As South Africa heads into the festive season after a tough 2021, many are looking to embrace the spirit of giving to those who need help the most.
It is in this spirit that Vodacom has launched ConnectforChange, a donation platform which enables customers to donate their airtime and/or cash to a worthy cause, with the aim of connecting beneficiaries for a better future.
As part of its commitment to create an inclusive society and improve lives, the ConnectforChange platform will enable customers to make a donation via the My Vodacom App; through *103# USSD string as well as via the newly-launched VodaPay super app. Customers also have the option to make a cash donation via EFT or *Bank Deposit.
Making a donation is simple. Vodacom postpaid (contract) and hybrid (top-up) customers can make a donation ranging from as little as R2 up to R50 by adding the amount to their monthly bill, and prepaid customers can make a fixed donation of R1 or R2 which will be deducted from their airtime balance.
Contract customers have the option to make a once-off or recurring donation, while prepaid customers can donate as often as they wish for as long as they have a positive airtime balance.
The donations, which will be facilitated through an independent trust will be directed to the ConnectforChange beneficiaries. At launch, Vodacom and its trustees identified The Lunch Box Fund (LBF), an organisation which has responded to the education crisis faced by millions of South African since 2005. The LBF is the only national organisation that offers turnkey nutritional solutions as a foundation to learning across all education settings in South Africa.
“We are humbled to offer customers an opportunity to extend a helping hand through the ConnectforChange platform particularly at this time of year. The platform is launched in line with our thinking of using ‘tech for good’. By donating through ConnectforChange, everyone can contribute to helping Vodacom connect millions of South Africans for a better tomorrow,” says Melanie Forbes, Managing Executive of Consumer Marketing and Insights at Vodacom South Africa.
Customers are also able to donate their earned VodaBucks, Vodacom’s virtual currency, towards a meal hamper which will be distributed by the LBF. Situated under the Food & Household tab in the VodaBucks Store, customers are able to donate 20 VodaBucks. Plans are underway to ramp up additional opportunities and beneficiaries to expand the scope of donations.
In 2021, the LBF has reached 31,033 children in 996 schools, serving over five million hot, nutritionally fortified meals throughout the year. It also extended its reach to include Early Childhood Development centres and home-based programmes, to libraries and come-and-play buses. The aim is to support quality education for children in under-resourced rural areas.
“The work of the Lunch Box Fund is nothing short of life-changing for its recipients. Over the years, they have grown to provide either breakfast or lunch meals to over 30 654 children in 1 025 schools throughout the country,” added Forbes.
LBF offers targeted nutrition to young learners in early childhood development centres. It extends to both urban and rural pupils in pre, primary and secondary schools as well as to after-school programmes.
“This aligns to Vodacom’s ongoing commitment to connect young South Africans to education. Guaranteed in-school nutrition is critical to bolster growing minds nutrition is critical to bolster growing minds Africans to education. Guaranteed in-school nutrition is critical to bolster growing minds and bodies and provide a compelling incentive for caregivers to send children to school. When nutrition and ECD are combined, they ensure children are on track when starting school – putting them on a path for education, and a successful future,” concluded Forbes.