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brightFuture – the campaign that encourages our children to be the change they want to see

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A friend of mine runs her own NGO. She was inspired to start her NGO a few years ago out of a deep seated desire to help others and to make a difference in the world around her. This past weekend, she went along with a bunch of her volunteers out to a squatter camp to run a soup kitchen. Saturday was a bitterly cold day in Jozi, we spent the day in doors, sipping delicious, hot homemade soup, huddled around our heater and watching movies.

The previous night I’d taken my girls to Disney on Ice where Ava had had an epic meltdown on the way home because we’d refused to buy her some ridiculously overpriced toy, she’d cried and sobbed the whole way home about how no one loves her, how we don’t like her, how she never gets anything and that we must be poor.

So while sipping our soup on Saturday I decided to address these matters with Ava and I showed her the photo’s my friend had taken during their soup kitchen and food parcel donations that very morning. I showed her photo’s of people living in shacks, of children in dirty, threadbare clothes, with no shoes on their feet in the freezing cold. I tried to teach her through the images that we are not poor, that we have so much to be thankful for, a roof over our heads, a warm bed at night, warm, clean clothes and plenty of good, nutritious food to eat.

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Image Credit – WAS Foundation – Child in Munsieville squatter camp.

Ava was devastated by the images, she was especially upset by the images of the children playing the the freezing cold with no shoes or warm clothes. She kept asking what we are doing to help these people. In her childlike way, she understood that we all have a responsibility to make a difference and to touch the lives of others, not matter how small the gesture may be.

The thing is, just like us, our children dream of a better world. They see the future with bright eyes and a belief that they can change the world, they see a world of possibilities. What better source of inspiration could we have to help create a better world? The future belongs to our children and so when Unilever contacted me to tell you all about their brightFuture campaign, I jumped at the opportunity to share it with you.

I was watching the film called “the way kids see it South Africa” on Youtube and I was so inspired by how these children were full of ideas on how to fix problems. They never once stopped to think that their idea wouldn’t or couldn’t make a difference, they just believed they could be the change they wanted to see.

It really got me thinking about Ava’s reaction’s to the photo’s from Munsieville and how she just believed that she could and would make a difference in those people’s lives. She didn’t see a problem that couldn’t be solved, she saw an opportunity to make a difference, no matter how small, in her mind, it was still a worthwhile effort.

I’d really encourage you to watch the film, brightFuture and to be inspired. You can also check out my Face Book page and my Twitter feed for more information on how you and your children can make a difference and let’s be inspired to all work together to create a better world.

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Unilever are also running a competition as part of the brightFuture campaign. Share your child’s vision & idea’s for a brighter future on Twitter and Instagram using the #brightfutureSA or upload your child’s idea to their Face Book page to stand a chance of winning one of 5 bursaries valued at R10 000 each!

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