Since 2011 COPPERSTONE raised awareness, products and services; as well as funds in excess of R800 000 for various charities. NGO’s supported thus far include: Jacaranda and Louis Botha Children’s Homes, Berg-en-Dal Home, Foodbank SA, Amadea Safe house, Cansa and their TLC Homes and CHOC.
To bring about change, we will continue our charity initiatives we started with the SA Bachelor & Bachelorette competition and focus on a few new campaigns. The Humanitarian of the Year and Talent Search competitions will focus on the following campaigns:
1 Cancer Campaign: Hope Shoot
A recent study published by medical journal Lancet predicts that South Africa could see an increase of 78% in the number of cancer cases by 2030. From a global perspective, a 75% increase is expected, increasing the total incidence of all new cancer-cases from 12.7 million in 2008 to 22.2 million by 2030.
One in 26 SA women is likely to get breast cancer across all race groups. White South African women have the highest risk with one in 12 diagnosed positive, while the lifetime risk for coloured and Asian women is one in 18 and the risk for black women is one in 49. One of the biggest risk factors for breast cancer, aside from being female, is ageing. A woman of 30 has a one in 6 000 chance of developing breast cancer, but this increases tenfold to one in 600 by the time she is 50. Unfortunately you can’t do anything to stop yourself from growing older, but you can keep an eye on the health of your breasts. One woman in eight who live to 85 will develop breast cancer.
While breast cancer risk rises with age, breast cancer tends to be more aggressive when it occurs in younger women. One type of breast cancer that is especially aggressive and occurs disproportionately in younger women is inflammatory breast cancer.
In 2014 COPPERSTONE started the HOPE Shoot, a project we are very proud of. Our aim is to uplift and boost the spirits of ladies who have survived breast cancer. Once a year we invite a few very deserving ladies, to honour them and spoil them to a weekend away including a beauty make-over and a professional photo-shoot, celebrating their beauty and strength. They also do a video-shoot where they in return share their stories to inspire people currently battling the illness.
All the ladies at the HOPE Shoot always have the same advice: get tested! Regularly. Studies have found that a woman diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer has an 88% chance of cure. Diagnosed at Stage IV, the survival rate dramatically decreases with only 15% of those diagnosed surviving for more than 5 years. Regular self-examination and mammograms play a key role in the early detection of breast cancer and high risk female consumers who have a positive family history for example, should essentially undergo the procedure once a year.
We will always support the fight against cancer. For us cancer is a word, not a sentence.
2 No Bullying Campaign: Love Yourself
Our no-bullying campaign for this year is titled: “Love Yourself”. Self-esteem is how we value ourselves. It is how we value what we believe we are, to us, as well as to the world. Those who have low self-esteem do not think very highly of themselves. They believe that they have little worth and that people do not really need them in their life. We want to focus on self-esteem building and the importance of loving yourself. People who love themselves, don’t hurt other people. The more we hate ourselves, the more we want others to suffer.
Desmond Tutu said: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” Each time a bully gets away with his act, he is encouraged to do it again. This is especially true if the bully gains respect as a leader, or gains an object or reward for his bullying. This is an example of conditioning. The more often the bully succeeds the more likely he is to repeat his bully behaviour.
It is important for us to focus on both the bully and the victim. There really is no difference between the bully and the victim. Most of the time bullying has nothing to do with the victim. It’s the bully who’s insecure. If love and kindness is promoted and the devastating consequences of bullying explained and pointed out, a bully might think twice before they hurt someone else. No one has ever reached higher ground by always pushing others down.
In the past decade, headlines reporting the tragic stories of a young person’s suicide death linked in some way to bullying (physical, verbal, or online) have become regrettably common. There is so much pain and suffering associated with each of these events, affecting individuals, families, communities and our society as a whole and resulting in an increasing outcry to “do something” about the problem of bullying and suicide.
- 1 out of 4 teens are bullied.
• 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school and online.
• 8% of students stay at home on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied.
• 1 out of 5 kids admits to being a bully, or doing some bullying.
• 43% of children fear harassment in the bathroom at school.
• A poll of teens aged 12-17 found that most believed that violence had increased at their schools.
• 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
• More youth violence occurs on school grounds as opposed to on the way to school.
• 80% of the time, an argument with a bully will end up in a physical fight.
• A third of students surveyed said they heard another student threaten to kill someone.
• 2 out of 3 say they know how to make a bomb, or know where to get the information to do it.
• Playground statistics – Every 7 minutes a child is bullied. 85% of the time without any intervention at all.
Cyber Bullying Statistics
- Depending on the age group, up to 43% of students have been bullied while online. 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once.
• 35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen more than once.
• 21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.
• 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out of 10 say it has happened more than once.
• 53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person online. More than 1 in 3 have done it more than once.
• 58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.
Bullying and Cyber-bullying can be difficult, especially when it’s happening to you. Sometimes it’s the most painful thing that can ever happen. But it’s NEVER worth taking your life. Suicide is NEVER the answer. It is permanent – you can’t take it back, it hurts the people who love you, and it doesn’t solve the problem that’s hurting you. friend.
Love who you are, embrace who you are. Love yourself. When you love yourself, people can kind of pick up on that: they can see confidence, they can see self-esteem, and naturally, people gravitate towards you.
3 Literacy Campaign: The Great Escape
In South Africa 32% of the adult population may be regarded as functionally illiterate and therefore the functional literacy rate among the adult population is estimated at 68%. Reading is a foundational skill. Imagine not being able to read your science textbook or math word problems as a young third grader in a class of 60 students. Despite having inherently good analytical skills and even being able to solve math problems in your head, without knowing how to read the questions on the test or the homework from your textbook, the likelihood of you succeeding in that class is very low.
The Department of Basic Education’s figures, show that 1,100,877 learners enrolled for Grade 10 in 2014, but only 610,178 enrolled for Grade 12 in 2016 – showing an alarming rate of 44.6% of learners either dropping out of the system altogether or remaining stuck in Grade 10 and 11. Nearly a quarter (23.5%) of learners cited a lack of money as the main reason for not attending an educational institution while 17.7% reportedly fell out due to poor academic performance. This is due to weak learning throughout the system but particularly in the early years which will disadvantage them in secondary school.
Since 2016 through COPPERSTONE started to collect books and distribute them in communities and among NGO’s where we identified a need for it. More than 5000 new or slightly used books has been distributed during the past 2 years. Our economy is enhanced when learners have higher literacy levels. Effective literacy skills can or will open the doors to more educational and employment opportunities to enable people to overcome poverty and chronic underemployment.
In our increasingly complex and rapidly changing technological world, it is essential that individuals continuously expand their knowledge and learn new skills in order to keep up with the pace of change.
4 Upliftment Campaign: Disadvantaged Communities
The South African homeless population has been estimated at approximately 200,000. About 63% of young South African children live in poverty, which can affect their physical, cognitive and emotional development. Having access to the basic needs, including shelter, food, and clothing is necessary to the development of a strong community,
By providing food parcels, clothing or toiletries, or handing out gifts and snacks might just be the only good deed many will ever experience from strangers. We are always looking for ways to create sustainability of projects in these communities. While we’ve seen many charities aiming for sustainability, we are yet to see any that can demonstrate both future plans and past success in this area. Sustainability is hard to come by. But sustainable projects do exist. Our aim will always be the transfer of skills. For adults skills such as carpentry, building and plumbing can have a major impact on that community.
It is very difficult to be thankful for what you have if you don’t even have the basics. Recent studies however show that appreciation not only can be deliberately cultivated but can also increase levels of well-being and happiness among those who cultivate it. In addition, grateful thinking—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased levels of energy, optimism, and empathy. Regardless of what we have and what we don’t have, sometimes feelings of gratitude happen spontaneously. But we can also create feelings of gratitude by deliberately counting our blessings. You can build a habit of counting blessings just by paying attention each day to things you’re glad to have in your life.
In a world of so much diversity, we need to learn and understand different cultures, sexual orientations and religions around us. Those are the things that make up who we are. By celebrating and learning about each other’s beliefs, we can more fully understand their motives, their thoughts and can love them more fully. There are wonderful people and traditions throughout the world that make the world a beautiful place.
Sustainable development reflects a process that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Often called
inter-generational equality, the idea is that we should share natural resources not just with people who are alive on the planet today but also with future generations of the Earth’s inhabitants. While we can use a certain amount of the planet’s resources, we should never entirely deplete a natural resource. Sustainable development requires people to rely as much as possible on renewable resources (the kind that can be replenished) by getting power from the sun rather than power from fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas, which take millions of years to form. Besides the careful stewardship of natural resources, sustainable development promotes the eradication of poverty and extreme income and wealth inequalities, the goal of full employment, the provision of access to quality and affordable basic services to all South Africans, and the fostering of a stable, safe, and just society.
5 HIV Campaign: Project 90
World AIDS Day is commemorated on the 1st of December each year. It is an opportunity for every community to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and remember those who have died.
The theme of World AIDS Day this year was “My Health, My Right”. Launched by UNAIDS, the global theme focuses on the right to health and explores the challenges people around the world face in exercising their rights. According to Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, “All people, regardless of their age, gender, where they live or who they love, have the right to health.”
According to UNAIDS, South Africa has the largest HIV epidemic in the world, with 19% of the global number of people living with HIV, 15% of new infections and 11% of AIDS-related deaths. In 2016, there were approximately 7,100,000 people living with HIV in South Africa in 2016, with approximately 270,000 new HIV infections and 110,000 AIDS-related deaths. More staggering is the finding that more than 2,000 adolescent girls and young women are infected with HIV each week in South Africa. As such, it will not be possible to reach epidemic control in South Africa without reducing the high incidence of new infections among adolescent girls and young women. While adolescent girls and young women remain at the forefront of the AIDS, response, we should not forget about the men. In a recent report released by UNAIDS, men are less likely to take an HIV test, less likely to access HIV treatment, and more likely to die of AIDS-related illnesses than women. If current trends continue, 2030 will see 3-5 million new HIV infections among adolescents, or nearly 300,000 per year, with over 90% of these cases coming from sub-Saharan Africa.
What is needed is renewed awareness raising about HIV and AIDS. Furthermore, we need scalable and sustainable combination prevention interventions that are integrated coordinated and cost-effective on our way to achieving UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals by 2020. That is 90% of people who are HIV infected are diagnosed, 90% of people who are diagnosed will be on treatment, and 90% of those who are on treatment are virally suppressed (i.e. undetectable viral load).
The Humanitarian of the Year and Talent Search competitions will also launch our own Project 90 campaign next year, to assist organisations in the diagnosis of HIV infected people through HIV testing programs across South Africa, to focus on the first 90% goal for 2020.
6. Pet Homelessness Campaign
Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street. Homeless animals outnumber homeless people 5 to 1. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats. On top of that only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
Many landlords and body corporates in South Africa are adopting a “no pet” policy, making the hunt for pet-friendly accommodation a grim process for pet owners. Pet owners house-hunting in South Africa are increasingly forced to choose between finding a home and keeping their beloved animals. Man’s best friends are paying a high price for South Africa’s economic slump and emigration—more pets are being abandoned, or left at kennels and animal shelters and adoption rates at these shelters are falling.
This year we will act as a publicist for local shelters to assist pets finding suitable homes.