Social Network Fundraising – gaining ground in developing countries



nonameSocial network fundraising has been in practice in countries like the United Kingdom and the USA for many years now. It is very exciting to see individuals and groups in developing countries such as South Africa and Croatia also take up the opportunity to leverage their own networks to raise funds and awareness for their favourite causes. GivenGain provides the online tools and support to make change happen in your own community.


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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


First fireplace breakfast of winter ’13

So it’s been a really long time since my last blog post…I know. As I noticed the first snow on the mountains in the Breede River Valley (1.5 hr from Cape Town) on Sunday morning, while sitting in front of the cozy fireplace at the Dam Fine Cafe I thought now would be a good time to start writing again.

Sneeu Rawsonville

I am absolutely a summer person and fireplaces, coffee and red wine are some of the few things that keep me sane in the cold winter months. So I’m on a quest to discover quirky places with roaring fires and the hearty kind of atmosphere that warms you up from the inside. ¬†The Dam Fine Cafe is rustic yet charming, with tin mugs hanging over the fireplace and photographs portraying a different era hanging against the walls.

If you’ve recently visited a coffee shop or restaurant with a great fireplace, do share…especially if it’s off the beaten track. Here’s to more fireplace memories ūüôā

Snowy mountains behind the Dam Fine Cafe

Snowy mountains behind the Dam Fine Cafe

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Posted by on June 3, 2013 in Uncategorized


Inauguration of Table Mountain

On 2 December Table Mountain will be officially inaugurated as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Since Table Mountain has been awarded the title, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company has witnessed record numbers in visitors during December 2011 as well as January-February 2012.

This will be a very proud moment not only for Capetonians, but everyone that voted for Table Mountain. In the end the New 7 Wonders of Nature were selected by popular vote, and not by a panel.

Table Mountain as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature

Thinking back to how I badgered my friends via social media to vote for Table Mountain, how I visited schools around Cape Town to raise awareness for the campaign and working alongside others equally passionate about Table Mountain, it was all worth it! Amidst all the challenges facing us in South Africa, like the unrest in the Western Cape during the past few weeks, we should also take the time to celebrate the positive things.

The New 7 Wonders of Nature are Table Mountain, the Amazon in South America, Halong Bay in Vietnam, Iguazu Falls in Argentina, Komodo in Indonesia, Puerto Princesa Underground River in Philippines and Jeju Island in Korea.For more information about the inauguration visit the Travelwires blog.

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Posted by on November 22, 2012 in Hiking, Social media


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Out and about for Table Mountain

On 11 November 2011 Table Mountain was announced as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.  This was not an easy journey as Table Mountain had to compete with 439 other nominees.  But Table Mountain proceeded to the shortlist of 77, then a list of 28, until she made it to the final 7!

New 7 Wonders of Nature

Table Mountain sunset

To raise awareness for our South African icon, I hiked¬†up Table Mountain with¬†two groups of people – one group from Bloemhof Girls High School and Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch, and the other from the BTK (Stellenbosch University Hiking club). ¬†The students came to appreciate Table Mountain in a different way – when you’ve hiked to the top and you look across the Atlantic, you can’t help but feel that it was absolutely worth the (steep) climb.

Raising support for Table Mountain

Running for Table Mountain

I also ran from Table Mountain to Athlone, teaming up with Craig Ross from Rlabs, to raise more awareness for our mountain as well as support for Rlabs. Our support crew – the Harley guys in their sidecars, the Rlabs team in cars and Angelo on the scooter, as well as the team from Hectic 9 Nine – were fantastic! ¬†Although I got a bit ahead of myself and ended up losing the crew… not so smart when you don’t know the route to Athlone.

Thanks to some directions from the friendly people in Rondebosch and Athlone I managed to find my way to Rlabs via Klipfontein Road.  It was a bit scary being out there on my own, but fortunately Marlon Parker and Terence Hendricks found me about 3km from the finish.  After drinking some much needed water, I took on the last few kilometres.  What an amazing finish when the support crew (who had already arrived at Rlabs) went back out to support me during the last 500m.  Thank you so much to everyone who supported me during the run Рit was worth it!

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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Uncategorized


Man Down – rape and retribution

Rape, gender stereotypes and retribution – these are all themes featured in another thought-provoking video from Rihanna, this time directed by Anthony Mandler and shot in Jamaica. The opening scene shows Rihanna’s character killing a man with a revolver. The viewer is then taken back to a portrayal of the previous day – the music sets a light-hearted scene in which the female character appears to be casually roaming through the streets and playfully interacting with members of the community. ¬†The scene then switches to a club where the female character is shown dancing with a man whom she then later brushes aside. ¬†After she leaves the club though he follows her and sexually assaults her.

The lyrics in the background tell the tale of the tormented female character’s struggle with her decision to kill the man who raped her. In this music video Rihanna addresses the stereotype in Western society where a woman is normally given the blame for being raped. In a shocking report by the Simelela Centre in Khayelitsha it is shown that one the myths surrounding rape in South Africa is that a woman causes her own rape by going into dangerous areas such as bars or dangerous neighbourhoods. ¬†In the music video it appears that the male character wants to assert his power and dominance after being rejected by the female character, played by Rihanna. ¬†The video is a great conversation starter to broach sensitive topics like sexual violence against women, the myths and stereotypes surrounding rape as well as the controversial topics of justice for victims or retribution.

Rihanna commented on the music video via Twitter: “Young girls/women all over the world‚Ķ we are a lot of things!”¬†“We’re strong, innocent, fun, flirtatious, vulnerable, and sometimes our innocence can cause us to be na√Įve! We always think it could NEVER be us, but in reality, it can happen to ANY of us! So ladies be careful and #listentoyomama! I love you and I care!” ¬†Through this music video Rihanna provides a connection point for popular culture and some of the most pressing issues facing us in Western society. ¬†In our South African society where we are afflicted by one of the highest rates of sexual and gender-based violence in the world, this video could be a particularly powerful tool to start conversations around issues like rape and a culture of violence.


Table Mountain via Platteklip Gorge

Table Mountain via Platteklip Gorge

Almost at the top

About 2 weeks ago I had one of the most incredible hiking experiences. I was joined by 2 friends and we started the Platteklip Gorge route from the Table Mountain Cable Way station. The route started out fairly easy, but quickly turned into a steep climb since most of the route involves rock steps. If you‚Äôre only 1.6m tall, like me, it can be quite challenging ūüėČ

The views over the city, Robben Island and Camps Bay are absolutely worth it though. When you look down at the way you‚Äôve just come up the mountain, you get a great feeling of accomplishment – yes that’s incredibly steep, but I did it!

Table Mountain via Platteklip Gorge

Going through the crack

View of Lion's Head from Platteklip Gorge

View of Lion’s Head
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Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Hiking


GROW Academy recruits become activists for Table Mountain

Vote for Table Mountain

Grow recruits become activists for Table Mountain

The first GROW Academy recruits signed up as activists for Table Mountain on Friday 1 July.  GROW Academy launched its first week long Boot Camp on Monday 27 June at Silulo ICT Centre at Makhaza Mall, Khayelitsha.  This pilot project was initiated by RLabs, WooThemes, WebGrowth, Silulo Ulutho Technologies and GivenGain to train digitally passionate, unemployed young people for an emerging job market in the field of social media and digital platforms.  20 recruits from Khaylelitsha and Athlone rocked up on Monday, not quite sure of what to expect from this Boot Camp.  They soon discovered that it was no conventional boot camp as they were introduced to modules covering Social Media, Design and Development, Search Engine Optimisation and Crowdraising.  On Day 5 of the Boot Camp Colin Habberton, Jannie Smith and I trained the recruits about how to crowdraise via the GivenGain platform.  During this session the recruits were assisted in the process of voting online for Table Mountain.  They also signed up on GivenGain as activists for Table Mountain and pledged to get as many votes as possible.  The recruits will be raising awareness for Table Mountain by employing their newly acquired digital skills.  Since every vote gets our mountain closer to the coveted title as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, we are very excited to have the GROW Academy recruits on board.

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Posted by on July 5, 2011 in Social media