Casual Day Youth Ambassadors are challenging the youth of South Africa to volunteer to raise donations for Casual Day. Nicole Laxton, Khumo Moyane and Patrick Mashegwana have been volunteering for Casual Day and are already into their second campaign for the project that raises funds for persons with disabilities.
“We are celebrating Youth Day and commemorating 16 June, 2014, by issuing a challenge to young people all over the country to volunteer for Casual Day by helping organisations to raise donations for stickers and get their schools involved,” says Casual Day ambassador Khumo Moyane. Khumo volunteered last year and this year he was offered a contract position with Casual Day.
“Volunteering is a very good way to kick-start your career,” says Khumo. “It shows that you are willing to work hard and it is a way to prove your worth to future employers. I found the work really gratifying and found a home here with Casual Day. I have a position at the Casual Day office, but I will continue to volunteer in my community on my off days.”
“Casual Day is an ideal and fun way for learners to do their community service,” says Casual Day project leader Celeste Vinassa. “Whenever we have had young people out in the field selling stickers, they have always had the best time. Casual Day also relies heavily on volunteers to sell stickers all over the country. We work with hundreds of organisations in the disability sector – which means there are opportunities for young people in every city and dorp. Our ambassadors are also all volunteers and they do spectacular work in their communities. This is a national project that happens at a community level, so we need to make sure that people are reached in their home towns. We also encourage parents to get their companies on board to raise donations for stickers. Young people should call us to get hooked up with NGOs in their area.”
Casual Day is South Africa’s most successful fundraising project for persons with disabilities – and the amount raised for last year has climbed to R24.8 million. Sponsored by The Edcon Group, Casual Day is the flagship project of the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA), which this year celebrates 75 years of service to the community of persons with disabilities.
“This year we have printed 3.5 million stickers and we need everyone’s help to raise donations for these stickers. We don’t just sell stickers on one day, we must start now to make this year a success. The theme for this year is Bring out the Bling. Casual Day provides the country with the opportunity to show their solidarity with persons with disabilities, at the same time enjoying teambuilding and camaraderie with their fellow participants. It gives South Africans the opportunity to be creative and have fun while contributing to the betterment of society. It is community spirit in action and the project relies heavily on volunteers for its success,” concludes Vinassa.
Volunteer ambassador Nicole Laxton last year adopted an early learning centre for children with disabilities and spent many wonderful hours with the children, playing and dispensing hugs. She decorated one of the classrooms and arranged a donation of fresh vegetables to the centre. She volunteers to raise awareness around persons with disabilities. She has a deep understanding of what it is like to be bullied at school because she has a condition called Absence Epilepsy. She feels her achievements are defined by what she can contribute and the difference that she can make. She is very active in her own community and organised her own fundraiser for Casual Day, last year raising R47 000.
Patrick Mashegwana and Khumo Moyane call themselves Think Beyond, a philanthropic fraternity that uses inspirational rhetoric and pop culture to encourage and inspire the youth to become ambassadors of social transformation. Think Beyond visits orphanages, churches and schools to deliver inspirational speeches. “We are building bridges between the community of persons with disabilities and the society in which they live – and encouraging them to participate in Casual Day,” says Patrick.
Wheelchair-user Khumo Moyane is his charismatic co-speaker, delivering the Casual Day message with a positive attitude that is infectious and irresistible. As Casual Day ambassadors Khumo and Patrick last year visited Pretoria School, a school for children with cerebral palsy, physical and learning disabilities. It Casual Day participant and Khumo’s Alma Mater. Khumo says, “We encourage the mainstream schools to partner with Casual Day’s participating schools for learners with disabilities. That way we will get thousands more stickers sold this year.
Says Patrick, “We are focusing a lot of our time raising awareness around this project, which raises funds for persons with disabilities. We have thrown our weight behind the project because of its empowerment objectives. It is incredible when South Africans can act in unison to create a positive effect. This they do by donating R10 for a sticker and making Casual Day a memorable event.”
Remember, remember Casual Day is on Friday 5th September.
To become a Casual Day volunteer, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and speak to Judith about an opportunity in your city or town.
Casual Day National Beneficiaries include:
National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in SA
South African National Council for the Blind
South African Federation for Mental Health
Deaf Federation of South Africa
Autism South Africa
Down Syndrome South Africa
National Association for Persons with Cerebral Palsy
South African National Deaf Association
National Institute for the Deaf
Alzheimer’s South Africa
South African Disability Alliance
QuadPara Association of South Africa