Lameez’s story of hope

CAPTION: Proud mother Lameez Armien with her two foster sons; twins Joshua and Jeremiah aged 15 years old. Together the three have overcome major academic challenges and have a story of hope to tell.

Lameez Armien, from Goodwood, Cape Town is an immensely proud and loving mother with an incredible story to tell of hope in overcoming major challenges. Her two sons, fostered from three weeks old are identical twins Jeremiah and Joshua.

Their poor school performance was characterised by a level 1 (not achieved) out of 4 on report cards. However these worrying results changed drastically just six months after enrolling the twins at an Edublox reading and learning clinic. Jeremiah scored a 3 (satisfactory achievement) for Maths and 2 for other subjects.

Armien suspected that her boys’ developmental progress wasn’t on par when they were still very young. This was confirmed by doctors who told her that they had been born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). When in Grade 2, both boys struggled to concentrate at school, had to repeat the year and were promoted to Grade 3 with support, which left Armien worried. Jeremiah was diagnosed with ADHD and a severe form of dyslexia. He had serious reading and spelling problems, struggled to write and remember what he had been taught.

“Jeremiah hated holding a pen so much at that time,” says Armien who would squirt toothpaste onto the basin and encourage her son to hold his toothbrush and ‘trace’ through it as though it were a pen. “I wasted so much toothpaste on that,” she says through laughs as she remembers the challenges of trying to help her son.

Armien was advised to send Jeremiah to a special needs school and that he needed to take Ritalin. “I absolutely refused to give it to him because I don’t consider that kind of medication a solution for learning problems.” She was desperate to keep both her sons in mainstream schooling and began searching for help from remedial teachers, educational consultants and psychologists with no success. Then she found out about Edublox through a Google search.

In an initial meeting Edublox educational practitioner Zainu Allie told Armien that she had never worked with children who had FAS, but that Edublox’s cognitive skills development programmes, which formed a part of a comprehensive rehabilitation programme, had helped a student who sustained severe injuries in a motorcycle accident. “I said to Lameez, if Edublox could help a person in such a condition then it could certainly help her sons, let’s try.” The twins joined Edublox in July 2010, mid-way through Grade 3. Within three months there were drastic improvements in their handwriting and ability to concentrate.

Armien, a fiercely committed and passionate mother would come home from work and spend every evening revising work together with her sons. “There were parts of their textbooks that I knew backwards,” she said. “There was no day in the term that we didn’t study.”

At Edublox classes which they attended for two and a half years they learnt foundational skills in concentration and learning which put them on the front foot for a successful academic career throughout primary school. “Edublox helps children to read, learn and achieve through multisensory cognitive training, aimed at developing and automatising the foundational skills required for learning,” says Allie. “The ability to process information is a pre-requisite for learning to take place. It’s these skills that we develop in children who have learning difficulties.”

Now the boys are in Grade 8. Earlier this year Armien was indisposed for three weeks and could not oversee their studying for exams. Although she was naturally worried for them, facing their first high school exam period, she need not have done so because both sons came home with pleasing results at the end of the term. The twins are now fully independent learners who have remained in mainstream education. “I can actually watch TV again,” she jokes adding that her sons have a different attitude to school now and can study without her supervision. “They believe that they can get good marks and that’s because they’ve got the foundations right, they had the proper cognitive skills development that they needed early on in their school career. We have experienced some major challenges together, not only at school but also emotional struggles linked to their being fostered. However, I can look back now with such relief and pride in my sons.” The boys who had ‘not achieved’ in Grade 3 now score upwards of 70% for their best subjects and have been promoted to Grade 9. For Armien, the best part of the story is that her sons never had to attend a special needs school.

Edublox are leading specialists in cognitive development with 22 reading and learning clinics across Southern Africa. Edublox offers multisensory cognitive training, aimed at developing and automatising the foundational skills of reading, spelling and Mathematics. For more information about Edublox visit www.edublox.co.za or contact 0861-EDUBLOX / 0861 338 256.

ABOUT EDUBLOX

Edublox is a reading and learning clinic with 22 centres across Southern Africa. The Edublox multisensory cognitive enhancement programmes enable learners to overcome learning obstacles such as reading, spelling and mathematical difficulties, assisting them to become life-long learners and empowering them to realise their highest educational goals. Through the various programmes, Edublox has achieved astounding results nationally and internationally as the leading specialists in cognitive development.

Say ‘no’ to food waste this festive season

The festive season, with all its glorious food is fast approaching! The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) calls on all residents to be mindful of their food spend this time of year and gives some tips on composting organic waste.

Prof Suzan Oelofse, President of the IWMSA says that South Africa generates a staggering amount of approximately 9.04 million tonnes of food waste per annum. “The majority of food waste ends up at landfill sites, which is extremely harmful to the environment as it produces methane gas, a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.”

The first step for all households and consumers is to reduce the amount of food waste they would normally generate. “Keeping a realistic grocery list is a wonderful way of keeping tabs on what you need,” mentions Oelofse. “Unwanted food that are still fit to be consumed can also be donated to those less fortunate. Composting of organic waste is another green option and wonderful for your garden, as it closes the loop of nutrients in the environmental system.”

Stuart Gower-Jackson, Senior Environmental Scientist at Jeffares & Green and member of the IWMSA, says, “We need to make every effort to divert waste from landfill sites. There are numerous benefits of composting organic waste as it produces mulch, soil amendments, organic fertilisers and blended products that can assist in saving costs such as substituting compost for chemical fertilisers.”

Organic waste suitable for composting includes garden waste such as grass, leaves, plants, branches and tree trunks. General food and wood waste can also be included as well as straw, manure, mulch, paper-processing sludge and non-synthetic textiles. Materials that are not suitable for composting includes hazardous waste such as cleaning products, pesticides, broken glass, medicine and treated timber. Painted wood and recyclable materials (glass, metal, aluminium, paper, plastics and cardboard) are also not suitable for composting.

Oelofse says, “Composting of organic waste is relatively simple and we encourage residents to set up their own composting system at home.” She indicates that it usually takes up to a year for the composting heap to fully decompose, with little turning and effort.

Here she gives some tips to start your own composting heap at home:

  1. Set out an area in your yard: The size should be approximately one cubic meter.
  2. Start mixing your waste: Mix two parts brown (dry leaves, small twigs, straw) with one part green (grass clippings, food waste).
  3. Make large pieces smaller: Cut or break any twigs and large pieces of fruit and vegetable waste so that materials can break down faster.
  4. Add water: Water your compost to keep it moist, but not saturated.
  5. Turn your compost:  Compost needs air. Turning the compost will help to break it down and will prevent it from smelling unpleasant.
  6. Rich soil: When the compost is ready, it should look and smell like rich soil. Use finished compost to feed your garden, flowers, potted plants and lawn.

“Composting is a wonderful way to keep soil fertile and helps reduce waste sent to landfill sites. We encourage everyone to start their composting garden this summer,” concludes Oelofse.

For more information on how to compost, visit www.iwmsa.co.za. The IWMSA is also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iwmsa) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/IWMSA).

Adieu AVE, we have moved on

Has your media outputs been as impactful as you had hoped it would be this year? How are you keeping track of your media coverage? As you strategise and plan for 2016, why not use this time to invest in understanding this year’s media outputs and see what can be changed to take it to the next level next year.

One of the many challenges faced by the public relations (PR) and communication industry is showing the value of all the communication efforts to the powers that be. It can be quite tricky to illustrate the return on investment because it is very seldom possible to say that a specific article or radio interview generated a certain number of sales. The overall media exposure works towards building a solid reputation, which takes time. Assuming you are strategic, with a carefully sculpted message sent through to key media, which you know will speak directly to your target audience, how do you measure the value of that article?

For years communication professionals have used what is known in the industry as the Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE). What this means is that the size or length of the article or interview is measured and the equivalent advertising value is calculated. For example, your company is mentioned in a newspaper article, the AVE is the amount you would have had to pay to advertise in that space. Many PR professionals show this AVE as the value they have generated in their monthly client reports.

Unfortunately this is not a very reliable way to communicate media outputs. It is purely a quantitative metric. It provides no insight into the quality of content and whether an organisation’s key messages were communicated. “As part of the ECCO International Communication network, we are seeing more and more of our international colleagues totally doing away with AVE measurements because it is not a credible way to illustrate media value created,” says Regine le Roux, Managing Director of reputation management and research agency, Reputation Matters.

“Understanding the quality of media coverage, be it online, print or broadcast portrays a very different picture than the mere AVE value. It gives an organisation insight into what messages the target audiences receive and enables communication teams to adjust and improve their business’ communication strategies,” explains le Roux.

“Our core focus at Reputation Matters is to provide reputation research support for the PR and communication industry, and we have developed a media analysis support service using the Barcelona Principles* as a base,” adds le Roux. These principles are a set of seven guidelines for measuring and evaluating communication; established and supported by the PR industry. The principles were agreed upon in 2010 and were updated this year to the Barcelona Principles 2.0 in Stockholm at a conference arranged by the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) and its partners.

The updated principles state that the measurement of media resulting from PR initiatives, overall clip counts and general impressions are generally meaningless.  The principles underline that AVEs do not measure the value of PR and do not inform future activity; they measure the cost of media space or time and are rejected as a concept to value communication, media content, earned media and PR.

Instead, media measurement, whether in traditional or online channels, should account for impressions among the stakeholder or target audience; quality of the media coverage, including tone, credibility and relevance of the medium to the stakeholders; message delivery; inclusion of a third party or company spokesperson; importance as relevant to the medium; and sentiment, be it negative, positive or neutral.

“The new guidelines afford the industry and profession the opportunity to be more comparable than ever before. It allows us to use the same units of measurement across media types including basic qualitative measurement units and ultimately shift thinking from perception to reputation,” says le Roux. “This evolution brings about new rules of engagement by providing an innovative framework to the measurement landscape,” she adds.

For more information on Reputation Matters and their in-depth media quality analysis, please visit www.reputationmatters.co.za or call 021 790 0208. Reputation Matters is also on Facebook www.facebook.com/yourreputationmatters and Twitter @ReputationIsKey.

* http://amecorg.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Barcelona-Principles-2.pdf

Christmas Party fun for children at St Joseph’s

St Joseph’s Home for chronically ill children in Montana, Cape Town was filled with smiles, laughter and joy when Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev)’s staff treated the children to a festive season celebration on Friday last week. Photo: Craig Wilson.

There were many smiles of delight, singing and dancing as 120 chronically ill children from St Joseph’s in Montana, Cape Town celebrated at a special Christmas party with staff from PenBev (the local bottler and distributor of The Coca-Cola Company products in the Western and Northern Cape).

The children dressed up in their favourite outfits for the Christmas Party which included a Pageant Show attended by St Joseph’s and PenBev staff. Every child was cheered on by the crowd as they paraded across the stage, glowing with confidence and pride. Then they received a goodie bag of party treats and a Just Juice to quench their thirst. Children from the occupational therapy unit entertained everyone with a rendition of Jingle Bells as ice cold refreshments were served. The party ended on a high note when everyone received an individually purchased and wrapped Christmas present from PenBev staff.

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds with life threatening or limiting illnesses are referred to St Joseph’s from State Hospitals to continue their care and rehabilitation programme. Prevalent illnesses include HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, respiratory, heart-lung-kidney failures, congenital abnormalities and neurological impairments. Most children remain at St Joseph’s for three to six months, or in special cases for a year while they undergo treatment.

St Joseph’s, which is located close to the PenBev plant in Parow, was chosen as their annual Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Christmas party project. “We are so thankful to have been able to share some festive season joy with these children who face many challenges in their daily lives,” says Denise Behrens, Corporate Communication Manager at PenBev. “It has been fantastic to work with the staff at St Joseph’s to make this a party for the children to remember.”

Thea Patterson, Director at St Joseph’s says, “We believe that every child deserves a chance at childhood and so we are thankful to PenBev for giving our children a fun-filled Christmas Party to remember – a day when each child feels special and loved.”

For more information about Peninsula Beverages, visit www.penbev.co.za or contact 021 936 5500. PenBev is also on Facebook www.facebook.com/PenBev.

Nebo Primary School celebrates the end of the year with vegetable garden opening

Learners at Nebo Primary School in Ravensmead had tons of fun at an end of year celebration hosted by Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev) and Expro. The party coincided with an event to officially open the school’s new vegetable garden which will provide fresh produce for their feeding scheme for needy learners. The garden was established by Vusulela School Makeover in partnership with The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) and TIP Technologies. Photos: Craig Wilson [High resolution image available on request.]

There were screams of delight as the children of Nebo Primary School in Ravensmead celebrated the end of a successful year with a party hosted by Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev – the local bottler of the Coca-Cola products in the Western and Northern Cape), together with Expro. A jumping castle and clown on stilts provided great entertainment for the children who kept cool in the summer heat taking turns on the water slide and drank ice cold refreshments. They enjoyed lunch and refreshments before leaving school with a goodie bag of treats and a Just Juice.

The celebration coincided with an official ceremony to thank The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (in partnership with PenBev) and TIP Technologies for their support in establishing a vegetable garden at the school. The 300 square meter vegetable garden has been fenced securely to prevent vandalism and is located next to four bright green water tanks. The tanks, each with capacity for 10 000 litres, form part of a rainwater harvesting project that has been installed specially for irrigation of the vegetable garden.

This program was funded through The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN).  Launched by TCCAF in 2010, RAIN will improve access to safe water for six million people in Africa by 2020. To date, RAIN has supported refurbishments to the water and sanitation infrastructure at Nebo Primary School in addition to the rainwater harvesting system and the vegetable garden.

Vusulela School Makeover managed the establishment of the vegetable garden. Managing Director of Vusulela, Deon Weideman said that the garden would supply fresh produce for the school’s feeding scheme. The two meals that disadvantaged children receive at school is sometimes the only food they eat each day. “It is incredibly encouraging to see the commitment and support from the school and district education department, the community and the sponsors to make this vegetable garden a success,” remarked Weideman at the official opening event. Planting of crops will begin in the New Year said Weideman.

The end of year celebration and launch of the vegetable garden was a particularly special occasion for Nebo Primary School Principal, Karin Williams who will retire at the end of the school term. Williams thanked PenBev for their support in the establishment of the vegetable garden as well as various other projects at the school, including plumbing work and renovating toilets, installing water fountains and providing a complete facelift to the school’s library.

“The foundations for a thriving vegetable garden have been laid and I know that the school will make this a success. Teachers can use the garden to educate learners about nutrition and learn to take responsibility for the plants,” she said adding that the opening of the vegetable garden was a wonderful way for her to bring her 41 year long career at Nebo Primary School to a close.

PenBev Commercial Director, John Joubert acknowledged the great contribution that Williams had made to the school. “If we can do even a little bit for your school in return for what you have done for the children here, we would be greatly humbled.”

Nebo Primary School Principal Karin Williams will retire at the end of this year, having served there for 41 years. Pictured above is Williams receiving a farewell gift from John Joubert, (Commercial Director) at PenBev.

 

For more information about PenBev, visit www.penbev.co.za or contact 021 936 5500. PenBev is also on Facebook www.facebook.com/PenBev.

Youth of Cosmo City share their challenges with Deputy Minister and community councillor

Deputy Minister of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize (left image) and 21 year old Community Health Worker Tsholofelo Kgomonngwe (right image) at Jozi Ihlomile (a Department of Health initiative), at Cosmo City Multipurpose Centre speaking at the National Children and Violence Trust (NCVT) community dialogue that took place yesterday in order to address combating violence again vulnerable groups such as women and children. [Images supplied by NCVT: High resolution images available on request]

As part of their 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, the National Children and Violence Trust (NCVT) engaged in a community dialogue at Cosmo City Multi-Purpose Centre yesterday. The event served as a platform for the youth and residents to raise local social injustices.

 

In keeping with this year’s theme for the campaign, ‘Count me in’, the NCVT Youth Choir welcomed guests with their melodic voices and sang celebratory songs to symbolise how important each community members’ involvement within their community is.

 

Deputy Minister of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, and founder of NCVT, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize joined the discussion and shared the grave social effects that abuse and violence has on the community, especially if it is unreported.

 

SAPS Warrant Officer Ramalatso of Social Crime Prevention, added concerns about the large number of withdrawn cases at the local police station, especially domestic violence related ones, and encouraged community members to join the movement in fighting against crime. “It’s a challenge and very frustrating for officials to see cases through when victims of abuse retract their statements or close the case reported due to it being doubtful or mending their relationships with their partners,” he shared. “We do everything in our power to keep witnesses safe and ensure that the process is conducted efficiently to keep them safe,” he explained. Ramalatso went on to advise the community to be more vigilant and safe during the festive season as violence and crime rates increase during this time.

 

“The law should protect women and children against violent crimes so that they don’t lose their femininity and dignity,” said Mkhize as attendees observed a moment of silence for the women who have lost their lives to violence.

 

Taking to the podium and representing the youth of Cosmo City, 21 year old Community Health Worker, Tsholofelo Kgomonngwe, shared challenges that she felt the youth of her community faced, specifically touching on unemployment and education. “When we are unemployed or robbed of opportunities, we turn to violence, prostitution or substance abuse out of frustration,” said Kgomonngwe. “We plead with our government to help combat nepotism and unfair appointments of officials across the board. We believe that these are the primary contributors to the increasing unemployment rate and want to rectify this in order to give the youth of South Africa a fair chance in building our beautiful and diverse country up to the potential we know that it has,” concluded Kgomonngwe.

 

The day ended on a solution-based approach as members of the Service Providers Forum (SPF) encouraged dialogue with the guests.  Attendees alerted the panel to issues ranging from service delivery to local economic development in Cosmo City. Community members and the youth were mostly advised to equip themselves with knowledge about activities and opportunities available locally and were directed to the Community Liaison Officer or Local Municipality for more information.

 

“We are nearing the end of our 16 Days of Activism Campaign and as we reflect on the year, we are extremely satisfied with all of our community outreach programmes conducted  thus far. We definitely won’t stop here and will continue to offer support to as many victims of abuse in Gauteng as we possibly can,” concludes Bridget Seabi, NCVT Social Worker.

 

To make donations or volunteer towards NCVT causes, the public can contact ncvtprojects@iafrica.com | +27 11 705-1960 | 079 390 1775. For more about NCVT, please visit www.ncvt.co.za.

Deputy Minister celebrates World AIDS Day with Gauteng crèche

The National Children and Violence Trust (NCVT) volunteers, together with Deputy Minister of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Hlengiwe Mkhize (in pink) and the community of Diepsloot, celebrated World AIDS Day yesterday at Mompati Crèche in Diepsloot EXT 13. [High resolution images available on request]

Deputy Minister of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Hlengiwe Mkhize,was welcomed to a World AIDS Day celebration yesterday at Mompati Crèche in Diepsloot. As part of their 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, and encouraging a 0% HIV/AIDS new infections rate the event was co-ordinated and hosted by the National Children and Violence Trust (NCVT) in conjunction with New Start, South Africa’s largest non-profit HIV prevention programme.

 

The Deputy Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize inspired guests to look for solutions within the community to combat HIV/AIDS. She also encouraged community members to register co-operatives (co-ops) to help develop and uplift the community in which they are living. “The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services aims to leverage off of different channels of communication to promote awareness and encourage prevention of the spread of the disease,” said Mkhize.

 

New Start was on site demonstrating how to use different contraception methods, including the newly introduced female condom. The non-profit organisation (NPO) shared the importance of consistent HIV/AIDS treatment to extend one’s life expectancy. “Parents attending the event were also encouraged to disclose their children’s HIV status to their educators as this information could save another child’s life,” said Bridget Seabi, Social Worker at NCVT.

 

During the session, attendees raised concern as to what to do if their partners did not want to be tested. In response, members of NCVT and New Start emphasised communication between partners and offered voluntary HIV/AIDS counseling and testing.

 

“We are grateful to everyone who took the time to come and commemorate World AIDS Day with us. NCVT provides counselling to survivors of gender-based violence and child abuse in Diepsloot and other communities; we were very happy to visit Mompati Crèche in order to help educate and equip community members with much needed information to help combat social issues such as HIV/AIDS,” said Seabi.

 

To close off the event on a healing note, NCVT Senior Social Worker, Judith Mthombeni, led the candle lighting ceremony in remembrance of those who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

 

The NCVT invites the youth to attend a Community Dialogue at Cosmo City Multi-purpose Centre tomorrow, 03December 2015 as part of their 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. Surrounding NGOs are welcome to join forces with the NCVT to help reach out to more people. Food parcels and other basic necessity donations are welcome.

 

To make donations or volunteer towards NCVT causes, members of the community can contact ncvtprojects@iafrica.com | +27 11 705-1960 | 079 390 1775. For more about NCVT, please visit www.ncvt.co.za.

Festive season fun for the whole family at the Waterfront

There’s fun for the whole family at the Waterfront this festive season where Zip Zap Circus School will be entertaining young and old with free performances every afternoon at 4pm, 14 – 20 December 2015 and 13 – 16 January 2016. [High resolution image available on request]

As the holiday season approaches be sure to include a trip to the V&A Waterfront in your plans where you can catch a free Zip Zap Circus School show, every day at 4pm, 14 – 20 December 2015 and 13 – 16 January 2016.

Youngsters from the non-profit organisation will be showing off their incredible talent at the Waterfront’s amphitheatre in an action-packed show suitable for the whole family. Watch Zip Zappers juggling, jumping, climbing and high energy comedy acrobatics that will leave you amazed and inspired. Performances on trapeze, fabric, ring, mini trampoline and unicycle are just a taste of what spectators can look forward to.

Zip Zappers will also be performing at the Waterfront on New Year’s Eve. Various circus acts at different entertainment zones around the Waterfront will add to the carnival atmosphere at the biggest New Year’s Eve party in the country. Across the Waterfront thousands of party goers will be entertained by Zip Zap performers and live bands as they count down to the New Year and a spectacular fireworks display at midnight.

Zip Zap provides free circus training to children from all backgrounds. Co-founder and Director, Laurence Estève says, “Zip Zap offers a fun and rewarding alternative for youngsters. While the temptation exists for many youth to make wrong choices we encourage Zip Zappers to dare to dream, and turn those dreams into a reality with hard work and determination. Our shows at the Waterfront are a true celebration of how Zip Zap has changed lives and impacted communities in greater Cape Town. We are proud to showcase our rainbow nation.”

If you wish to support Zip Zap’s Circus school and continue to change lives, visit http://igg.me/at/ZipZapAcademy/x/9178647 to find out more about their fundraising campaign to build a new academy.

For more information about Zip Zap visit www.zip-zap.co.za Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/zipzapcircus.

Five tips for maximising your marketing spend in 2016

There is a global trend towards being more socially conscious; active consumers define themselves in part through brands, and yet believe they have a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society.* Purpose-driven marketing is, therefore, as important for agencies and marketers as it is for consumers. Michael Baretta, founder and Managing Director (MD) of [dot]GOOD, shares five essential tips on how to maximise your marketing spend, while at the same time making a positive impact for people and the planet. When planning your marketing initiatives for 2016, why not consider these five guidelines and bridge the gap between the greater good and the bottom line?

 

Creativity in marketing drives brand growth – companies these days need to be more innovative and engaging in order to stand out and be noticed in our constantly connected and over stimulated world. Corporate Social Investment (CSI) is no longer simply about putting aside a portion of your annual budget and then giving the money to a charity or cause close to your heart. These days, there are highly innovative ways to marry marketing and CSI in such a way that you are not only creating sustainable change in the community you wish to support, but also creating real value for your company, in terms of earning B-BBEE points, driving sales, building your brand and marketing your service or product – to name just a few.

 

At the forefront of innovative marketing and CSI strategies, is [dot]GOOD. This leading for-good marketing company is built on a philosophy of socially-conscious marketing that leads to better communication, better relationships, better business, and ultimately, a better world.

 

Founder and MD, Michael Baretta, shares five tips on how to select smart marketing projects that bridge the gaps between ‘doing well’ and ‘doing good’.

 

  1. Impact Matters: There is a global trend towards sustainability. Giving back is not simply about giving, but rather about creating sustainable change; making a tangible impact on the community. Combining your marketing and CSI efforts pools resources and creates a sustainable change in the community you wish to support while creating real value for your company.
  2. Family Matters:  When considering a marketing and CSI campaign, think further than the immediate beneficiary – ask how the initiative can extend to their family.
  3. Community Matters: Always look for strategies and activities that will have a positive sustainable impact on the broader community.
  4. Connectivity Matters:  Companies need to embrace marketing strategies that are focused on two-way communication. It is vital to connect with your customers and beneficiaries on a human level – today’s beneficiaries could be tomorrow’s consumers. Also important is that you involve and inform your stakeholders of what you are doing in the community – this includes staff, consumers, clients and the media.
  5. Context Matters:  In a world where consumers are bombarded with hundreds – if not thousands – of messages every day, it’s important to consider when, where and how your message is being delivered. How can you deliver your message in such a way that it stands out, encourages personal interaction and aligns to your brand’s voice?

A recent example of socially-conscious, smart marketing is a project undertaken by [dot]GOOD in partnership with the Imvula Education Empowerment Fund, a 100% black-owned broad-based trust that facilitates the education of promising underprivileged youth at the fund’s Maharishi Institute.

 

[dot]GOOD selected and trained a group of students to participate in a long-term, volume driving campaign to promote the full range of Tastic products and build long-term relationships with its consumers.

“The collaboration between [dot]GOOD and the Imvula Education Empowerment Fund constitutes a virtuous circle,” says Baretta. “Practical training was provided to the students in a real-world situation, while at the same time, giving Tastic products a sustainable and financially advantageous brand-building solution – a great example of a true win-win situation.”

 

The umbrella campaign gave the Tastic brand an opportunity to comply to B-BBEE requirements and reach sales objectives, while at the same time contributing to the learning and skills of the participating Maharishi students.

 

“This partnership demonstrated how B-BBEE can be used to achieve business objectives, while also creating positive change within the community,” said Maharishi Institute founder, Taddy Blecher.

 

For more information about [dot]GOOD contact 011 447 0427 / info@dotgood.co.za or visit http://www.dotgood.co.za/. Join [dot]GOOD’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/dotgoodmarketing.

*From Obligation to Desire: More than 2 Billion Aspirational Consumers Mark Shift in Sustainable Consumption,” BBMG, http://bbmg.com/news/obligation-desire-2-5-billion-aspirational-consumers-mark-shift-sustainable-consumption/.

Novus Holdings setting the pace with reducing carbon emissions thanks to Sustainable Heating

Paul Gorremans, Founder of Sustainable Heating (left), explaining the Biomass Steam Plant’s process to Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities and Peter Metcalfe, Novus Holdings Group Executive: Sales, as well as guests around the impressive new Biomass Steam Plant at Novus Holdings in Milnerton that was launched yesterday (30 November 2015). This is the ideal example of green innovation. The biomass facility will see an approximate 218 000 tons of carbon reduction over 15 years. [Photographer: Johnny Miller]

Renewable energy company, Sustainable Heating, has launched their newest Biomass Steam Plant yesterday, 30 November 2015 at Paarl Media Cape in Milnerton, Western Cape. By using renewable energy in their print facilities, the print leader will witness a staggering amount of electricity and carbon emission savings.

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde attended the grand opening of the impressive biomass steam facility at Paarl Media Cape, the flagship plant of Paarl Media, known as the print division of Novus Holdings. Novus Holdings prides itself on its environmentally sound business practices focused on delivering the highest quality work with the least impact on the environment.

“At Novus Holdings, we do business the sustainable way and take into account energy costs. With constant electricity tariff increases and load-shedding occurrences, the Biomass Boiler reduces production costs in the long run and creates a buffer against electricity inflation, while working towards creating a neutral carbon footprint in developing steam for our gravure press,” says Peter Metcalfe, Novus Holdings Group Executive: Sales.

The steam plant is constructed, owned and managed by renewable energy company Sustainable Heating, their third installation in South Africa.

Paul Gorremans, Founder of Sustainable Heating mentions that there are numerous benefits of the newly constructed biomass steam plant, which operates on woodchips as opposed to fuel or paraffin. “Through the biomass facility, we will see an approximate 218 000 tons of carbon reduction over 15 years. The plant is 85 – 90% energy efficient, with fuel only being used to transport the woodchips.”

Their facility at Paarl Media Cape took a mere 17 weeks from inception to completion – a great achievement for Gorremans and his team. “It is a team effort, at one point there were 120 workers per day on the construction site to complete the facility.”

The company, who is funded by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Mergence, has long-term agreements with sawmills, pallet factories and manufacturers with wood offcuts. “We have a strong untreated wood supply and the efficiency of our machines keep the emissions at the lowest,” says Gorremans. “The wood ash produced by the plant can also be easily reused to make bricks and is acceptable for composting.”

Through this Biomass Steam Plant, Sustainable Heating has created over 12 permanent jobs such as boiler artisans and operators, managers, general helpers, drivers and waste handlers. Each installation supports local entrepreneurs in various fields ranging from waste handling to engineering.

The facility is completely owned and managed by Sustainable Heating where they sell the steam output to Paarl Media Cape for their print manufacturing.

Through this model, Sustainable Heating’s clients experience massive savings in electricity, fuel and carbon emissions. All steam plants can be controlled remotely from a computer or laptop enabling the Sustainable Heating team to tend to any problem, anytime, anywhere.

All businesses who need heat output can benefit from biomass boilers, including hospitals, fisheries, dairy plants and chemical processors. “Our team is striving to do better and be better and we are aiming to complete our next project in nine and a half weeks,” concludes Gorremans.

For more information on Sustainable Heating, please visit www.sustainableheating.com or contact Paul Gorremans on 072 657 6736.