Three diverse media organisations came together last week to help learners in the Eastern Cape. The Fikelela Ezinkwenkwezini (Reach for the stars) project, hosted by the MultiChoice Fort Hare Inkwenkwezi Trust and Ads24, were joined by Destiny Man editor, Kojo Baffoe, at the Fort Hare University in Alice.
There, they met 130 learners to find out about the lack of basic facilities at their schools, and let the learners present their solutions in a competition to win funding towards an improvement of their choice.
“Our involvement in the Inkwenkwezi Trust and Ads24 CSI project stems from the importance of and need to be part of the society we operate within. As a publication, we acknowledge, celebrate and highlight the accomplishments of people who are actively – whether directly or indirectly – involved in bettering the environment, the economy and the nation as a whole,” Baffoe told TheMediaOnline.
“ It is these learners who will be the future foundation of the nation, leading the way in business, sports, public service, etc and so it is necessary that we do our part in ensuring they have the tools to tackle that future,” he said.
Baffoe presented a workshop to learners and students to help develop their presentations and improve their chances of winning. Baffoe, who is also a performance poet, used that experience to inspire students.
““At the heart of my engagement with the students was the belief that they have relevant voices and that their lives and actions are important. When presenting any idea, if you are passionate and committed, it comes through and that takes you a long way in being able to actually accomplish,” he said.
“I went through the basics of presenting but focused more on instilling in them the belief. Each of their projects is significant with potential for great impact in their lives and the lives of their communities. The important thing for them was to demonstrate their ability to actually achieve what they set out to do. I gained from them a sense of hope. A sense that the future is in relatively solid hands, as long as we provide them with the platforms,” Baffoe explained.
Sifiso Pule, trade-marketing manager of Ads24, who was one of the judges, said: “I was very impressed with how eloquently the learners and students have presented their ideas. It really was not easy to select a winner.”
The proposed projects included basic facilities such as ablution, health care, a food garden, and security fencing. Due to the huge demand presented by schools, the judges selected two projects, namely an organic vegetable garden proposed by Nzululwazi High School and a sick room for Elukhanyisweni Senior Secondary School to take care of basic health needs.
“This is the biggest CSI project Ads24 has been involved in so far and one I believe is very worthwhile. Through this project we are not only bringing relief to schools in South Africa’s outlying areas, but we hope to introduce them to the Marketing and Media industry as a potential career choice,” Pule said.
According to Adrie Jurgensen, Media24 Group CSI co-ordinator, Adrie Jurgensen, said the initiative was a team effort that yielded excellent results. “Collaboration between Media24 divisions and the community proved to be the success of this project. We managed to build lasting partnerships which is necessary to ensure sustainability of any community project.”