In honour of A Change-Maker who helps others

When Brand South Africa partnered with Miss South Africa over a year ago, the intention was to promote and celebrate active citizenship, as well as encourage national pride, and patriotism. From this collaboration came the Brand South Africa Play Your Part Ambassador of the year Award which celebrates a patriotic citizen who displays a commitment towards active citizenship.

This year, Play Your Part Ambassador and human rights advocate, Melene Rossouw was granted the award to acknowledge her commitment to the realisation of socio-economic rights. This was announced on 16 October 2021 at the Miss South Africa finale that took place in Cape Town.

An attorney by profession, Melene has served in respected offices such as the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Western Cape High Court, and The Presidency of South Africa. Through her work she has initiated and led many impactful educational advocacy programmes, and online interventions in communities reaching thousands of people in South Africa.

She was raised in an impoverished community with many socio-economic challenges such as; high unemployment rates, poverty, and social inequality. She also cites being raised by a strong single mother as the driver for her activism.

Some of her accolades include being selected as an Obama Leader in Africa by the Obama Foundation in 2018; one of the spokeswomen in Africa for the Global Campaign on Gender Equality by the United States based ONE Global Campaign (2019); a Mandela Washington Fellow by the US Department of State as well as Goodwill Ambassador for the World Youth Summit for Peace by the International Human Rights Commission (2019). In 2020, Melene was selected by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) as one of the Top Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World honourees, in the category for World Peace and Human Rights.

In 2017, Melene co-founded Women Lead Movement (WLM) and currently serves as the Executive Director of the organisation. WLM is a non-profit organisation with two core objectives:

· To advance gender equality through the implementation of programmes that empower, educate, and inspire women and girls to become agents of social change; and to promote an active, informed and participatory citizenry through community engagements.

Through programmes such as the Rural Female Youth Mentoring Programme; Rural Youth Intervention Programme; Human Rights and Democracy Education and Training; and Gender-Based Violence and Gender Equality training, WLM has reached more than 2,000 women, girls and young men.

In 2020, Women Lead Movement established an office in Madagascar to build on its Pan-African vision for the movement and broaden its reach.

“To be the winner of the Miss South Africa – Play Your Part Ambassador of the Year Award for 2021 is a massive achievement and also an acknowledgement of our work, I hope that this award will inspire many other young people in South Africa to awaken and play their part to make South Africa a prosperous and united country” said Melene.

Go to https://womenleadmovement.org/ to find out how you can get involved.

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

For more information on Brand South Africa, log on to www.brandsouthafrica.com or like facebook.com/BrandSouthAfrica and follow @BrandSouthAfrica on Instagram and Brand_SA on twitter for regular updates.

About Play Your Part

Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.

Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.

For more information on Play Your Part, log on to www.playyourpart.co.za or like facebook.com/PlayYourPart and follow @PlayYourPartSA on twitter for regular updates.

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