepreneur aged 15-22 with an
innovative idea of how to combat social challenges,
or if you’ve started a community-based business, you
can apply for the Anzisha Prize. Each winner secures
a lifelong place in a fellowship that will help kickstart
them on the path to entrepreneurial success.
Winners will also get permanent access to valuable
mentorship, coaching and networking opportunities.
This organisation and support programme exists
because, thankfully, the people behind the Anzisha
Prize understand the importance of youth-driven
change. They have helped create over 200 jobs,
and the network continues to grow each year.
You could have an amazing idea for a business, or innovation,
and you might just need a little help to jump start it.
Jumpstarter is a local crowdfunding platform that
you can use to raise the money you need to get your
project up and running. Crowdfunding is the process
of raising money through a team effort; where loads
of people contribute small amounts of cash towards
projects, as opposed to one or two contributors
donating large sums.
Jumpstarter’s aim is to connect people who have
good ideas with people that like seeing good ideas
succeed. If you have an idea you think could benefit
others, create a campaign on www.jumpstarter.
co.za. It’ll then be up to you to get as many eyes on
your campaign as you can, by spreading the news via
Endeavour is a non-profit organisation that supports
young entrepreneurs. Participants are granted
access to an invaluable network of local and global
business leaders who provide mentorship, advice and
connections. Endeavour entrepreneurs are granted
access to funding, markets, talent and a support
system, all of which are vital factors when it comes
to your business idea.
You can nominate yourself as an entrepreneur if you:
• Are ambitious and want your business to become
a market leader
• Possess the local and global role model qualities
• Are open to feedback and mentorship
• Are humble and committed to paying it forward
• Are mature enough to appreciate the power of
Endeavor’s Global network
5. JA South Africa
Junior Achievement (JA) South Africa helps young
opportunity-makers develop much-needed business
and entrepreneurial skills. They offer an intensive 12-
week programme, where learners choose a product
or service and then start up their own business.
Suitable for Grades 10-12, participants will learn how
to start a company and will gain an understanding
of the ins and outs of running a business and the
important role entrepreneurship plays within it. The
programme’s aim is to inspire the youth, who will
steer new generations towards sustainability and
Worth a Watch
Inspiring videos you have to watch,
filled with people and ideas that are
making the world a better place.
Words: Norma Young
…if you love pop-culture
Writer, magazine editor and
actress Tavi Gevinson, 21, has
found a career path while many
of her peers are still at university.
She founded Rookie magazine
in 2011 to inspire young girls
through meaningful content.
Telling stories that relate to
girls, the magazine’s website
covers topics like dealing with
bullies, fempowerment and
immigration. Because of her
great achievements at such a
young age, Tavi has become a
popular speaker. In a talk at Idea
City’s marketing conference
in New York City, she shared
her thoughts on topics such as
activism and good role models
for teenage girls.
…if you care about
helping the homeless
He’s called Kid President, and
while he might not rule over a
country, when Robby Novak
makes a statement, people
listen. A few years ago, he
partnered with an initiative to
hand out socks to the needy
during October. Now known as
Socktober, millions of people
worldwide are in the habit of
donating pairs of socks during the
tenth month of the year. In this
video, the Kid President shares
a step-by-step outline of ideas
to assist the homeless, as well as
“how to take back the internet
and do something great”. Funny
and inspiring, he encourages
random acts of kindness to make
the world a better place.
…if you want to encourage yourself
and others to fulfil your potential
Ever faced a situation where you
felt like the work or assignment
you have is just too hard?
Education specialist Carol Dweck
has studied why some kids rise up
to meet challenges while others
give up before even attempting
to solve a problem. If you want
to learn how to be an overcomer,
this video explains the mindset
you need to have. The content
is really helpful, but what makes
the video even cooler is that it’s
animated. The cartoon-style
drawings make complex terms
simpler, but also make the video
super fun to watch.
…if you hope to reduce
incidents of bullying
When Caitlin Haacke was
in Grade 11, someone broke
into her school locker. They
got onto her Facebook via
her iPad and posted hateful
things, including a wish that
she would die. While this
was an awful experience,
Caitlin decided to deal
with it through kindness
rather than anger. She
wrote loads of kind sayings
and affirmation on notes,
and put these up all over
her school. In an inspiring
TedXTeen talk, Caitlin
shares how her experience
led to the Positive Post-
It Campaign which hopes
to reduce bullying by
…if you care about animal rights
Simone Reyes used to be a
content meat eater until she
watched a video that turned her
into an animal rights activist. Now
a vegan, she has worked with
People for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals (PETA) and other
organisations that educate on
humane relationships between
the animal kingdom and us. In
this video, she recounts how she
once accidently rescued a pair
of bats and how we can all be
activists no matter our age
or access to money.
Why you Should
As any student learning in the IEB
curriculum knows, volunteer work
has steadily become a part of the
syllabus. We spoke to Karen Landi,
CEO of Community Hours, which
offers out-of-the-box volunteering
opportunities for teens and schools,
to find out why so many students
keep coming back, even after
they’ve reached the minimum mark
required by their school…
Words: Christy Chilimigras
While we’ve all been exposed to subjects
that challenge us academically, and
sports and cultural activities that cater
to our health and creative needs, volunteering is a
way for us to grow emotionally. There are few things
in life that will give you the insight that volunteer
work does. “Teens who volunteer are taken out of
their comfort zone and are exposed to people and
communities they would not otherwise have access
to,” says Landi.
It’s Addictive – in a Good Way!
Community Hours is always thrilled to see students
returning even after they’ve completed their
compulsory hours, often with their siblings and
parents in tow! When you look at numbers plainly,
it’s easier to understand what a difference this makes
in the lives of other people. “In 2016, volunteers
on the Community Hours platform logged over
40 000 volunteering hours. Considering that
there are only 8760 hours in a year, that is over 4.5
years of volunteering in one year. The impact on
communities is huge,” Landi says.
It’s not a punishment!
“Community service is not a punishment and it is
not penance,” Landi reminds us. “We really need to
change that mindset. We also need to stop looking
at community service as a tick box and for the easy
way out. Find something that you really like doing,
go out and truly engage.”
There is a reason so many people love to volunteer,
go figure out why that is…
It feels good!
Try as we might to perform “selfless” acts, we’re
human, and we like to feel good. And more often
than not, our actions benefit us directly. Case and
point; people who volunteer live longer than those
who don’t. It’s okay to volunteer because it makes
you feel positive about yourself. And at the end
of the day, you have the immense ability to affect
change in the lives of others while you’re at it. When
it comes to volunteer work, helping yourself means
helping others. Like Beyoncé says, “We’re all in
this together. Each and every one of us can make a
difference by giving back.”
Still not convinced?
If Beyoncé couldn’t sway you, maybe some teens who
have taken part in the Community Hours programme
can. Here’s what they had to say about the experience:
“This was a new experience for me, that I will never
trade for anything else in the world. Meeting people
who are mentally challenged could have been a no
go area for some, but I was truly touched by some of
the residents stories.”
“It was a really amazing experience. I would
recommend that anyone goes to spend a few
hours uplifting rundown crèches. It makes a huge
difference in the children's lives.”
“I had an amazing experience interacting with children.
I realised how lucky we are and how talent flourishes
even when there isn’t the best of environments.”
Click on the images above to see more...
Want to volunteer? Here are some places that would love your help:
Durban: Just Us 4 Children
What they do:
Just Us 4 Children is made up of volunteers who
identify and assist children who have been abused.
How you can help:
Get involved with their “Pyjamas Please” project
which has helped keep 16 000 kids warm since
2011. There’s also a Stationary Drive, School
Feeding Scheme and Food Parcels initiative.
Get in touch:
083 788 6999
Durban: 4 Paws and a Tale Rescue
What they do:
4 Paws and a Tale is a non-profit organisation that
rescues and re-homes abandoned, abused and
How you can help:
Support their fundraising efforts or simply volunteer
your time to train dogs in basic commands. You can
even take photos of the animals for their website.
Get in touch:
084 626 5508
Joburg: Children Of Fire
What they do:
This amazing initiative helps children who have
been injured in fires. Be it housing children who
need a home or raising the funds for life-changing
operations, Children Of Fire does it all.
How you can help:
You can start a drive to collect items off their wishlist,
run a sponsored marathon for them, or make a
dance-a-thon or cake sale happen.
Get in touch:
011 482 5270
Cape Town: African Legend
What they do:
African Legend offers educational and skills
development programs for children living in
How you can help:
You can host a fundraising event, volunteer as a
teacher or even coach a sports team.
Get in touch:
083 416 3583
Cape Town: Velokhaya
What they do:
Velokhaya gets children from marginalised
communities involved in cycling to keep them
engaged, healthy, and off the streets.
How you can help:
They need to fund and maintain their facilities
and programmes. You can get involved
by fundraising at school or by getting your
Get in touch:
072 837 3566
Between June and 8 August, you can arrange your own
School SleepOut tm at your school, but that doesn’t mean you
shouldn’t keep doing good things during the rest of the
month! Here are some things you can do - during every month!
1 July: Volunteer at Dlala Nje.
This is a safe space for kids living in Hillbrow and
surrounding areas to hang out, play, learn and form
a sense of community. The people behind
Dlala Nje run various activities and
could always use extra helping hands.
3 July: Donate second-hand books.
Take a moment to think about the books in your house.
There are probably a good few that you and your family
don’t use anymore, right? If that’s the case, it’s safe to
say this goes for just about everyone at your school.
Ask friends to participate, and set a goal of how many
books you’d like to collect. Once you’ve reached
your target, donate the books to a worthy
charity like www.saintsshop.co.za
5 July: Start a community
Being part of a tightly-knit community gives everyone
a sense of belonging. It also makes it easy to organise
community-focused events. Let’s say you want to
organise a rubbish pick-up in your area – a quick text
will notify and encourage people to take part. It’s as
simple as going door-to-door (with your guardian)
to collect cellphone numbers. Just be
sure not to make anyone feel
obligated to give you their details.
8 July: Colour in.
Colouring in is not just for little kids. It’s a fun activity
that’s been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. If you
can think of a person who could use a pick-me-up, a
colouring book could do the trick. That doesn’t mean
you have to go to the shops and buy one –
you could make one by hand, print out
a computer creation, or even send
them a link to download
a colouring app like this
10 July: Organise a School SleepOut.
Schools are encouraged to have a SleepOut,
where you and your peers will spend the night
outside, collecting items to give to charity. Will you
Rise To The Challenge?
13 July: Start a piggy bank.
A few spare coins left over from your tuck shop
money might not seem like much, but every little
bit adds up. A great way of keeping extra money in
one place is with a piggy bank.
Try filling one up with coins
you can spare, and once there’s
no space for new coins, give
it to someone who really needs it.
16 July: Visit a Memorable Place.
Arrange a visit to the Apartheid
Museum, to learn about how
we used to live - and how far
we’ve come. The more we
know, the more we grow!
17 July: Meditate mindfully.
Make it your mission to learn about the countless
benefits of meditation, and share them with others.
Including meditation in your daily routine can improve
concentration, increase happiness and reduce stress.
Headspace is a helpful app for first-timers, plus the
first 10 days are free. Download
it here: www.headspace.com.
20 July: Master study skills.
Come exam season, a full day’s worth of school plus
extra-murals can put strain on your learning. But
studying is a skill like any other, which means it can
be improved. If you know someone who could use
a bit of extra academic help, a Holistic Study Skills
Masterclass might be just what they need. Point
them in EduSOIL’s direction. www.edusoil.com/
22 July: Organise a FUNdraiser.
School events are a great way to raise funds for
worthy charities. Arrange a movie night under the
stars, a picnic lunch, or even a second-hand clothing
sale. You can charge an
entry fee of non-perishable food,
warm clothes or money, which you
can then donate to those in need.
24 July: Do something small.
You can make a big difference in someone’s day with
the simplest of gestures. Think about someone who
deserves a good deed and
then slip a treat into their bag, leave their
favourite flower on their desk, or even just
ask them to open up about themselves.
26 July: Visit an animal shelter.
There are plenty of cats and dogs in need of loving
homes. Sadly, animals that live in shelters don’t get as
much attention as domesticated pets, but that doesn’t
mean they don’t crave it. Lots of shelters would love
to let you cheer up the animals that live there. It’ll
brighten your day as much
as it will theirs. nspca.co.za
28 July: Skills swap.
A skills swap is about teaching someone something
you know how to do, and then learning something
that they know how to do. Maybe you know how to
play the piano and your friend has always wanted to
learn? Share a few piano tips with them before they
return the favour, by teaching you something they
know. You never know who’ll have a cool trick up
their sleeve to show you, until you ask!
30 July: Inspire others.
Speak to your teacher about starting a weekly timeslot,
where anyone can share something inspiring with the
class. Take a moment to think about what inspires you. It
could be a movie with a message you’ve taken to heart,
a book you’ve read that really made an impact, or even
a funny joke you’ve heard that turned your day upside
down. Wouldn’t it be great to inspire each other?
Careers in Caring
Choosing your career path is an exciting but daunting time
in your life. With so many options available, why not choose
a career that will benefit you, as well as other people?
Have a look at these careers – that truly make a difference.
Words: Zama Nkosi Mabuye
The end of high school comes with many big
decisions to make. One of those decisions is
choosing your future career path. The days of
feeling like your options ended at being a doctor or
lawyer are over. “Career options continue to grow as
times change,” says Gugu Mbatha, a Johannesburgbased
student counsellor. “We always advise
students to pick careers not only based on financial
prospects, but also based on what is in line with
their interests and beliefs.”
One of the options is choosing something that will
be of interest to you, and benefits others. “One of
the great things about a career path that involves
helping other people is that there is always a need
for your skills, and the jobs generally have a high
level of satisfaction, because your work makes so
many other lives better,” says Gugu.
If you find that some of your strongest skills and
interests include being helpful, being patient, being
a great problem solver and wanting to make a real
difference, these jobs could be the perfect match
for your personality.
HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER
WHAT THE JOB ENTAILS: Human rights lawyers
take on cases ranging from unfair immigration laws
to women’s rights, and fighting for children’s access
to education. Human rights lawyers are the ones
that handle all legal matters that have to do with
a group or individual that is being unfairly treated.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO STUDY: In order to do
this, you will need to first qualify as a lawyer, which
requires studying a LLB law degree. This is a fouryear
degree, which will need to be followed up by
two years of doing law articles at a firm. During
this time, you work as a candidate attorney under
the guidance of a lawyer. This would be the best
time to branch into human rights as a specialty,
so that you gain experience in that field. The last
step is taking the bar exam, and then you are able
Most large universities offer LLB law courses.
WHAT THE JOB ENTAILS: Social entrepreneurship
is a very interesting career option, because
there are no limits. Being a social entrepreneur
means starting up a company that creates
solutions for social, cultural or environmental
problems. The company will then help fix whatever
social problem you choose to tackle, and make
you money at the same time. The bonus of going
in this direction is that you can create whatever
you want; if it solves certain problems, it will likely
make you a successful business person, while benefitting
WHAT YOU HAVE TO STUDY: Studying
something business related, such as a Business
Administration degree, can be beneficial to teach
you about running a business successfully. The
South African Institute for Entrepreneurship also
offers various courses across the country. Visit www.
entrepreneurship.co.za for more info.
WHAT THE JOB ENTAILS: Social workers help
individuals, families and communities, to live more
successful lives. This can include developing social
policies, or assisting in adoptions, or even helping
to diagnose and treat mental, behavioural, and
WHAT YOU HAVE TO STUDY: A Bachelor
Degree is the way to go. Most recognised
institutions offer a Bachelor in Social Work. The
subjects will include psychology and sociology. You
will also have to do some paid and voluntary work
in a social work setting to gain experience. You will
also have to register with the South African Interim
Council for Social Service Professions so that you
*This line of work can also be translated into a career
by studying to be a psychologist or a therapist.
WHAT THE JOB ENTAILS: Simply put, this is
the practice of growing plants and the raising of
animals within and around cities; farming in the
urban environment. This is very important in South
Africa, as people continue to move into the cities
and many still live in poverty. Urban agriculturists
help communities by aiding in the eradication of
food insecurity, helping cities evolve into places
that can have the benefits of farming communities.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO STUDY: In order to enter
this sector, you would need to study a BTech in
Agriculture. Subjects will include crop production
and viticulture. Most big universities also have
Departments of Agriculture that offer various
majors that can be put together to work towards
being an urban agriculturalist.
TAP INTO TECH
Tech may be second nature to you, and
that’s a good thing, because many jobs of
the future will require people to be tech
savvy. According to a US study by a job
analytics firm called Burning Glass, coding
skills open people up to earning a lot more
than those who don’t have them.
Tech skills that are popular
on the job market include:
• SQL – Databases
• Java – General purpose programming
• Linux – Computer system operations
• XML – General purpose programming
• C++ – General purpose programming,
especially in engineering
• C# – General purpose programming
• Python – General purpose programming
• .NET – General purpose programming
Look out for courses like these when
planning your career path!
It’s Not Just in Your Head,
This Is Why Helping Others
When we think about the benefits of volunteer work, often
we just think about how it helps the people or organisation
on the receiving end. Here’s something you might not know;
being on the giving end can be just as rewarding, if not
more. It’s good for your heart, head, and health.
Words: Christy Chilimigras
It’s good for your squad!
Most of us don’t know what we would do without
our friends and family. Volunteer work helps to
build an even bigger support structure in our lives.
Psychologist Lauren Leon believes that helping
others is an amazing way to build bonds and connect
us to other people. The bigger your squad, the better.
It’s good for the South
African in you!
Apart from the benefit of how good it looks on a
university application, volunteer work prepares you for
life after school in so many ways. There is no better
way to learn about a country as diverse as South Africa
than by engaging with different kinds of people.
“Interacting with people from different cultures,
environments, socioeconomic statuses, different
personalities and beliefs provides a platform for us
to develop social and interactional skills. We learn
to care and relate to people who are similar and
different to ourselves,” Lauren explains. These
skills won’t only help you when it comes to your
personal life, they will help you in your future
It’s good for the boss in you!
Speaking of careers, volunteering can be one
of the best ways to discover your passions and
skills, says Lauren. Through the volunteer work
available at places like hospitals, old age homes,
orphanages, schools, and animal shelters, there
are so many different things you can learn. “Being
exposed to different work environments and
people helps us have new experiences and decide
whether this type of environment is of particular
interest, or speak to our values or passions.”
If you think you might be passionate about animals
or nursing or teaching, there’s no better way to
find out than by diving in and making a positive
difference while you do.
It’s good for your
Until we find a fountain of youth, we’ll have to think
of other ways to live long and happy lives. It turns
out that volunteering is one of the tricks we have
up our sleeves! A study done by the University of
Exeter found that people who volunteer actually
live longer, compared to those who don’t. So, by
helping to improve someone else's life, you’re also
saving your own.
(Source link: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_315358_en.html)
It’s good for when
you’re feeling low!
In a world as big as the one we live in, sometimes
it’s easy to feel like you don’t matter or make a
difference. Helping others is a great way of living
with purpose, Lauren says. “When you volunteer
and your interests, values, and personal goals all
align, you feel a sense of direction, purpose and
meaning.” It can be a constant reminder that you
matter, big time. Which is why you should commit
to it fully. “Just as you prioritise school work,
sports and socialising, volunteering should be part
of your list too.”
It’s good for your selfie!
Nothing makes a selfie better than an honest smile.
Feel like you could use some more joy in your life?
The same study done by the University of Exeter
found that volunteering makes people happier
than those who don’t. They have lower levels of
depression and a more positive wellbeing than
people who don’t volunteer.
(Source link: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/news/featurednews/title_315358_en.html)
It’s good for your
While a big smile helps to create a good selfie, you’ll
need a high self-esteem to pull off a great one. All
of us have struggled with our confidence at some
point. While it’s normal to sometimes feel insecure,
if you find your confidence levels are low most of
the time, you can do wonders for your self-esteem
through volunteer work. Lauren believes it’s a speedy
and amazing way to give you the boost of confidence
that you deserve. “You will soon realise that what you
have to offer and contribute matters. Volunteering
directly builds self-confidence,” she says.
It’s good for putting
an end to bullying!
Most of us have been bullied, and many of us
have been the bullies. From either side of it, it’s
not a positive or fun place to be. A report by the
University of British Columbia found that kids who
do volunteer work learn how to be kinder, which
makes them less likely to bully others. On this,
Lauren agrees, “When we realise that our own
actions can have a positive influence on others,
and sometimes even an entire organisation, then
learning to abide by rules makes more sense.” And
because volunteering teaches you so much about
how to talk to and behave with different people –
and boosts that confidence – it also makes it less
likely for you to be bullied by others. It’s a win win!
(Source link: http://news.ubc.ca/2012/12/26/kindness-key-to-happiness-andacceptance-for-children/)
It’s good for you if you’re
tired of getting shouted at
Do you feel like all your parents and teachers do is
shout at you? Do you pretend to have no idea why,
when really, you have every idea? Put your cheekiness
aside and give volunteering a go! Exposure to
something different and learning about how to
make a difference in someone else’s environment
will help to remind you that, a lot of the time, it can
feel good to follow the rules. You know that ‘bigger
picture’ that people often refer to? Helping other
people is an amazing way to figure out what exactly
that means, Lauren says.
It’s good for your body!
As frustrating as it can be at times, we can’t pretend
that the way we feel emotionally doesn’t affect the
way we feel physically. Anxiety can cause acne, trouble
sleeping and many other problems. Thanks to the
ability volunteering has to lower levels of depression
and increase your quality of life, your body will be
thanking you, along with your heart and mind.
IN 49 PROJECTS
THROUGHOUT SA’S 9 PROVINCES
Since 1938 we’ve been called HOME by thousand of precious
children in our care. But, we haven’t done it alone!
It took people & communities who chose to be extended family
and active partners in giving time, goods in kind & financial
support – together changing the destiny of our children’s futures.
Please visit us at www.umephi.org to find an
UMEPHI-project in your town/area & become a
destiny-changer by giving what is needed!
Tel +27 12 753 7940/1
Fax +27 12 760 3720
257 Jean Avenue
Unit #5, Central Office Park
P O Box 14927, LYTTLETON, 0140
NPO 000-762 ● PBO 130001456
Meet the Difference Makers
If you think you need to turn 21 before doing your bit to change the world, these
youngsters will show that you actually don’t. Whether your business idea
benefits the sick, or donates to a good cause, it’s worth starting – now!
Words: Norma Young
FREE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Who: Katelyn Lohr, 18. Founder of Freetoes, toeless
What: When she was 8, Katelyn wanted to play
outside, even though the weather was slightly chilly.
Her mother wanted her to dress warmly, but Katelyn
just wanted to run out in her flip-flops. Not keen to
wear socks and shoes, Katelyn came up with the idea
to cut her socks, so she could easily slide her toes into
flip-flops. Freetoes started off solving her frustration,
and is now a popular brand for children, adults and
even spa owners, whose clients want a pedicure while
keeping their feet warm.
When: K8.org came about in 2010 when Katelyn
decided to donate 300 pairs of Freetoes to children
affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Since that first
donation, she’s formally partnered with Project
Aftershock, which even uses Freetoes to colourfully
cover bandages on injured kids.
Where: Freetoes is stocked in shops across North
America. Project Aftershock is based in Canada and
provides relief in Haiti.
Why: In an interview, Katelyn explained her
philanthropic views: “Helping people is always
something I wanted to do and with the fame
that Freetoes has given me, I have had lots of
opportunities to give.”
FROM FEAR TO ADVOCACY
Who: Mikaila Ulmer, 12, Founder of Me and the
What: Me and the Bees is a lemonade brand,
started after its founder was stung by two bees in
one week. Her mom suggested she do research to
help better understand them, and hopefully become
less scared of them. Once she’d learnt that bees
were in danger of becoming extinct, Mikaila came
up with an idea of using honey instead of sugar in
lemonade, knowing if she bought honey from local
beekeepers, she could help the bee population.
When: The business started in 2009. In 2015,
Mikaila then secured an investment of more than
R600 000 on the TV show “Shark Tank”, enabling
her to increase manufacturing and stocking capacity.
Where: Me and the Bees is stocked at 55 Whole
Food stores across the US.
Why: Mikaila donates a portion of the profits from
the sale of her lemonade to local and international
organisations that are trying to save honeybees. Her
intention is to save bees and support beekeepers.
BAGS THAT LIGHT THE WAY
Who: Thato Kgatlhanye, 23, founder of Repurpose
What: Repurpose Schoolbags produces schoolbags
that are made from repurposed plastic bags. They
are also fitted with a solar panel, which charges
during the day and lights up a lamp at night, so
kids in off-grid households can study, even without
When: Repurpose Schoolbags was started in 2011,
by Kgatlhanye and her friend.
Where: The initiative runs in South Africa, where it
has been awarded the 2013 SAB Innovation award,
the Anzisha Prize, and the SA Innovation Summit
Why: They believe in gifting bags purposefully to the
children who need them the most. They hand pick the
children, and the bags. The Repurpose Schoolbag is
seamlessly designed for dignity, and durability.
DRIVEN TO DESIGN
Who: Bella Weems, 18, Founder
of Origami Owl. www.origamiowl.com
What: Getting a “no” from her parents fuelled
Bella to start her own business. She sold necklaces
and bracelets to save up for the car her parents said
they wouldn’t buy her. Her designs were so popular
that, two years later, Origami Owl, was a registered
multi-million rand business.
When: Bella was 14 when she started the business.
Where: Origami Owl is based in Arizona, USA.
Why: Though originally founded to solve her own
funding problem, Origami Owl is now encouraging
other young entrepreneurs through the Owlettes
Initiative, by providing mentorship to 12 to 18-yearold
kids. In a recent interview, Bella shared what she
loves about having her own business at such a young
age: “The best part about being a kid-preneur
is being able to encourage kids of all ages to not
be afraid to reach for their dreams, and never let
anyone tell them they’re not good enough or their
idea isn’t good enough.”
ECO AND CUSTOMER FRIENDLY
Who: Geoffrey Mulei, 21, Founder of Inkisha.
What: Combining concern for the planet with a desire
to be an entrepreneur, Geoffrey started Inkisha. The
company aims to provide every African consumer with
access to eco-friendly packaging products. Aware
of the damaging nature of plastic products, Inkisha
creates alternatives and then sells advertising space
on these. Their hope is to discourage more and more
retailers from using plastic bags, and to rather switch
to Inkisha’s packaging.
When: Geoffrey was 19 when he started the business.
Where: Inkisha is based in Kenya.
Why: Inkisha currently has employed almost 20
young people. So the business isn’t just good for the
environment, it’s also playing an important role in
building communities through youth empowerment.
Geoffrey says: “By making environmentally-friendly
packaging free and accessible to people, we
not only save the environment – by providing
an eco-friendly alternative to plastic
bags – but we also help retailers
save a significant part of
their daily revenue.”
Be Part Of
Baby Hope House, is a haven for vulnerable
children. It was co-founded by Sonia Swinton and
Lynne Pieterse in 2007 and is situated in Pinetown,
KwaZulu-Natal. It seeks to recognise and,
within reason, provide for each child’s specific
Baby Hope House is a place of rekindled hope for
all the children, parents and volunteers.
How You Can Help
• Volunteer your time.
• Support our Adopt a Cot initiative.
• Support Baby Hope House fund-raising
• Donate items such as formula, nappies,
purity jars of vegetables and fruit, frozen
meals, grocery items such as porridges,
sugar, rice, tinned goods, etc.
• Donate directly into our banking account.
• Complete a My Village application form.
When you receive a My Village card you can
swipe it for all purchases at Woolworths,
Engen garages, Waltons and a percentage of
all sales will be paid to Baby Hope House.
Visit our website to find out more about how to be a part of our
volunteer community www.babyhopehouse.org.za/
Schools That Are Doing Good
Schools around the country are doing their part to give
back. From outreach programs to vegetable gardens
and winter drives, these cool schools are showing
through action that they care. Is yours on the list?
Words: Zama Nkosi Mabuye
WHAT THEY DO: Reddam has created a culture
of volunteering in their school. Students are taken
to two events a month where they volunteer. They
also do various drives, such as water drives, where
the whole school gets involved in donating whatever
is being collected at the time. “Our intention is to
provide our students with a range of volunteering
opportunities. The idea is to get our students involved
in areas that they enjoy. We also do trips away, like
the pimp my crèche trip, which takes volunteers
to rural crèches over the weekend, to help build/
improve their facilities. Recently we have formed a
relationship with a school in Alex. Our students help
Grade 4s improve their language and maths skills,”
says a school representative.
WHY THEY CHOOSE TO GIVE BACK:
“Reddam's motto is "We shall give back". But more
importantly, as South Africans, we all need to
contribute to the betterment of our fellow citizens
and communities. The benefits our students
get are amazing – they learn so much from their
engagements with others.”
REDHILL HIGH SCHOOL
WHAT THEY DO: Among their outreach
programmes, Redhill is helping students from
disadvantaged backgrounds with their studies. On
Saturdays, the school offers Maths, English, Biology
and Physical Science classes. This is boosted
with other efforts from the students, including an
ongoing collection of clothes, books, Easter eggs
and food to those who have less.
WHY THEY CHOOSE TO GIVE BACK:
“Redhill places a marked emphasis on social
responsibility throughout the school. Our School
Outreach Programme aims to promote awareness
and participation in initiatives that support the
local community through involvement in various
charitable events and other fundraising activities,”
the school says on their website.
PIETERMARITZBURG GIRLS HIGH
WHAT THEY DO: Pietermaritzburg Girls High has
developed a culture of giving back. From collecting
money to buy water for drought victims, to selling
pancakes at a Hospice in order to raise money for
CANSA, the school is determined to help in any
way they can. At the end of 2016, they raised R12
000 for CANSA and other outreach projects are
run throughout the year.
WHY THEY HAVE CHOSEN TO GIVE BACK:
On top of priding themselves in academic excellence,
Pietermaritzburg Girls High promotes “service of the
community”, as one of their core values. “Cheerfulness
with Industry” is the school’s motto.
DE LA SALLE HOLY CROSS COLLEGE
WHAT THEY DO: De La Salle has various outreach
programmes throughout the year. Most of the
projects include donating food and time to various
organisations, including children’s homes and old age
homes. Their favourite one is where the Grade 7s visit
an old age home called St Frederic’s every week, to
spend time with the elderly. Another cool one is the
school’s drive to collect 4 000 books annually to
donate to the Johannesburg Library.
WHY THEY CHOOSE TO GIVE BACK:
The school’s motto is “Be first that you may be of
service” and they try to live up to that through their
STANFORD LAKE COLLEGE
WHAT THEY DO: This school is big on nature
conservation. They are part of the Eco Schools
programme and because of the great work they do,
they have been awarded Green Flag status, which
is an internationally recognised symbol for a high
standard of green space management. One of the
recent nature-based projects included removing
invasive alien vegetation in and around the school.
WHY THEY CHOOSE TO GIVE BACK:
Stanford Lake College believes strongly in
instilling awareness around the need to protect the
environment for future generations. www.slc.co.za
ST ANDREW’S COLLEGE
WHAT THEY DO: The school has a host of great
outreach projects, but one that stands out is their
swimming project. Students from the school teach
young kids from underprivileged communities how
to swim. With water safety continuing to be an issue,
this initiative makes a difference by teaching kids a
valuable skill that they can use throughout their lives.
WHY THEY HAVE CHOSEN TO GIVE BACK:
“It is vital that our boys learn to empathise with
people who are afflicted by unemployment and
poverty, or are simply less fortunate than they are.
Our extensive and diverse range of activities offer
boys the opportunity to engage in a meaningful
way with the Grahamstown community and make a
lasting contribution,” says the school’s website.
THE GIFT OF BEING ABLE TO GIVE
DON’T FORGET: Some schools are not in a position to help. Many schools in underprivileged communities
have expressed a desire to be able to help, but because they deal with so much poverty within their school, all the
resources they have go to trying to help students in their own schools. This is a reminder that being able to give is
a privilege, one that we should all try to indulge in as much as we can.
What Giving Back
Means to Me
Philanthropy, simply, is the desire to promote the welfare of others,
through giving of your time or money. But it can mean many different
things to many people. Here, we speak to three of the 2016 School
SleepOut Ambassadors, and find out what giving back means to them…
University of Cape Town.
“Once you experience that dimension,
you will never go back to being a bystander
to the atrocities and hardships of this world…”
There is a sense of peace, inspiration and dedication
that you feel when you get involved in community
and philanthropy projects. It is a powerful thing
to live your life with intent and purpose; and
giving back allows you to purposefully be a part of
bettering your environment and the lives of those
around you. I believe this is what it means to be
“Giving back” does not have any limitations, it
can be the smallest or the biggest act. From small
acts of kindness – such as being conscious of your
privileges and addressing them – to significant
projects with prominent organisations, no act is too
small. This point cannot be emphasised enough.
Don’t let your lack of large funds or resources
stop you from helping your community in any way
possible. Philanthropy has no barriers.
When you are in school, giving back can be as simple
as joining your community outreach committee or
joining organisations such as Community Hours.
Giving back adds a new dimension to your life, and
once you experience that dimension you will never
go back to being a bystander to the atrocities and
hardships of this world.
I believe the most important thing in terms of
philanthropy is doing what you are passionate
about. This will urge you to be more dedicated,
have more fun, and be more innovative in seeking
solutions to combat the problem you are aiming to
address. I am personally passionate about women’s
rights and issues, which is why I am committed to
female empowerment projects, female education
initiatives, menstruation education and sanitary
As one of my philanthropic idols, Oprah Winfrey
once said, “Life is a reciprocal exchange. To move
forward, you have to give back.” I live by this
statement and believe I am a better person for it.
Change your life by changing another person’s
life. Pick up your local newspaper and see what
problems your fellow citizens face and brainstorm
how you could help. Visit websites such as Lead SA
or Community Hours and see what initiatives you
would like to participate in. Get in touch with your
school outreach committee and see when the next
Be a part of the solution and not the problem.
Giving back allows me to live my life with purpose.
Why not let it do the same for you?
King David Linksfield
mountainous villages, with the aim of alleviating their
suffering. My family’s mantra has always been one of
acceptance, and of embracing everyone despite their
differences. At age 11, I was part of an interfaith group
between Jewish and Muslim school pupils, where we
would unite at Baragwanath Hospital to bring smiles
to the raped, abused, abandoned and vulnerable
children. I was honoured to have been a Johannesburg
Mini Councillor at age 12 and part of a committee
made up of youth from across Johannesburg, who
united to better the lives of many.
My childhood ignited a flame in my heart and
sparked a passion in me for helping people. My
journey was guided by The Presidents Award
(TPA), as I advanced from Bronze to Silver level
and ultimately became a Gold Award holder,
receiving my award by HRH Prince Edward. I also
became the chairman of the Gauteng Presidents
Award Youth Committee.
“My childhood ignited a flame in my heart and
sparked a passion in me for helping people.”
My favourite quote of all time is from Mother Theresa
who said that, “Peace begins with a smile.” It is this
quote that I choose to govern my world; the way I
approach certain situations and people. It is in this
world of much love and beauty that many of us are
given the opportunity and means to smile. But sadly,
this is not true for all of humankind. Every day, there
are people who are unable to smile; unable to see the
light and beauty in the world. And it is our job – the
job of those that can smile – to get them to smile: to
bring them joy.
My life has been a journey of just that: bringing
smiles to peoples’ faces. From the young age of
three, I was holding babies (nearly as tall as me) in
AIDS orphanages. At age seven, I was accompanying
my mother and a group of physiotherapists to the
rural Transkei, Venda and other places, identifying
severely brain-damaged children, forgotten in small
I had the honour of attending two week-long gold
residential projects in 2014 and 2015 to Nelspruit
with TPA. Here, the group of mixed South Africans
from various children’s homes, youth centres,
and private schools, as well as a group of Dutch
participants, united with a group of maximum
security inmates to better the surrounding
communities; the epitome of the human spirit when
it is committed to bringing change.
My volunteering journey has taken me to some
amazing places and it has exposed me to a world
of pain and suffering, but one filled with so much
potential. Through my experiences, I have seen how
we are all the same: we all seek joy and happiness
in life. I have seen the power of change and how
powerful our choice can be to transform a world –
even if that world is your own.
The truth is, it’s so easy to start volunteering. And it’s
so easy to bring change. Something so small, like a
smile, can change the world. So never stop smiling.
To me, giving back means being able to help those who are not able to help themselves.
University of Johannesburg
Being in an underprivileged position, for many, is a
dehumanising experience and I believe that nothing
is more powerful than getting a genuine smile from
someone through something as simple as a fiveminute
I truly believe, as young people, we need to be
exposed to the realities of life, not only to gain
community service hours, but to understand the
society we live in. Not only will this force you to
interact with people from different backgrounds,
but to open up the way you think about different
social and political aspects of society. Volunteering
eradicates the majority of ignorant and/or
uninformed opinions about different areas and kinds
of people, from the homeless to the disabled.
“Volunteering eradicates the majority of
ignorant and/or uninformed opinions about
different areas and kinds of people…”
To me, giving back means being able to help those
who are not able to help themselves. Although this
is the most cliché reason for helping others – and is
probably the most rehearsed answer one could give
– to me, there are far more layers to that statement
than may first come to mind. I truly believe that
everyone has a story, but often there isn’t anyone
who is willing to listen. It is so important when
helping others to understand who they are, and the
extent of their story.
More often than not, although people want money
or objects, they want to be treated like a human.
I feel it is important to be a leader that actually
works for the people to meet their needs. To give
back involves some form of initiative and the desire
to do good, for those who need it the most. To be
able to give back, despite any criticism that you may
face, requires you to be a strong willed individual
that does not worry about popular opinion.
Philanthropy, and the concept of helping others,
can often be misconstrued as being pompous or
thinking you are above others. The individuals who
think like that have often not contributed to society,
and are just keyboard warriors; brave to curse the
work of others through their screen.
Despite the people that try their best to break your
character, I still believe strongly in making a positive
change in society. Although I am aware of my flaws
and shortcomings, I am simply doing the best I can,
Words: Christy Chilimigras
It’s sadly not news to us that bullying
takes place in almost every school, but
what may be news is that we all have the
ability to combat it – through empathy.
The Shocking Statistics
According to a statistics report done by the Bureau
of Justice School, which states that 46% of males
and 26% of females reported to have been victims
in physical fights, it’s more important than ever to
understand the damage that bullying does both in
the short and long term.
If these ‘traditional’ forms of physical bullying aren’t
bad enough, we also have to take into account
verbal and emotional forms. And let’s not forget
one of the biggest types of bullying the youth faces
in 2017; cyberbullying.
www.bullyingstatistics.org reports that 58% of kids
have been bullied online through people saying nasty
things about them, or directly to them. A shocking
35% of kids have not only had to deal with hurtful
words, but have actually been threatened online,
too. This means that where once kids could go home
to a safe space away from their bullies, they’re now
constantly connected to them through mediums such
as messaging or social media. In a time where your
bully can follow you home through your cellphone or
computer, the world can feel like a scary place.
With such serious bullying taking place, it’s easy to
feel helpless in improving the situation. Thankfully,
however, there is something that we can all do to
improve our own lives and the lives of those around
us. Understanding empathy is the very first step to
combating all kinds of bullying.
Why Empathy is the Best Weapon
While many people falsely believe that bullying is
just a “normal” part of childhood, it’s important to
understand that it can seriously damage a person
even in their adult life, says psychologist Steven
Kaplan. “Childhood bullying can cause anxiety,
lessened self-esteem and self-compassion, anger,
depression, feelings of shame, worthlessness, and
rage later on in life.” So what exactly is empathy
and why is it the perfect weapon to use against
bullying? “Empathy is the ability to acknowledge
the emotional reality of others,” says Kaplan. “It
means acknowledging that you would feel the same
as the other person, because you are both people;
it is an awareness of the other person’s humanity.”
Your childhood years are when you should learn and
practice what it means to be empathetic. Not only
ecause you’ll make the people around you happier,
but because you too will be a much happier person
if you do. “Without empathy there is no possibility
of emotional growth. Clinically, empathy is a
requirement for forming any healthy relationships.
Without it, we would all be narcissists, only capable
of acknowledging our own emotions and no-one
else’s,” Kaplan explains.
Why Bullies Do what They Do
Bullying is almost always a response to the bully’s
own feelings of inadequacy, frustration, anger
and low self-esteem, says Kaplan, and so they try
to make themselves feel better by inflicting pain,
shame and embarrassment on others. This is where
empathy would stop bullying in its tracks. “A person
who possesses empathy will not attempt to push
their negative feelings onto someone else because
they are aware of how it would make them feel.
Bullies do not empathise, it is literally why they are
bullies.” If a person truly understands how deeply
their actions and words can hurt another person,
they’ll be far less likely to inflict that pain on them.
So we Know the “Why”, Let’s
Talk About the “How”
The best way to increase your capacity for empathy
is simply by listening to someone else’s story without
judging them, Kaplan says. Here are his tips on how
to practice empathy:
• Ask someone to tell you about a painful event in
their lives, and try to understand how that event
would have impacted them.
• Ask them about the feelings they had during and
after that event.
• Then try to acknowledge their emotions simply
by saying them out loud. “That made you feel
Your childhood years are when
you should learn and practice
what it means to be empathetic.
angry/sad/scared etc.” Use the actual words.
The greater your emotional vocabulary, the
easier it is to empathise.
• Once they’ve told their story, ask yourself if
you would have reacted differently. Notice
that you have feelings in common, and feelings
that are different.
What’s Your Part?
An interesting thing happens once you leave
school. You’ll bump into old classmates who you
felt bullied you in your school years, and often
you’ll see their surprise as they tell you that they
actually felt bullied by you. It’s absolutely normal
to want to make ourselves feel better when we’re
feeling low, but the important thing is to never
make someone feel worse in an effort to make
yourself feel better. In doing so, you could be a
bully at times without even realising it. There is
never real reward in being a bully, but the reward
you’ll get from learning from other people, sharing
your own stories, and treating people with kindness
is long lasting and beneficial to everyone.
“No-one sees the world quite the way you do, nor
should they,” Kaplan says. “In South Africa we have
the Zulu word, ‘ubuntu’. Part of the Zulu phrase
‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’, literally means that
a person is a person through other people. We learn
who we are through who other people are.” And the
more we know that, they less we will see everyone
else as “others”, and the more we will be able to
empathise with them – and combat bullying.
What is The
If you’ve heard about schools taking part in the
2017 School SleepOut – but still have no idea
what it’s all about – read on, and then sign up.
What is The School SleepOut?
Each year, there is an Event called The CEO
SleepOut. It sees our business leaders spend
a night outdoors, on the streets, in order to
experience a small taste of what life is like for the
homeless. They also raise funds for charity. In 2017,
The CEO SleepOut is having a Special Event,
called The SheEO SleepOut, for female leaders.
Well, The School SleepOut is all about schools
supporting our female leaders as they spend a night
outdoors – by doing the same at your school!
How does it work?
The School SleepOut asks learners, parents and
teachers to spend a night outdoors at their school,
in solidarity with The SheEO SleepOut. Schools
can arrange their own School SleepOut between
1 June 2017 and 8 August 2017. You just have to
register your school, gather cardboard, sleeping
bags and other supplies, and organise for all your
friends and teachers to spend the night outdoors at
your school. Don’t forget – you also have to collect
items for charity.
What items do you collect?
The charities you need to collect items for have
already been chosen. When you register, you will
choose a charity (called a Satellite Beneficiary) in
your province. You will also be given a wish-list of
the items they need. All the charities work with
abandoned babies and children, so you will need to
collect items such as nappies, baby wipes, formula
and baby cream. After your SleepOut event, you
must drop the items at the beneficiary.
What else can you do on the night?
While you spend the night outdoors, take time to
really think about how it feels to sleep in the cold.
The idea is to take some time out to realise how hard
it must be for people who do not have a home, and
think about ways we could help them. You could also
use the time to make things for those less fortunate:
Cook food for the homeless and hand it out the next
day, for example, or knit blankets and scarves for the
homeless. Why not also spend some time talking to
each other about empathy and other topics?
Suggestions of discussions you can
have on the night – and beyond:
1. What is empathy?
2. What makes us all the same?
3. Why is shelter important for babies and children?
4. What does it take to be an exceptional leader?
5. How can we help vulnerable communities?
How much does it cost to take part?
To participate in The School SleepOut, there is a
mandatory trademark fee of R600.00, which gives
you access to participate under the official CEO
When is it:
Arrange your own School SleepOut between
1 June 2017 and 8 August 2017.
Register your school now at: theceosleepoutza.
Meet The 2017 School SleepOut TM
In 2017, The School SleepOut selected 12 super inspiring learners
across South Africa to spread the message of positive change.
Ladies and gentlemen, your School SleepOut Ambassadors are…
By now you would have heard all about The
School SleepOut. It’s an event that can
take place at your school, any night of June
2017; SleepOut Month. It’s done in support of
The CEO SleepOut’s Special Chapter Event,
The SheEO SleepOut. Your friends, teachers and
parents can spend a night sleeping outdoors, on your
school grounds. The idea is to get a small sense of
empathy, of what life is like for the less fortunate.
You can also help out by collecting items for a charity
in your province.
This year, The School SleepOut, with the help
of Community Hours, selected a group of learners
across South Africa to be School SleepOut Brand
Ambassadors – and spread the message of the
SleepOut to their peers. As Ambassadors, they
got to attend a three-day workshop in Joburg, where
they were shown the best ways to put their social
media and influence to good use, by media hotshots
such as the Good Thing Guy, Brent Lindeque.
They also visited charities, and learned more about
what we can do to help those who need it the most.
Now it’s up to them to stand up for change!
Here, we meet the 2017 School SleepOut
Ambassadors, and find out more about their
goals, dreams and plans.
Alexandra Theocharopoulos, 16, Ashton International College
Alexandra has been chosen to captain her U16A hockey team and shares a Senior
Class Representative position. Her bubbly and optimistic character makes her an
approachable and easy going person. She is a volunteer for the Lawrence Anthony
Earth Organisation and assists a local charity called Sables Creatures, which
involves fundraising for homeless animals. Last year, she also assisted in knitting
teddy bears for abused children. Her hobbies include horse riding, art and reading.
She wants to make a small difference in others’ lives, as no one can survive alone.
“I am proud to be a School SleepOut Ambassador, representing my school with
pride and to be able to assist in this worthy cause,” she says.
Candice Verster, 17, Rand Girls’ School
Candice is the Head Girl of her school. In Grade 10, she joined a
charity team at her school, Team@, and started volunteering. She has
volunteered at a number of places, including a children’s home and an old
age home. Each volunteering experience has given her something unique
to take home and reflect upon. She says she is “athletically impaired” and
rather enjoys doing things that allow her to express her creativity. Her
goal in life is to be truly happy. “Being a School SleepOut Ambassador
means that I can be the change that I want to see. I am very excited
because I know that I will be learning a lot,” she says.
Dario Gouveia, 9, Marist Brothers Linmeyer
Dario has a purple belt in Karate. He loves cricket, soccer and
swimming. With the help of his family, he started a shoe project
called sole2sole, and has collected 3 800 (and counting) pairs of
shoes for the less fortunate. Most of his free time is spent tying,
counting, collecting and giving out shoes to the poor. “I am excited
to be an Ambassador because it means that not only will it help me
collect more shoes for the poor, but hopefully it will help more
children want to help me help the poor,” says Dario.
Jessica Powell, 15, Reddam House Bedfordview
Jessica enjoys reading, drawing and anything to do with art. She also enjoys
swimming, archery and running. She is a part of the swimming team at her school
and she runs for the Jeppe Quandam running club. She is currently ranked 2nd in
her age group in the country for target archery. She started volunteering in primary
school, not because it was compulsory, but because she felt the need to give back.
She hopes to make it to the Olympics with either swimming or archery, and would
like to work her way towards The President’s Award. “Being an ambassador means
that I can do what I love and be recognised for just the small things I do to change
the world,” she says.
Angels is an organisation dedicated to the welfare of abandoned, orphaned, sickly or abused
babies placed in our home. With passion, a positive attitude and determination we will work
together to ensure that the babies placed in our care will be loved and well cared for.
Volunteer at Fundraising Events or at the babies home in Rosettenville.
Start a fundraising campaign with Do it 4 Charity.
Make a financial commitment by signing up for a monthly debit order
through our Adopt a Cot campaign.
Donate your unwanted goods, including baby clothes, toys, adult clothes
and household items.
Adopt one of our little ones through Impilo Adoption Agency.
For an update on our progress or
Tel: 011 434 4227 / 081 049 6228
To make a financial contribution:
Account Type: Nedbank Current Account
Account Name: Angels Baby Sanctuary
Account Number: 1051788765
Branch Code: 13853700
Swift Code: NEDSZAJJ
Jon-Benay Mitchell, 18, Kingsmead College
JB is part of the service team as the head of chapel and is a Grade 10 form councillor.
She is also the president of the SSP Student Council for 2017. She says she does
not come from a very affluent family, but in Grade 7, she was awarded a scholarship
to attend Kingsmead College from Grade 8-12. “I have been very blessed to have
received this scholarship,” she says. She is very involved at school, and always takes part
in activities such as major school productions. Another one of her cultural passions is
art. She does many hours of community service, including hours at the Baragwaneth
Burns Unit and the Princess Alice Adoption Home. “I know what it’s like to not have
a lot and I feel I need to do my part in helping others who are disadvantaged. I am
excited to be a School SleepOut Ambassador because this is a way in which I can
be a part of something that will make a difference in our country,” she says.
Lance Senda, 17, Deutsche Internationale Schule Pretoria (DSP)
Lance is from Zimbabwe and has been living in South Africa for nearly seven years. He
was born on a leap year – so technically he says he is four years old! He is the Head
Boy of the school. Last year, he offered his time to the SPCA at Watloo. “It’s always
great to work with animals, and the joy one sees when they receive a visitor is always
refreshing,” he says. He plans to study industrial engineering at TUKS long term. Short
term: he hopes to pass his eight subjects and enjoy the last few months of school. “I’m
excited to be an Ambassador because I’ll get to meet and greet people along the way
and have a chance to learn what it truly means to help the community, and one cannot
do that until they have placed themselves in the shoes of the less fortunate,” he says.
Mandilakhe Ncwadi, 18, Nombulelo High School
Mandilakhe lives at Eluxolweni Child and Youth Care Centre, due to a
disruptive home life. At school, he keeps himself busy by playing soccer,
which helps him forget about everything because he’s doing what he
loves. The President’s Award introduced him to volunteering work. He
did community service, learned life skills, and went on adventurous
journeys. “Being a School SleepOut Ambassador means a lot because
it shows that all my hard work has paid off. I want to educate people and
school learners about life and the President Award, so that they can be
Ambassadors too someday,” he says.
Thank you for your support during the months of June and July!
With your help we were able to provided much needed supplies to
the babies and children that we look after!
But our work doesn’t stop now!
Please consider continuing to support Refilwe through donation
drives, volunteering, tutoring or becoming an ambassador for us.
With beneficiaries from birth to 110 years old, we are constantly in
need of the following: nappies, Infacare, school stationery, toiletries,
gently used clothing, appliances, and long-life foods.
Student volunteers are able to get involved in our Saturday Kids Club,
special projects around site, tutoring in our aftercare centers (reading
club and maths help for Grades 1-7) and can also receive volunteer
hours through holding donation drives.
Email email@example.com to hear how you can continue to
“Rise to the Challenge”!
Mbongeni Sibanda, 16, Redhill School
Mbongeni is part of Public Relations on the Interact Board, Vice-President of Student
Representative Council, and a Youth Voices Conference Ambassador. His favourite
hobbies are playing sport (particularly hockey, swimming and soccer), cutting-edge
tech, and interacting with people. He really values learning from different experiences.
He has always done volunteering work, because it was mandatory for students at his
school, but a year or two ago, the real value of volunteering was made clear to him:
Volunteering opens your eyes and makes you truly aware of what is around you (good
and bad). His personal life goal is to be someone that influences people to go the
extra mile and step out from the crowd. “I cannot even begin to explain my excitement
about being a School SleepOut Ambassador. I have a platform on which I can voice
ideas to my generation with the hope to influence a completely new kind of mind-set
that will encourage people to be more compassionate towards each other,” he says.
Siyanda Somtsewu, 16, Sea Point High School
Siyanda was born in Cape Town, and his father died when he was eight years old,
so he was raised by a single mother in a township called Langa, along with his little
sister. He does debate and cricket, and loves them both. He also volunteers in his
community. For example, he collected sanitary pads for girls in a local school. His
hobbies include music, playing chess, going to church, watching global events and
using the computer. His goal is to become an economist, but short term it’s to
pass matric well. He also wants to give Casio calculators to pure maths students
in township schools, so they can do better. “I’m excited to meet people with the
same views as mine but different ways of doing things,” he says.
Tebogo Mokhari, 17, Northern Academy College
Tebogo is Head Girl at her school and is an academic student, who says she is
“terrible at sports”. In school, she looks after the student body and tries to help
resolve any complaints that they might have. Her first experience in volunteering
started when she had to help her mother gather donations for an orphanage. She
fell in love with volunteering at children homes, especially Ngwana Huis. She has
always wanted to open an orphanage. She loves working with children and reading,
and her goal in life is to make a success out of herself and to travel. “Being an
Ambassador is knowing that you are using your advantages to change the life of
someone else,” she says.
Trevor Shakwane, 17, Lowveld High School
Trevor is from Matsulu, a small village about 40km away from Nelspruit. He
obtained an academic bursary to study at Lowveld High School. He participates
in cultural activities like debating, public speaking and the spelling bee. He also
plays rugby and tennis. He loves playing the piano and hopes to obtain seven
distinctions for his National Senior Certificate, with an average above 85%, and
Gold for The President’s Award. “I’m very excited to be an Ambassador as it
is an opportunity for me to express my viewpoint of the world, and brainstorm
solutions to the political, social and economic challenges that we are currently
facing in South Africa,” he says.
Xiluva Ndimande, 17, HTS Langlaagte
Xiluva is part of the Representative Council of Learners’ Committee. She
speaks four languages and lives in Noordgesig in Soweto. She is a youth leader
and a Sunday school teacher at her church and always makes time to volunteer.
Her goals include studying hard, passing matric with distinctions, making her
mom and family proud, getting a bursary, studying Medicine at a university,
and becoming a doctor. She loves reading books, baking, spending time
with family and friends and watching TV. “I am excited to be an Ambassador
because I am willing to learn, listen, grow, be inspired and share the love and
benefits of volunteering and helping others,” she says.
Want to apply to be a School SleepOut Ambassador in 2018?
How Empathetic Are you?
Take the Quiz to find out!
Are you the type who cries when your friends cry, or do you keep your emotions
completely separate? Answer the below questions and work out your score at the end.
1. Your friend starts crying about a terrible breakup. How are you most likely to react?
a. I start crying a bit too
b. I pull out the tissues and hug it out with my friend, but I don’t cry
c. I wait for the tears to dry and offer helpful advice
d. Crying? I’m going to tell my friend to toughen up and move on!
2. You’re watching YouTube fail videos of people hitting their heads, hard! Do you…
a. Hold your head as if you can feel the pain
b. Cringe and laugh, cringe and laugh
c. Think about how all those fails could have been avoided
d. Roll on the floor laughing at how stupid people can be
3. You’re eating a pizza slice on the drive home and a beggar at the robot looks really
hungry. What do you do?
a. Open the window and give the beggar your pizza slice
b. Offer some spare change but keep your pizza slice
c. Consider bringing the beggar food next time you stop at that robot
d. Continue eating and avoid eye contact
4. A friend with health issues confesses that they can’t ever say “no” to unhealthy food.
How does that affect your eating habits on a school trip?
a. I’m not going anywhere near chocolate as long as my friend is around!
b. I’ll have a bit of chocolate, but won’t go out of my way to indulge
c. I’ll offer my friend alternative and healthy options when they get cravings
d. I’m not the one with the problem, so I’ll scoff away no matter who’s watching!
Disclaimer: This quiz is intended for entertainment purposes only. The questions and results
are not verified by a medical practitioner and do not refer to any professional levels of empathy
that may be described in medical journals or by a psychologist.
You are extremely empathetic! Sometimes it can get in the way of how you
live your life. You struggle to separate your own feelings from the feelings
of those close to you, so you’re considered the most understanding person
among your friends. Your heart is in the right place, but make sure you aren’t
taken advantage of.
You are just the right amount of empathetic. You are aware of the feelings of
those around you, and you’re always there to offer help to those in need. While
you’re loyal and logical, you try not to let people’s negativity affect your own life.
Your friends come to you for a good dose of understanding and helpful advice.
Your logic speaks louder than your emotions. You definitely don’t let people’s
problems become yours, but you’re happy to tell the world how they could live
a better life. On your worst day, you might come off as cold or heartless, but
it’s probably because you want to solve problems rather than wallow in them.
A bit of empathy wouldn’t hurt, though.
Yikes! Not very empathetic, are we? Sometimes it helps to show the world that
you aren’t a robot, because you never know when you might need a shoulder
to cry on. When your friends open up to you about their issues, try to put
yourself in their shoes and think about how you would like to be treated if you
were having a bad day.