Imagine a world where we could capture people's intentions to do good, while transferring skills to the youth. Where local communities become involved in local causes, connecting, sharing skills and time, voluntarily investing their time into society through a cause they believe in.
In South Africa, we celebrate Mandela Day, where everyone is encouraged to volunteer 67 minutes to a cause, symbolic of the life Mandela led, and to ‘’push forward’’ some of the admirable values he stood for.
A training session for community based nonprofit organisations, where organisations signed up and created volunteer opportunities for youth in their local communities.
my hands and heart provides young people: skilled or unskilled, unemployed or employed with access to quality opportunities for exposure, growth, experience and personal development. Through acts of volunteerism youth will not only make a meaningful contribution to society, they will also learn new skills, gain valuable experience, develop meaningful relationships, and are exposed to further opportunities. These volunteer opportunities can also be viewed as stepping stones to formal employment, a study in the US found.
An example of the automated text message which a volunteer receives, once accepted for a volunteer opportunity.
As a project of the Cape Town Global Shapers Hub, my hands and heart was able to draw on the skills and resources of various members of the Hub and the Global Shapers network. In developing the platform, Shapers skilled in product conceptualization and software development from the both the Cape Town and Tunis Hub assisted in getting the platform going. The networks of the Shapers were also used to identify organizations in order to share opportunities as well as databases of young people to join the platform. “my hands and heart showed us that the best way to leverage the Global Shapers community was to identify the skills and inputs required at various stages of the project and pull in the best suited Shapers to assist with very specific requirements within their field of expertise,” shared Rapelang Rabana, Curator of the Cape Town Hub.
The widening gap between the established economy and young people creates social instability. The Cape Town Global Shapers Hub believes that creating opportunities and platforms for greater interaction, sharing & engagement builds social cohesion. “It is a model we aim to roll out with a variety of organizations including corporate companies who are already supporting nonprofits, to deepen the impact in all communities within South Africa and then Africa.” Adds Duncan Luke.
Duncan Luke (@duncanluke_) is a member of the World Economic Fund's Global Shapers Cape Town Hub (@ctglobalshapers).