Change Makers Celebrated and Encouraged at CPUT

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After eating an assortment of delicious appetizers and pastries at CPUT’s Service Learning Mini Conference, I decided that I may never leave South Africa. However, the food was just one of many delightful experiences found at CPUT’s conference hosted by the Centre for Community Engagement and Work-Integrated Learning.

The conference was an epicentre for movers and shakers in the greater Cape Town area, highlighted by a series of service learning project exhibits. Many of the attendees were employees of significant NPOs in the community. The conference served as a platform to inform, unify, and recognize the achievements of local nonprofit organisations and community based organisations.

The event was run by the entertaining programme director Trevor Davis and TSiBA’s very own Abe Oliver was the keynote speaker. As the guest speaker, Abe spoke about change makers in the social enterprise industry. To demonstrate the impact of social ventures, Abe gave international examples such as World Vision, Kiva, the Grameen Bank, Toms Shoes, and FashionABLE. However, the local examples seem to resonate just as much with the audience. Khayelitsha Cookies, Streetwires, the Clothing Bank, and the Amy Biehl Foundation were among the local social ventures highlighted to demonstrate sustainable change with a measurable impact.

Mr. Abe Oliver delivers his keynote address

Abe ended his lecture by posing a challenge to the audience. By citing Silulo Ul and Dalavega Creations, Abe demonstrated how TSiBA supports the community through the ignition (Entrepreneurship) Centre. He congratulated the attending NPOs’ achievements and encouraged them to strive for more by increasing sustainability in their local communities as well. Finally, Abe showed that financial constraints are not an excuse for a lack of growth since funds are available for those who seek them. For instance, UnLtd South Africaa R50K grant, but he is looking for organisations to claim it. Just as significant as money, Abe concluded that social entrepreneurs need innovation and sustainability to eradicate social issues and poverty.

Written By: Lindsey Ricker, Ignition Centre Intern


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