GEM Project

Play Your Part has partnered with the GEM Project, an app that links volunteers to good causes, in social events that aim to uplift disadvantaged communities.

Since its launch on Mandela Day 2015, GEM has grown enormously and is now hosting more than 50 community engagement events (monthly), in different cities, where thousands of people are engaging to support tens of thousands of beneficiaries. (Image: GEM)

GEM – which stands for Going the Extra Mile – is curbing unemployment and assisting with productivity amongst a sea of uninspired youth. In many cases, volunteers are unemployed people who spend their time positively contributing to their communities.

With GEM’s reward system, the volunteers are guaranteed to earn something for their good deeds. When volunteers complete a good deed, they are eligible to receive a reward via the app, called “GEMs”. These GEMs can be redeemed for products such as airtime, data, pre-paid electricity, movie tickets and now grocery eVouchers. But co-founder David Shields makes it clear that GEMs are not a means of financial support. “Rewards are seen as a gesture of goodwill, not payment.”

The GEM app is a call for all South Africans to become active citizens and play their part in improving the lives of their fellow countrymen, says Brand South Africa’s general manager of marketing, Sithembile Ntombela. “We hope that the nation will continue to contribute to positive change because a nation of people who care deeply for one another, and the environment in which they live, is beneficial for everyone.”

GEM has partnered with Play Your Part on many occasions since the two began working together in July 2015. Most notable were the events for Nelson Mandela Day, visits to Ethembeni Children’s Home and cleanups at Akani Primary School in Diepsloot and Ark Animal Centre in northern Johannesburg.

To find out how you can volunteer for one of GEM’s projects, check out the GEM website ( and download the app or simply dial * 120 * GEM1 # to get started.