Make a Difference Foundation celebrates 10 years

Categories: ALL THE NEWS , Skills Development | Author: Rod Baker | Posted: 2012/11/04 | Views: 3309
Accolades from current and future business leaders.

Respected scenario-planner Clem Sunter has applauded the Make a Difference (MAD) Foundation for ‘producing pockets of excellence’, by giving thousands of bright young South African learners from under-privileged backgrounds throughout South Africa, the opportunity to obtain a good education and mentoring them to become  tomorrow’s leaders.

Speaking at the MAD Foundation’s 10th Anniversary event in Cape Town yesterday (31 October), hosted at 15 on Orange, Sunter said that South Africa needed to develop an entrepreneurial society where mediocrity was not tolerated and excellence, wherever it be found, is celebrated. 

“I’m convinced that a project like MAD is essential to us staying in the ‘Premier League’ as one of the top 59 countries in the world,” he said.

A champion’s touch
The MAD Foundation’s founding chairman, former Springbok captain and business man, Francois Pienaar, paid tribute at events in Cape Town and Johannesburg, to the many individuals and companies who’ve supported MAD over the past 10 years.  He thanked them for helping to raise millions through charity golf days, cycling events and from individual and corporate donations, to turn around the lives of more than 2,000 learners, who demonstrated the drive but lacked the means to realise their full potential.

Pienaar said he had been inspired by the late Kitch Christie to make a difference and learnt from him about the importance of giving back:  “He said to me - if you want to live a meaningful life Cappie (as he called me), you should give back. You have been fortunate.”

“MAD was formed by a group of friends who share a passion for South Africa and recognised the need to develop the next generation of leaders. We started by sponsoring one talented child’s secondary and tertiary education and most importantly mentoring and supporting them through their studies. From there it just grew and grew and over the past 10 years we have been joined by many individuals and companies who share our vision - that tomorrow’s leaders need leadership today,” said Pienaar.

Realising a dream, thanks to MAD
At the function, several of the learners currently being sponsored and supported by the MAD Foundation, rubbed shoulders with business leaders and celebrities and each paid tribute to the MAD Foundation for transforming their lives.  Said Chandré Stuurman, who has been a MAD learner since 2007 and is now completing her articles at a Cape Town law firm: “Thanks to MAD I have realised my dream.  I’m so excited to be able to study and work hard and one day I hope that I can become a MAD supporter and help others, just like you have helped me.”

In his closing remarks, Pienaar challenged South Africans to ‘pay it forward by giving back’.  “In every village and town in South Africa there’s a bright kid who needs help to get a good education and make something of his or her life.  Just imagine the impact on our country’s future if more people helped these kids realise their full potential.”  

For more information on the MAD Foundation visit www.madcharity.org

For further information, contact MAD Foundation CEO, Karien Winter on 021 464 8823; 082 395 1781 or email karien@madcharity.org 

Images:
Adrian Reddy (left), Elske Joubert, Nathi Mphindwana, Rudolf Strydom, Dewaldre Kotze, Rynard van der Westhuizen (MAD member), Deon van der Westhuizen (MAD member), Jonathan Cloete, Stefan Botha, Chandre Stuurman, Tessa Cloete, Gadaffi Nkosi and Awonke Notshinga.

Josh Hawks (Freshlyground) (left), Clem Sunter, Francois Pienaar (MAD chairman) and Peter Cohen (Freshlyground)