The Possibility of the “Funding Crisis”

The words ‘competition’ and ‘competitive’ are increasingly being used to address the non-profit sector, something which should both shame and alarm us all. As a sector, irrespective of our different areas of focus, our collective mandate is to facilitate an environment which uplifts human lives and we should not be competing to do that. Instead, we should be looking for ways to support each other in the achievement of this collective mandate.

Rather than reacting to the so-called ‘funding crisis’ by competing with each other for resources, we should be taking proactive measures not to protect our organisations, but rather those whom we serve. It is an opportunity to discover an alternative way of doing things, one that does not create a spirit of dependency in South African civil society organisations (CSOs).

This can be achieved by pooling resources as may be necessary, including human capital. Collaboration need not be on a huge scale, it can be with simple things like an organisation having more stationery than they need and sharing with another. It is from these little acts that we will be starting a process of creating networks of support for each other and by so doing, maximising the impact of a sector as a whole.

This will not only have a positive impact on those whom we serve, but it will also protect the integrity of the sector. Too many organisations are so focused on the quest for resources that the mere existence of the organisation has come to transcend the actual needs which brought it into existence in the first place. Apart from this, the scramble for resources have left many organisations compromised as they sacrifice their mandates in exchange for donor driven ones- which are not always in the best interests of those being served.

I call on the sector to forget the ‘funding crisis’ and rather accept this as a chance to re-imagine and re-create not only the way we do things, but also our society in general. In the creation of a less reactive and more proactive sector, we will be setting an example not only to those whom we serve; but also those whom we often call to order for their compromised integrity. This in turn will create CSOs which “walk the talk” we so often preach and will be the greatest contribution we can make in strengthening civil society in South Africa.

Koketso Moeti is part of the Activate! Change Drivers network. To get in touch with her e-mail kmoeti@gmail.com alternatively, refer to http://about.me/koketsomoeti 

This article was first published by NGO Pulse.

Dialogue: Do We Have A Culture Of Drinking?

A part of the training programme Activators are taught how to run a dialogue session. There was live tweet session when the Gauteng group was practicing running a dialogue session. This is what they had to say about whether South African have a culture of drinking.


What are your thoughts on this topic?

Paperboy – Postboxes for Everyone

Information that’s not transmitted to its recipients is futile in a communication link. I have noticed that a lot of households in my community don’t have post boxes, and this in turn results in a number of letters and responses from the post office and relevant stakeholders getting lost in transition.

Primary school students who come back from school earlier are seen loitering around the streets with flying letters roaming all over which they pick up when the intended recipients are at work. I have taken it upon myself to build post boxes for my community to eradicate this problem. I would need relevant materials to build them and I can work from home. I live in a large community especially now with the recent RDP houses that have been built but I would like to pilot with at least 1584 houses in my section.

This will lead to job creation and community development, and this will also save the post office a lot on duplicate distribution costs and the community at large on getting their invoices and notices on time. This can trickle down to other communities with the same problem.

To contact Mpumi you can email him at mpumimali@ymail.com or you can follow him on Twitter @MpumiMali

Township Roots Project

What is township roots all about? 

Township Roots exists to improve education in Nyanga, Cape Town. Through our programs we aim to help the young people of Nyanga stay out of crime and stay in school, all the way through primary and high-school and into university. 

Right now Nyanga has some challenges. 

•  The annual dropout rate of students in grades 1-8 is between 1% and 4%. Between grades 9 – 11 this grows to 12%. 

In response to this we focus our efforts on children moving from primary school into secondary school. We believe that if we can keep kids in school, we can keep them out of crime. 

What do we do? 

Township Roots runs exciting educational and life skills activities for kids aged 12-16 in Nyanga community after school hours, over weekends and during school vacations. Our young people are mentored both academically and socially to enhance their chances of succeeding in high school. We also partner our kids up with mentors – successful people from Nyanga who are eager to invest in the next generation. We even engage the parents of Nyanga, holding regular community meetings to pursue a vision of hope and opportunity. 

Our Plan 

How much does it cost us to run Township Roots for 40 students? 

We invite sponsors to select the area that they would like to support directly. 

T-shirts for the Learners R4000 

Marketing Banners R1400 

Refreshments for the Learners R2000 

Tutor Support – Transport for tutors R1500 

End of Year Excursion R7000 

Our financial accounts are audited each year by Spark* International. 

(We keep our operating costs as low as possible, and receive strategic, financial and operational support from Spark* International) www.spark.org.au.

from here… 

We are eager to talk with forward thinking South African companies and organisations who would like to partner with us in our vision for Nyanga. 

By investing in the young people of the community, we can work together to turn Nyanga around in a generation. 

We look forward to sharing more with you. Please contact us at the following details: 

Phone: +27812522375 

Email: bulelani@townshiproots.org 

Web: www.townshiproots.org 

Liesbeek River Clean-up

Activator Peter Atmore organised a clean-up operation of the Liesbeek River. He managed to get 20 volunteers with the Mowbray, Rosebank and Observatory area. Peter talks about the clean-up operation. 

It was evident that this section of the river needed cleaning, but the extent of the work required was not realised, thankfully we had an enthusiastic team that were willing to get their hands dirty. Thirty-five bags of rubbish where plucked from the waterway in just two hours, leaving the banks garbage free! Everyone who took part enjoyed themselves, made new friends and learnt the value of keeping our rivers clean. A definite sense of community was present, and a realisation that this river belongs to us! 

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was involved, it was extremely daunting putting together an event as such, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of the joint community of Mowbray, Rosebank and Observatory. For those who missed out, we will definitely have another event soon so keep an eye out!

To contact Peter you can email him on liesbeejrivercleanup@gmail.com or tweet him @PeterAtmore

Africa’s Greatest Entrepreneurs

Activator Calvin has embarked on a project to document African entrepreneurs. He explains the reasons behind the project and why he feels that it is necessary.

Africa’s Greatest Entrepreneur is a documentary series that comprises of profiles and in depth interviews with some of Africa’s greatest entrepreneurs. These are entrepreneurs who have emerged across Africa from different backgrounds. The purpose of this documentary is to highlight how Africa is able to produce influential entrepreneurs.

For the first time ever these inspirational true stories are captured in one single documentary, we aim to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship and truly embrace our own African Entrepreneurs and what they have to share with the World.

Africa has always celebrated Western entrepreneurs and looked up to them for inspiration; the time has come for Africa to celebrate Africans.  With all the challenges that our continent is facing there have been few people who were able to rise above this challenges. These individuals, we feel, need to celebrated and embraced for their success. We also believe that it is important for them to share their knowledge about their philosophies and world views.Our aim is to create a documentary that will inspire a continent.

To get hold of Calvin you can email him makhubela.ct@gmail.com or you can follow him on Twitter @Calvinmakhubela.

The Social Entrepreneurship Incubator Model

Activator Thabang has been hosting a few idea sessions in Joburg. At the beginning of the month he held a Dragons’ Den/ ideas festival. He explains how the session was structured and what the outcomes were.

On the 8th of June, Ulwazi Resource organized The Dragons’ Den/ideas festival, a space where Activators presented projects they had come up with and thorough scrutiny and critic – Judges selected the winning and runner-up projects for the day.Dragons’

Den/Ideas Festival: is a space where the selected projects are presented to a panel of judges (comprising of well-esteemed personnel from various industries and professions) and after thorough scrutiny and critic – judges will select the winning and other runner-up projects for the day.

As the projects are presented, the judges not only offered critic and feedback – but also provided feasible follow-up support to the relevant project, this included linkage with other partners in the similar industry, organized and sponsored business training, and any other resources that will see to it that the projects are escalated.

13 Activators and 2 project teams presented their projects on the day, their projects comprised of:   

  • Environment management   
  • Feeding Schemes at Basic Education  
  • Possible improvements to SA Education System 
  • Responding to dangers/ accidents resulting from lit candles
  • Society view of youth development as part of overall community development      
  • Unemployment amongst graduates   
  • Wide gap of inequality in the distribution of education tools and resources 

The prizes included

  • Business simulation for all the projects with Business Education Design at the value of 40000 for a one day workshop  
  • An opportunity to attend an Youth in Entrepreneurship Camp month end
  • Kellogg Sponsored Gifts 
  • Regenesys Business School Founder books and give away’s 
  • Mentorship with the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller  
  • Wits Business School access to research and resources

Thabang hopes to host these sessions throughout the country. To get hold of Thabang you can email him thabangmabuza@gmail.com or Tweet him @ThabangMabuza

Lunch Box Project

“We are looking at the high number of learners who come from disadvantaged backgrounds to school without having eaten breakfast or without a snack for lunchtime. We see a decline in the number of children who queue for food that has been prepared for them as they are sometimes teased for having to do so. And so, although the learners are hungry, they are too embarrassed to be seen queuing and would rather go hungry. The kitchen then ends up throwing away a lot of leftovers. This issue is known by school teachers and parents who have their kids receive food. I have come to an innovative idea: to design a conventional lunchbox to be carried by every learner at school. The significance of this Lunch Box is to have it produced specifically for the school with its emblem, and the name of the learner and grade with a variety of colours on it. This product will restore the school’s unity by having all learners carry their lunch box and eating at school. As the learners will all drop their lunch box at the kitchen while they are in classrooms, and when its lunch time they will just collect it and nobody will know who brought food from home and who didn’t.”

100in1Day Intervention

I came across the 100in1day movement through a workshop that was organised by Activate in partnership with 100in1day.

100in1Day was about connecting people around their dreams for their communities, city and society, and then playfully manifesting them together. The concept was that over 100 urban interventions were planned to take place in one day 25th May 2013. A civil action day where people took ownership of their city and created a better place to live.  

When we were given the opportunity as Activators to come up with questions that we have as individuals mine was “are you being heard?” It was inspired by the fact that many of us in our communities are speaking so loudly but no one hears us, that is how I feel, the nation knows the challenges we face and many turn a blind eye, for example Gangsterism, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, lack of support from our seniors etc. The issues that I have just listed above are things that teenagers in our communities get exposed to on a daily basis. There is no platform to allow the teenagers to share their views on South Africa, hence the intervention I came up with was to take photographs of teenagers with messages under the theme “Messages to my President”.

When I shared this idea with one of my colleagues to him it seemed quite unrealistic and heavy in content. But anyway the main reason I continued to develop the idea was that I am quite fascinated by challenging the status quo and getting involved in discussions which rather seem controversial.

I started by borrowing cameras from friends in order to take the pictures and I worked with a very committed friend, Masthembe Gontsana who is based in Khayelitsha F-section. I was not able to take more than 10 pictures because I am currently working fulltime. It is through the on-going support I got from Masthembe that he contributed a significant 30 photographs that I was able to print through Sponsorship from Fujifilm in Kenilworth from Suddy and I posted the photographs around Khayelitsha, where I grew up and where home is. The aim was to create awareness on what young people of the community have to say and to initiate dialogues among people.

Saturday 25th May was the day where more than 100 interventions were launched in and around Cape Town. On this day came with a new experience for me. I launched my intervention in Khayelitsha that is where I grew up. I have been involved in many community development initiatives but one thing that my intervention brought is that it was the first time that I took ownership of my community; it was the first time that I stood in front of young people and engaged with them on issues that affect us every day. Now that is an experience I will never forget because I witnessed the birth of a movement that I initiated myself and I am very proud that when I look back I can stand up and say “I did my part”.

Through reading the messages that were being written to the President allowed me to come to a realisation that as the youth of Khayelitsha we are very frustrated. While other young individuals might be fighting for job opportunities and University entrance, most of us from Khayelitsha are still fighting for basic needs and that is housing, sanitation, hygiene, poverty eradication and what is it that the president has in store to develop our youth? The list goes on.

The first step to letting the public know about my initiative and to hopefully get the messages to the President is that Phiri Cawa a journalist for a local newspaper called “Vukani” was there when I launched this project and he is going to publish and article for this initiative.

In future in expanding the project I will be looking at involving South African teenagers across all our provinces.

To read the article that appeared in Vukani click here. To see more pictures from the day you go to the Facebook Page. To watch the video of the day.

Agape Youth Movement

Activator Noko talks about the organisation he started with a group of people. Agape Youth MovementAgape Youth Movement (AYM) was established by a small group of eight young people in a Gauteng township called Soshanguve which is located in the northern side of Pretoria the capital city of the Republic of South Africa.

AYM was officially launched on the 24th of September 2010 at a park in Soshanguve Block TT. The organisation’s launch drew the attention of a large number of young people around the community. The purpose of the launch was to share a mammoth vision which grew to greater heights and also to impact the lives of both young and elderly people around South Africa. AYM considers itself as an agent of positive change. 

The organisation has now has over 21 members who are all young people based in Soshanguve. 

AYM is undergoing a long term project called Science Labs Project which is aimed at raising funds to build two state of the art science laboratories worth R1.1 Million that will benefit 5 schools around Soshanguve. Some of the projects we are doing include drug awareness campaigns, workshops for young people, and agricultural projects. 

To get more information about AYM you can go to their Facebook Page or email info@aym.org.za

Volunteer Day on Freedom Day

I held my volunteer day at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for abused women and children in Manenberg.  For the day, I organised for friends of mine to share their skills and expertise with the women, and so create a day filled with a variety of transforming and empowering activities for them.  

The activities included a gentle body workout by a pilates instructor; a talk on parenting skills by a social worker; a mini yoga and Shakti dance session by a yogini; and a guided meditation in the form of a storytelling by a hypnotherapist.  there was also the option of hoola hooping, which both the moms and the children enjoyed.

While the women were engaged in the activities their children enjoyed a party that  was arranged by 3 of my friends.  The party included a clown named Jo-Jo, who the children loved!  They also got to try cupcake decorating to add to the sweet eats in their party packs.  

My mother made a hot, cooked meal for lunch using the money that was contributed by many people from my network.  The women seemed to really enjoy this as they have only one meal a day that is made for them.  With the help of others from the larger sphere of my network 4kgs of biscuits, a box of kiddie’s movies, 4 litres of Powerade, 3 large boxes of women’s and children’s clothing and a large children’s painting were given to the centre.

I believe the day was a great success!

The role of memory in creating change

Some Activators recently had the opportunity to attend a talk on “Leadership and Innovation for Social Change and the role of Memory & Legacy.” This talk was hosted by the Board and Alumni of the South Africa – Washington international programme. Below are some reviews from the Activators who attended.

It was an event organized by the South African Washington DC International program (SAWIP) and InkuluFreeHeid (IFH) which is a movement that has been founded by ordinary South Africans. One of IFH key goals is to drive unity behind solving social problems. One of the key topics that were discussed was on how do we mobilize the youth and drive social innovation? How do we move away from looking at leadership as a status to understanding leadership as facilitating evolution and that things change with time and understanding that issues of concern from generation to generation have not been the same and to ask ourselves what is our mandate?

We talked about how the youth feels that they are misrepresented in SA politics. One of the panellists said social innovation starts with questions and what questions are we asking? Government cannot be the sole agent for social innovation.

 My take home message was, what is it that I am doing in my space, what conversations am I having with people I interact with? And what is it that I am fighting for. This was my previous facebook status after the dialogue “What are you fighting for? I am fighting for conditions that everyone can live in. I am fighting for access to resources, Nation building and personal development. I am fighting for a generation that actually takes the step and do things; I am strong on development of individuals and challenging the Status Quo. What are u fighting for? Thank you InkuluFreeHeid for quite an informative discussion” – Zanele Lwana

The questions tackled were how does legacy inform memory and perpetuate a historical narrative that doesn’t represent the complete fabric of SA society. Also how does this legacy idolize our leaders and place all the answers in their hands while they continue to mistreat their power and reinvent injustices to different groups of people.

My feedback would be that we didn’t touch on social innovation enough and come up with any innovative solutions which is what I was interested in. The question for me is how is the Legacy of apartheid and the memories it continues to invoke, prevent the youth generation from tackling the social issues they face and find solutions for them. India has one of the poorest populations in the world (without the legacy of the apartheid) and as a result one of the highest levels of entrepreneurialism. Why do we not see this in SA? Everyone expects the government to fix things in SA but our leaders are beneficiaries of the apartheid era doing little to redress the inequalities of the past, rather they are perpetuating racial inequality and segregation in different ways.

I would have liked the event to have had an end goal- one which everyone could move forward with i.e. a basic action plan. The wrap up speaker did encourage everyone to consider how they could implement their learnings/thoughts generated from the discussion though.

Mandy from the District Six Museum disclosed some fascinating facts about how people in District 6 innovated toward social cohesion and met on mountain hikes to align and keep their activities unsuspicious.

My question was if people innovated in those times why do we find our youth today less innovative in terms of tackling unemployment and the crises they are faced with today. Youth of the apartheid generation had something to fight for but today many people are not fighting unemployment, prostitution, crime, drugs etc- all symptoms of poverty arising from the apartheid legacy.

I proposed that Nation Building was the mandate of our parents’ generation- Nelson Mandela’s legacy of forgiveness- a very solid basis for nation building. I suggested that the platform for nation building had been laid and that it was the youth generation’s mandate to tackle unemployment and through this nation building will continue and many of our social crises dealt with. – Joanne Anderson

Mocha Panda Movement

Activator Kanyisa Booi started a youth movement called Mocha Panda. She explains what the movement is all about and what its goals are.

Mocha Panda (Youth Forward) is a sturdy show of solidarity amongst youth. Activators will conduct jam sessions throughout South Africa. Symbolically this will be carried out the Youth Month (June) up to Mandela day (18 July) marked by a 67 minute peaceful ‘Youth Attest’ walk to the Union Building. Information gathered in these jam sessions(dialogues) will be compiled into an Interactive Research, Study and Findings for Youth Development this to be handed on completion to Ministry of Performance and Evaluation Collins Chabane on the 18th of July. This will be a valuable contribution in devising an effective integrated Youth Strategy. With the South African Youth Policy being reviewed in 2014, Mocha Panda (Youth Forward) will be carving the way to a meaningful discussion document.

To stay in touch with Mocha Panda you can join the Facebook Group and follow us on Twitter.

“Civil society organisations need to prepare for new opportunities and challenges” says Activator Juzaida Swain

South African civil society – quo vadis?

In tough economic times, civil society organisations need to find new and innovative ways to cut costs, find resources and work more effectively, writes JUZAIDA SWAIN.

(First published http://reconciliationbarometer.org/newsletter/volume-eleven-2013/south-african-civil-society-quo-vadis/)

Post-1994, the tasks of confronting social inequalities and driving development in South Africa have increasingly become the work of civil society organisations (CSOs). This sector is already saddled with a mammoth task, but now also faces challenging economic and political constraints that have forced some CSOs to scale down on their activities, or close their doors altogether. According to a recent survey conducted by GreaterGood South Africa, 80% of CSOs participating in the 2012 Job Losses and Service Cuts study have experienced significant declines in funding. This has also led to increased anxiety about the future health of the sector. The downsizing and closure of several established human rights and peace-building organisations in the country has forced CSOs, as well as government, corporate and philanthropic initiatives, to re-strategise and find new funding practices and alternative models, in order to keep to their mandates in a restrictive climate.

These new challenges raise a few fundamentally relevant questions for the sector. Who should ultimately foot the bill for the crucial work carried out by civil society? How best can the different role-players face the current challenges, and achieve both the support and reforms that the country and the sector so desperately need? How best should these challenges be approached, and what opportunities and new models exist that would aid in overcoming the sector’s current uncertainties?

A look at the civil society landscape reveals that, in the BRICS economies alone, there has been a major increase in the numbers of CSOs. The Yearbook of International Organisations estimates that there are approximately 3.3 million registered non-profits in India, 338 000 in Brazil and 460 000 in China – growth in the sector is particularly pronounced in these emerging economies. With about 90 000 organisations in South Africa working across a range of different focal areas, CSOs take on a substantive role as convenors, facilitators and advocates. However, these high numbers also mean an exceedingly competitive environment and a contest for financial support that plays out across the global stage.

Given these levels of competition, as well as contracting funds from many northern state funders and philanthropic organisations in the continued aftermath of the recession, many CSOs have looked to corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives as an under-tapped source of support. According to Trialogue’s 15th edition of The CSI Handbook, South African corporates spent R6.9 billion on CSI in 2012. Many corporates, however, have not traditionally funded peace and human rights work, and in fact seem to steer directly away from these areas. There is also a general misperception that CSOs which receive corporate funding are inherently working in opposition to the state, or actively undermining sovereignty. This view has begun to change, however, and many corporates are now both active contributors to governance and economic policy processes, and stakeholders and partners to CSOs.

In fact, partnerships for sustainability between civil society and the private sector should be valued highly now more than ever, and are needed if South Africa is to achieve its developmental goals and realise solutions for ongoing peace and reconciliation work. But these crucial partnerships can only produce the best results if government is also involved in agenda-setting and joint planning. Civil society also needs to be a part of multi-stakeholder platforms if these are to lead to effective practice. Bearing these considerations in mind, formalised efforts to align strategic priorities could translate into greater impact, compared with fragmented efforts of government, the private sector or civil society acting alone. South Africa may have some of the best laws and policies in the world, but problems with implementation are principal causes of recent protest and social unrest. Particularly in the wake of the fatal shooting of protestors at the Lonmin-Marikana mine last year, integrated efforts by all stakeholders could lead to greater stability and prevent future tragedies of this kind.

New opportunities for collaboration also exist through the explosion of technology and social media use, which has revolutionised the work of many CSOs. Citizens and organisations involved in the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings, as well as initiatives such as the Right2Know campaign in South Africa, show just how powerful and effective social media can be as an advocacy and activist tool. Sceptics might question the mobilisation and advocacy capacity of organisations that work and build a following and support base primarily online, but the results speak for themselves. For CSOs working in a funding-constrained environment, this trend may increase cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and new, replicable modes of working. In fact, with such rapid technological changes afoot, it is becoming clear that organisations without a strong online presence may ultimately be left behind. Strategising and planning around these changes are critical, as is advocacy around increasing internet accessibility for those who aren’t currently connected.

Looking further into the future, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has developed four scenarios on the possible role of civil society organisations in the eventuality of failing economies and political instability. CSOs need to undergo intense and critical self-examination, and assess their roles in relation to both current and future possibilities. Those of us within the sector need to continually ask ourselves whether we are adequately prepared for worst-case scenarios, in which access to funding continues to diminish as a result of scarce resources, global competition and geopolitical uncertainty.

In a turbulent world, it is likely that CSOs will be forced to become more self-critical in order to prepare for new opportunities and challenges – not only in terms of funding practices, but also to ensure their continued relevance in ever-changing times. It is fundamentally important that CSOs begin looking now at new collaborations for sustainability, innovative fundraising and cost-saving tactics, and tests of impact and relevance, and not just simply invoice governments and corporates.

Juzaida Swain is programme officer for fundraising and strategy at the IJR.

‘Deforestation is dehumanization’ says an Activator volunteering at Greenpeace Africa

Amir Bagheri, an Activator who joined the network last year and who is currently volunteering for Greenpeace Africa, took part in an awareness campaign in Johannesburg recently that focused on the negative effects of deforestation for communities in a specific region in Cameroon.

Here, he shares his thoughts:

(originally published on Greenpeace Africa’s blog: http://www.greenpeace.org/africa/en/News/Blog/deforestation-is-dehumanisation/blog/44468/ )

In many cases we tend to separate the well-being of the environment from the well-being of ourselves as a human species, not realising that a healthy environment is connected to human dignity, and therefore is a human right.
On the 21st of March, the UN dedicated a day to the important role of forests by creating the International Day of Forests, with many events and activities all over the world.

Despite widespread awareness of the importance of forests, many are under threat. For example, Herakles Farms, a US-owned company, poses a serious danger to tens of thousands of hectares of forest in Cameroon, and the livelihoods of small farmers who depend upon it.

Herakles wants to flatten the forest to create space for a a palm oil plantation. Cameroonian and international NGOs and experts are critical of the project on the grounds of illegality, socio-economic injustice, and the environmental destruction it will cause.

On Saturday, 23rd March, an awareness event was held by Greenpeace Africa’s volunteers at Brightwater Commons in Johannesburg. It included a photo exhibition, showing photos taken in the rainforest of Cameroon.

This was my very first time as an environmental activist with Greenpeace. After four years of working as a human rights activist, I found that human rights cannot be ensured when many people across the world live in unhealthy environments that violate their human dignity, livelihoods and health.

When I arrived at the venue, about four or five volunteers were at the stall with a queue of people who were waiting to sign the Greenpeace petition calling for Herakles Farms to abandon their project. For the first time in my life, a queue shed some light into my day and energized me to spread awareness amongst all those who were interested.

Many people were utterly shocked when they found out that Herakles Farms is imposing its plantation without the free, prior and informed consent of the communities that will be directly affected. The project would also have a disastrous impact on biodiversity as well as produce millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

In five hours – and with the help of the South African public – we racked up 250 signatures for the petition against Herakles. We also handed out about 600 flyers, and spoke to countless curious people, spreading forest awareness far and wide. If that wasn’t enough, a surprise appearance by Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, left us feeling incredibly inspired.

Deforestation affects every single one of us directly and indirectly, and we shouldn’t allow any corporate projects to take away our human dignity and human rights.
Deforestation is dehumanisation. Let’s stop another tree from falling in the forest!