With the Hype around the Global Citizen festival growing, event organizers say they are happy with what they have achieved since the announcement that the music festival will be taking place on the 2nd of December at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg.
Since the announcement of the festival earlier this year, a number of eager attendants have taken to the campaign trail in efforts to win tickets. This after festival organizers made it clear that one of the only ways people would be able to attend the event was through their efforts of good deeds.
Global Citizen Vice President of Global Policy and Government Affairs, Michael Sheldrick says they are extremely satisfied with some of the work they have seen people embark on.
“Since we announced the Global Citizen Mandela 100, and the lineup in July, we have seen hundreds of thousands of people sign up to become Global Citizens. Not just in South Africa but in Southern Africa and the region as a whole… We have seen this tremendous growth in the movement. And collectively, since July, they have taken over four million actions, we have also seen a lot of offline actions as well.”
Sheldrick further expressed that the campaigns for good deeds have truly overwhelmed the organization. He highlights that the campaigns have not only challenged various governments but have seen corporates step up their efforts to eradicate poverty and inequality. When probed over which of the campaigns have raised the eyebrows of the event organizers, without a flinch Sheldrick was quick to point out the #ItsBloodyTime campaign as one of the shining stars.
“Indeed, the It’s bloody time initiative is the top performing campaign we have seen throughout the last few months. And what it is, is a collection of advocates calling for the government to provide access to sanitary pads and napkins for free in no fee government schools across the country.
Sheldrick highlights that this campaign is by no means propagated by Global Citizen, in fact this initiative has gathered traction merely because of its relevance in the country. Instead as an organization their involvement with the #ItsBloodyTime campaign is that they have shared it with government and have challenged President Cyril Ramaphosa that on the day of the concert the South African government should make a commitment to dealing with the issues raised in the initiative.
“ We have shared this with government, weve said by the way when you look at the actions that’s had the most traction – this campaign, It’s Bloody Time, you need to respond to this. We’ve said to President Ramaphosa’s team that come December 2nd there is an expectation for you to respond and address this campaign,” says Sheldrick.
Although much of the campaigns centered around Global Citizen were online initiatives, there was also a vast number of offline success stories. Some of which will bear results that will be far reaching. A number of campaigns centered around education were very interesting.
One of which was the work done by the Kagiso Trust – which has partnered with Global Citizen. Through their Youth Resilience programme, both organizations have worked together in efforts to equip young people based in Qwa-Qwa, Free State, with life skills that will assist them to overcome their circumstances which center around poverty.
Kagiso Trust’s Angelinah Mdakane says their projects are designed to assist the learners as much as they possibly can.
“In the schools were we work we encourage learners to come up with projects that will then assist them. One of the problems that they had is that in the schools they don’t have laboratories. Where we have just provided a laboratory, the learners come together and they taught one another on how to use life sciences and physical science equipment in preparation for their matric exams.”
The Initiatives seen in the education sector not only focused on learners, but also looked to further empower teachers. One such was the Global Teachers Institute which has also become among the shining stars of the Global Citizen campaigns.
Having recently hosted a summit which brought together more than 500 educators and student educators from South Africa, the Global Teachers Institute has through their recently launched #GTIMandela100, challenged teachers to create lesson plans focused on future schools, and they need to commit to a social responsibility cause outside of the classroom.
Sindiswa Lehutso, who heads Partnerships and Development at the Global Teachers Institute, says the collaboration with Global Citizen fit like a hand to a glove.