KIDlanthropy is a digital magazine about philanthropy for high school learners. Having seen the youth’s enthusiasm around philanthropic causes such as The School SleepOut™ – which sees learners and teachers spend a night outdoors on their school grounds, collecting items for communities in need – The CEO SleepOut™ wanted to expand the message of empathy, philanthropy and social innovation and entrepreneurship to teens.

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.


Kim Garner

Art Director

Barbara van Wyk

Sub Editor

Chris Straeuli


Chandré Partridge

Christy Chilimigras

Karen Landi

Nicole Samakosky

Norma Young

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.

Social Tech

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!

Social Entrepreneurs

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.

Crowd Funding

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

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


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:

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

give someone!

For more info and to sign up as a volunteer, head

to their website www.

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 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

Head to 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:

Image -




Image -





Go to:

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:

By TeamPiper -

Own work, CC

BY-SA 3.0, https://





Image - https://



Go to:

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:

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:

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:

By Candyfloss124

- 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.

Innovative Ideas

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.

1. YLED:

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.

3. Jumpstarter

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. It’ll then be up to you to get as many eyes on

your campaign as you can, by spreading the news via

social media.

4. Endeavour

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

AND politics

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

spreading kindness.


…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

neglected animals.

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

parents involved.

Get in touch:

072 837 3566



July’s Caring


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.

Ages: 15-17.

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


All ages

5 July: Start a community

WhatsApp group.

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.

Ages: 15-17.

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


All ages

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?

All ages

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.

All ages


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!

All ages

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:

All ages

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.


All ages

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.

All ages

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.

All ages

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.

All ages

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!

All ages

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?

All ages


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.


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

to practice.

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

others too.


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. 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

emotional issues.



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

can practice.

*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.


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

• JavaScript – Web development

• 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

Feels Great

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

career, too.

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

life… literally!

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:

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:


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:

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.








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 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

Centurion, Gauteng

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


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: 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.”


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.


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.


Who: Bella Weems, 18, Founder

of Origami Owl.

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.”


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



Than Yourself

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


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.


“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.”


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.


“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.



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.


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.


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.


The school’s motto is “Be first that you may be of

service” and they try to live up to that through their



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.


Stanford Lake College believes strongly in

instilling awareness around the need to protect the

environment for future generations.


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.


“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.


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…

Ruby Chikwiri,

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

towel drives.

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

event is.

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?


Shane Bassin,

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.

Tshepo Motaung,

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,

every day.








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. 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

School SleepOut?


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

SleepOut banner.

When is it:

Arrange your own School SleepOut between

1 June 2017 and 8 August 2017.

Get Involved:

Register your school now at: theceosleepoutza.


Meet The 2017 School SleepOut TM

Brand Ambassadors



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

additional information:




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 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.

Mostly As

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.

Mostly Bs

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.

Mostly Cs

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.

Mostly Ds

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.


More magazines by this user