|Play Your Part partners Brand SA CEO Miller Matola, and CEO of Heartlines Garth Japhet at the Play Your Part breakfast meeting, held in Sandhurst, Johannesburg recently. (Image: Nosimilo Ramela)|
Brand SA introduced its latest campaign, Play Your Part, to representatives of government departments, business and NGOs at a recent breakfast meeting in Sandhurst, Johannesburg.
The campaign encourages South Africans to do whatever they can, no matter how big or small the contribution, to create a better country. It also aims to connect and celebrate citizens who are already playing their part and making an impact in their communities.
Speaking at the breakfast meeting on 17 August 2011, Brand SA CEO Miller Matola said: “Play Your Part is a national movement for social change, contributing to social cohesion and national unity.”
The Brand SA has collaborated with Forgood, an online social network with a humanitarian focus, to create a facility whereby willing South Africans can connect with each other to share stories about the work they are doing, exchange ideas for projects and secure resources.
“There are amazing people doing amazing things every day, everywhere in our country, this is a platform for them to share their stories, and to celebrate great stories,” said CEO of Heartlines Garth Japhet.
The online resource gives information to people who are keen on doing something in their respective areas, but do not know how to go about it.
“Play Your Part will help connect people who are interested in the same things. It will also connect them with the opportunities they are looking for,” he said.
Japhet added that the Play Your Part site, powered by Forgood, will also provide regular news updates and list events taking places various communities.
Play Your Part enables users to create their own profiles, join the campaign and start making a difference.
Business joins in
Financial Times CEO Rochelle Josiah said her publication endorses the initiative and would be playing its part through some of its own projects.
Michelle Gerszt, marketing executive of the Smile Foundation, spoke about how her NGO is playing its part by helping children with facial abnormalities access free corrective plastic and reconstructive surgery.
“We help children with abnormalities such as cleft lips and palates, burn victims, those with facial paralysis and other conditions. The medical staff who work with us all work for free: they volunteer their time to help our young patients. They are playing their part in changing the lives of young people and their parents.”
Gerszt said her organisation is proud to be part of the Play Your Part initiative as it promotes the same values as the foundation. “The work we do brings people together for the purpose of making a difference in the lives of those in need.”
She added that the Smile Foundation had a skills development programme in place to equip medical teams with the necessary techniques and knowledge.
“Instead of bringing in specialists from other countries, we have our own doctors and nurses trained and skilled to perform these complex surgeries. We are investing in the medical teams we work with and we support the public hospitals we work in by purchasing equipment that can be used by the departments of plastic and reconstructive surgery.”
Pieter Pretorius, general manager for the country’s power utility Eskom, said his company’s 49m initiative was also making a difference in South Africa.
“We are proud to be associated with the Brand SA’s Play Your Part. The campaign speaks to the same ideas as our project: 49m is about mobilising people to play their part in building a better future for South Africa. We want to encourage people to reduce their consumption of electricity, thereby reducing our carbon footprint.”
Pretorius added that people can make small changes like remembering to switch off any lights or appliances that are not in use. “It’s not about sacrificing, but rather about being considerate. The power we save today is the power we’ll need tomorrow to light our rooms, watch our televisions and boil our kettles.”
Government adds its support
Zeng Msimang, director of strategy and content for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, said the Play Your Part campaign has helped the government raise funds to provide famine relief to Somalia.
She added that although the initiative is a local one, the department would promote it across all countries it works in.
“For us Play Your Part is about being patriotic and it starts with our diplomats. We want it to start internally with the way we treat and behave towards each other.”