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A contagion of kindness

Annual Lesedi Awards recognises some of the country’s most giving volunteers

Last week, Momentum Metropolitan announced the winners of its eighth annual Lesedi Awards, recognising some of the most deserving volunteers across the country – and beyond.

The Lesedi Awards (with Lesedi meaning ‘light’ in Sesotho) is an initiative born from Momentum Metropolitan’s Staff Volunteerism Programme (SVP) – which forms part of its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) mandate – and recognises those employee volunteers who are highly active in their communities. The winners receive prize money from Momentum Metropolitan, which is donated on their behalf to a non-profit organisation (NPO) of their choice.

Tshego Bokaba, CSI Manager at Momentum Metropolitan, explains that this year’s awards set out to acknowledge the volunteers who, over the past year, truly ‘showed up’ for those in need, creating a powerful ripple effect through their acts of kindness.

“We may think that our good deeds are small or insignificant in the greater scheme of things, but the gentle flutters generated by these actions have the potential to gain momentum, becoming powerful winds of change.

“The commitment of these volunteers, who we celebrate at this year’s awards, makes a meaningful difference in their communities. Through this selfless giving of their time, skills or money, they leave the world a better place,” she says.

In an unprecedented occurrence, a team – rather than an individual – was awarded the highly coveted Spirit of Volunteering accolade, which denotes the overall event winner. The Human Capital CSI team took home the gold for its work to uplift Blikkiesdorp, through the Blikkiesdorp Community Project.

Partnering with the LoveWay Foundation and the Seventh Day Adventist Church, this dedicated team structured a three-year plan to uplift the community, through a series of initiatives such as the back-to-school drive, setting up mobile libraries, Women’s Day celebrations, hygiene courses and a winter clothing drive.

“These events not only empower community members but also enrich their lives, having a significant and profound impact. The team’s approach involved forging strong partnerships and respectful engagement through addressing immediate needs and fostering long-term change.

“Human Capital CSI exemplifies the power of collective action and compassion. Their dedication to creating a brighter future for Blikkiesdorp is truly commendable. For these volunteers it’s not just about giving back but pursuing personal growth, changing mindsets and embodying deeper appreciation for community work.” says Bokaba.

The full list of winners:

Spirit of Volunteering
Team: Human Capital CSI

Individual Volunteer
Marileze Johannes (Sasolmed Operations)

Business Leader Volunteer
Natasha Goliath (Metropolitan Life: Human Capital)

Team Volunteer
Human Capital CSI (Metropolitan Life: Human Capital)

International Volunteer
Sadat Anwar (Metropolitan Life Ghana (Retail Marketing)

Exceptional Volunteer Champion
Clinton van Boomen (Student Segment – Momentum Health Solutions)

Most Consistent Payroll Giver

Anonymous

Most Engaged on Momentum Metropolitan Volunteers
Joseph Nukeri (Metropolitan Health)

A wide range of causes was represented at this year’s Lesedi Awards, and the charities that were supported include San Michell Independent School, training4changeS, Sri Sathya Sai Organisation, The Aryan Benevolent Home (ABH), Jesus in Action NGO, The Marshman Foundation, Sipho Sethu Art Projects, Western Cape Sport Association for the Physically Disabled (WCSAPD), Musjid ul Osmaniya, Polaris Soccer Team and more.

As Jeanette Marais, the newly appointed Group CEO of Momentum Metropolitan says: “What if each of us consistently brought our authentic selves to give more to the world than we took from it? Just imagine what that butterfly impact could be. Cynics will say that’s too idealistic, but cynics don’t create the future. Seeing the impact each of the finalists makes, I want to say: This is how we create the future.”

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