To bring about change, and be true Artists with a Purpose, means to have human values and an understanding of all human situations that we share, regardless of race , ethnicity, religion and social status. It’s working towards common human goals and ensuring we support people with respect and dignity. It requires being responsible, conscious of the circumstances of other people’s lives, and helping them on the basis of need, without discrimination.
Since 2011, through our various competitions and charity events, COPPERSTONE raised awareness, products and services; as well as funds in excess of R900 000 for numerous charities. We want our charity work to cause a ripple effect that impacts the lives of many families and vulnerable populations, starting with one person at a time.
To bring about change this year, the Talent Search finalists will focus on 5 charity 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.
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 (we like to call them cancer warriors). Once a year we invite a few very deserving warriors, 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.
Every year the HOPE Shoot makes you cry, puts your life into perspective again and give you a new meaning of what is important. Life is too short for bullshit. Cherish your family, friends and loved ones, because they are the people who are there for you. According to a renowned cancer organisation, families that were able to act openly, express feelings directly, and solve problems effectively had lower levels of depression. Direct communication of information within the family was associated with lower levels of anxiety.
Don’t treat cancer patients differently, be there for them, give them back their sense of normality, and most of all- LAUGH. In-between the tears, laughter is probably the best way to uplift any person currently battling the illness. Most people with cancer are tired of hearing all the bad news of the day, which typically upsets them even more. A gift of good news, or a good chuckle can mean the world to them, so seek out and share good news or a few funny jokes (after asking permission, of course).
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 LITERACY CAMPAIGN: THE GREAT ESCAPE
Picture this. Two parents are arguing, and their child slips away unnoticed, up to the bedroom before pulling out a book and settling down to read, becoming so immersed in the fictional world that the noise below begins to fade. In a township not far from there, a little boy just put his siblings to bed. Still hungry and faced with problems only adults should be dealing with, his only way of escaping his reality and dreaming about a better life for him and his siblings, is reading about someone else’s life to keep the hope alive.
Many authors have written books aimed at cultivating empathy and respect for others, and they talk forthrightly about elements of bullying or depict what it is like to be bullied. Reading can also be used effectively to assist in no bullying projects.
For many children, reading a book is the only way of escaping the harsh realities of their own world.
Since 2016 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 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 of the 1,100,877 learners enrolled for Grade 10, an alarming rate of 44.6% of learners either dropped out of the system altogether or remained 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.
COPPERSTONE will again do our Literacy Campaign this year, called The Great Escape. These books may just contribute in making someone else’s world a little more bearable.
3 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.
4 FOR THE LOVE OF THE ARTS: SUPPORTING THE THEATRE BENEVOLENT FUND
The Theatre Benevolent Fund exists for EVERYBODY who works / has worked professionally in the entertainment industry. Soap stars and scene shifters, ballerinas and broadcasters, circus jugglers and singers, technicians, designers, publicists, musicians, magicians, directors, producers, focus pullers and stuntmen.
They assist everyone in the entertainment industry. Film • Radio • TV • Theatre • Dance • Opera • Live Performance • Performing Arts • Circus. It’s also the ONLY welfare organisation that exists to look after the needs of the entertainment industry.
They rely completely, totally and utterly on donations to keep them going. The Theatre Benevolent Fund has been helping their fellows since 1962, and provide monthly grants for beneficiaries, contribute towards medical and hospital costs and funeral costs, help widows and dependents, and assist with sourcing wheelchairs, walkers, and ongoing medical supplies such as adult diapers.
It is not fair on older and weaker, some once-famous faces to be placed on pamphlets for shock effect. But be assured, there are some very famous people from not so many years ago who have fallen on hard times.
The TBF is a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO number 930 000 322 ), with full Income Tax exemption, which means that you can claim your TBF donations back when you fill in that dreaded tax return.
The TBF is managed and administered by a team of entertainment industry professionals, together with a professional financial adviser as treasurer, and – apart from the secretarial position, which carries a small stipend – all work done by the management team and Board is done voluntarily, without any remuneration, as stipulated by the constitution. The TBF’s administration costs are less than 10% per annum, and you can be sure that your donation is reaching the people who need it.
COPPERSTONE will appreciate your help and donations to be able to support this incredible charity organisation this year.
5 PRINCESS FOR A DAY CAMPAIGN: SUPPORTING THE PRINCESS PROJECT
The matric dance has evolved from being just a farewell party for matriculants to a red-carpet event. Pupils make sure that their dresses and suits are designed months in advance.
A custom-designed dress costs in the region of R1 800 to R2 500, while suits for the boys cost from R2 500 to R2 900. The night gives pupils a chance to feel glamorous and socialise with their friends and teachers. It also signifies their success in reaching their final year of school.
But most matriculants in disadvantaged communities can’t afford a matric dress or suit for this celebration of leaving their school years behind. The Princess Project (and now also the Prince project) allows hundreds of pupils nation-wide to look their best on the night.
This year COPPERSTONE will support this incredible NGO in assisting to make some more pupils from disadvantaged communities come true.