Most companies are doing their bit to help the less fortunate and they choose what best suits their corporate identity. The Media finds out more about the business of giving.
Most South Africans recognise the power of sports to change lives. ADreach CEO, Brad Fisher, who founded the Soweto Canoe & Recreation Club (SCARC) in 2003, is no exception. The focus of this initiative is using what sport gives children – discipline and goal setting – to increase their chances of becoming economically active and valuable participants in society.
ADreach staff has embraced the initiative, even helping the children with their school work. Together with other partners, staff arranged computers, printers and 3G cards to use for school projects. A related career guidance initiative was recently started, where the children are exposed to possible future working environments.
Ads24’s CSI projects are mostly media-related, thereby giving back to the industry that feeds the company.
Ikusasa Lami is a job-shadowing programme that enables Grade 11s to experience media careers. With this and Fikelela Ezinkwenkwezini – an established education charity that Ads24 supports – the company aims to introduce and encourage students from outlying rural communities to take an interest in marketing and media as a career choice. It also rebuilds dilapidated parts of their school buildings to enable a comfortable learning environment.
Ads24 also supports the Advertising Media Association of South Africa (AMASA) that promotes media education and dialogue in the industry and the ABF Vital Support Fund that takes care of people within the industry who have fallen on hard times.
The main thrust of Avusa’s CSI is aimed at alleviating the massive education crisis in South Africa. The Sunday Times has published more than 1.6-million storybooks that are distributed free to the poorest South African schools. The aim is to instill a love of reading, and improve skills and comprehension, in primary school pupils. “These storybooks open up the world of reading for these youngsters and the feedback we have got verifying this is heartwarming,” says Patti McDonald, Avusa Education publisher.
Avusa also puts out the ReadRight supplement for primary school kids in the Sunday Times. For high school scholars, there are a number of educational supplements, including the annual Sunday Times Career Quest and the Sunday Times and Sowetan Matric Q&A.
ComutaNet and e.tv
In 2007, ComutaNet set in motion the Wild Child Project to invest in the youth through education. e.tv became its partner and they chose a Westbury primary school as the beneficiary.
The project has provided mobile classrooms, a food court, vegetable garden tunnels, wall murals, tools, computers, TVs and the necessary equipment required to revamp their classrooms.
The project was later extended to the greater Westbury community.
“We aimed to uplift today’s youth to be tomorrow’s leaders by providing tools for their growth, encouraging them to achieve their goals and sustain their way of living,” says Moynene Baumann, marketing manager.
“The aim of our corporate responsibility is to minimise the potential for causing harm to the environment in all aspects of our activities,” says marketing manager, Lyn Jones. In doing this, Continental is introducing a bio-degradable advertising product made of recycled textiles which is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the PVC flex material generally used. Also, with the rollout of its digital networks, Continental is eradicating its printing process.
The company is countering the power shortages by installing LED lighting in all of its new lightboxes.
In conjunction with sponsors, it is also providing solar power to select advertising signs.
In partnership with Pikitup, Continental ensures litterbins are placed and regularly emptied at strategic points throughout central business districts and suburban areas.
Continental also contributes a great deal of media space to Food & Trees for Africa and other worthy organisations.
e.tv puts huge energy into its annual Angels Walking for Cancer, which is a walk to raise funds for cancer. The 2011 beneficiary is CANSA’s ‘Tough Living with Cancer’ (TLC) project that aims at reducing the impact of cancer on children and their families. e.tv used the funds it raised in 2011 to buy around 60 broviacs, which are temporary intravenous ports placed into a vein in a child’s chest so that he/she can receive medicines, blood transfusions, fluids or nutrients.
The Cape Argus Pick n Pay cycle tour has been going for 34 years and is now the largest timed race of its kind and sees both local and international riders flocking to the city to ride it. The tour raises millions annually for Rotary – who plough it back into the community – and the Pedal Power Association that develops cycling in underprivileged communities.
The annual Discovery Cape Times Big Walk attracts more than 36 000 people who take part for charity.
Independent Newspapers Cape Town supports these and other events because it believes in giving back to the local community who support them.
The Star in Gauteng has a number of its own CSI projects, most of which they have been supporting for decades, like the century-old fund that provides seaside holiday to underprivileged children and Operation Snowball that donates blankets and clothes to the homeless in winter.
There is the Editor’s Fund that allocates funds to national disasters and to other essential projects the editor wants to support. Gauteng Newspapers also support various community policing forums.
Media24 invests in projects and companies that help reading and writing. “Literacy, we feel, is not a gift but a right,” says Adrie Jurgensen, group coordinator CSI.
It focuses on assisting crèches where children who would otherwise not have the chance to learn to read and write early, donating books and magazines to people and sponsoring festivals that give people a wider view of the world. Media24 also supports an annual national competition for school newspapers to teach and encourage learners to write their own stories.
One of the biggest projects is the Rachel’s Angels Trust (in partnership with the University of Stellenbosch), an empowerment initiative to reward excellence in high school via a mentorship programme with senior university students.
Primedia Broadcasting’s projects are generally tied in with on-air content. These include the 94.7 Highveld Stereo Christmas Wish, the Talk Radio 702 Birthday Wish (both arranging a helping hand for people in need), Random Acts of Kindness with the Dis-Chem Foundation (helping organisations do a better job for the community) and a range of ad hoc fundraisers and one-off donations or sponsorships.
94.7 Highveld Stereo also runs the Bidvest 94.7 Hear for Life Trust, which has so far funded more than 30 life-changing Cochlear implant operations. This project speaks to the core of the radio business – which is listening.
Primedia Broadcasting also offers significant airtime to non-profit organisations in the form of public service announcements.
The ‘wish’ campaigns enable listeners to feel as if they are making a difference by helping people in their lives. Random Acts of Kindness identifies organisations that are already making a difference and gives them the support to enhance their operations.
Primedia Unlimited, the leading ambient advertising media conglomerate, has contributed over R1.3 million and over 860 hours of tutorial time to the Imagination Lab in Soweto since 2007 in an endeavour to develop black advertising talent. The mission of this college is to attract and train young black talent in the advertising, design and communication industries.
Since the partnership began with the lab in 2007, Unlimited has employed 24 of its graduates.
Provantage supports Bowy House in Paarl. It’s a home for poverty-stricken and orphaned children, many of whom have lost their parents to HIV and Aids-related illnesses. The main aim of Bowy House is to rehabilitate children and reunite them with their extended families, providing them with a chance to lead a normal, independent life. Provantage supports them with monthly financial donations and a festive season party, which the Cape Town branch organises.
This story was first published in The Media magazine.