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What led to the creation of Project South Africa – Time for Ubuntu?

We just launched a major initiative to help South Africa dealing with rape, HIV and subsequent problems like sky high numbers of orphans. I have been asked repeatedly how I came up ith the idea and why I am so commited to “South Africa Project – Time for Ubuntu”.

I should have a one-paragraph answer ready eventually. But for now all there is, is the longer version. The following thoughts were circling in my head:

POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media has opened the door for average guys (like me) to get in front of   many people – incl. potential supporters. This allows for a bigger vision. I believe that the word “social” in “social media” has been underutilized. I hope our team can create a real success story here that can show others a meaningful way to use all the great tools at our hands.

SHOCKING STATISTICS
I read a lot and came across the latest number in South Africa. 33% of boys stated in a survey that gang raping is a fun activity to do. 40% of all high school girls stated that they had been raped. 1.2 – 1.4 million kids lost both their parents due to AIDS.

IMPACT OF RAPE
Due to my wife‘s studies in the field of depth psychology I understand the impact of rape on individuals and on society as a whole. There is no way of peaceful coexistence in an environment that violent.

NEW SOUTH AFRICA
As I became serious about the project I also started to learn more about South Africa. I learned about the term “New South Africa” and many of the amazing success stories the country had since 1994. I learned about the concept of Ubuntu and decided that this is something that South Africa has to share with the rest of the world.

OLYMPICS AS A NEGATIVE EXAMPLE
The Beijing Olympics were a very big turn-off for me. It was not an event that connected the world with the people of China. They two were kept separate. I noticed the big contrast from the 2002 and 2006 Soccer World Cups. I decided that I want to do what I can do create an environment for 2010 were people actually can celebrate without having to ignore the big white elephants in the room.

OPPORTUNITY FOR MARKETERS
I noticed how meaningless the marketing of the Olympics and much of the 2006 World Cup were.

I felt that we can provide our conceptbakery and moviebakery clients with amazing cause marketing solutions that offer them the ability to benefit & make a difference at the same time. Many or our clients are larger corporations and can be a significant funding source for our activities. We just have to come up with a plan that fits their needs.

ABILTY TO PRODUCE POWERFUL   WEB VIDEOS
I learned about the power of videos in prior campaigns dealing with sexual assault. We have one of the best web video production platforms with over 400 talented video makers at our fingertips since we created it ourselves. We have done cause videos before and I think they can play a major part – by benefitting sponsors,   creating awareness and in shifting behavior patterns.

JUST DO IT
I reached a point a few years ago where I learned that there is only one right way to act on a strong idea: Just do it.

We at conceptbakery did so at the 2006 Soccer World Cup and created the Send A Player e-card generator. As a result we were able to donate over 30k to the Salus Foundation in order to support a school in India.

We also did the same thing with moviebakery. We had the idea and just did it – without looking for outside funding and letting anyone else dilute the project.

Now the same principle applies to South Africa Project: I felt we just had to do it.

CONNECTING THE DOTS
Eventually I had the vision to put it all together.   I felt strong enough about the idea to move on with it. That led to South Africa Project and the incorporation of Ubuntu Now as a non-profit in Colorado.

I hope that shed some light into why I decided to move on with this idea.

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