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Special Projects

Robben Island Museum

robben Island

Connecting visitors to the Robben Island experience

MTN SA Foundation is pleased to partner Robben Island Museum (RIM) to help present this world heritage site and tell its stories. Through this initiative creative and digital experts have been engaged to bring life to this South African historical site. Indeed, in RIM we have found a new partner which, like MTN SA Foundation, is committed to preserve and revitalise our country’s history and heritage.

While recent memory will continue to associate Robben Island with the imprisonment of political activists, its history is more than that. The new website will give visitors many facets of this history, irrespective of where they could be in the world. The main aim is to enhance the Robben Island visitor experience in a digital form, to help present a balanced, holistic and inclusive narrative. Visitors will also experience a virtual tour of the island with the click of a mouse.

Apart from such special projects, MTN SA Foundation is actively involved in ICT, education, health, and arts and culture developmental initiatives.


White Door Centres of Hope

White DoorCenter

Partnering against gender-based violence

Over the past five years the MTN SA Foundation has developed a strong association with the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign which runs annually from the 25 November to 10 December, partnering with government in its support of various initiatives that raise awareness of gender-based violence and the abuse of children. In 2013 the Foundation made the decision to focus its support specifically on one project that can make a lasting difference and offer a sustainable solution to the victims of gender-based violence.

The Foundation has proudly partnered Eastern Cape Provincial Government, Department of Social Development and Special Programmes in opening the four White Door Centres of Hope (WDCH) in the Eastern Cape.

Under the leadership of MEC Dr Pemmy Majodina, the first WDCH was opened in 2011 in Tholeni village outside Butterworth in response to a spate of gender-based violence that saw 17 women and children being killed in the area since 2008. The project looks for spaces in the community that are not being utilised and can be renovated by the Department as places of safety for victims of gender- based violence, and in some cases members of the community have opened up their homes. These homes are intended as short-term safe centres where victims can access counselling, first aid, overnight clothes and accommodation while awaiting further assistance from the police, doctors and social workers. The centres are managed by NGOs in the community with the support of South African Police Service and Department of Justice.

The first such house was pledged by Tholeni resident, Nomfundiso Mpontshane, who was given training in counselling and has since seen a number of women and children pass through the centre.

The MTN SA Foundation aims to ensure that these centres are fully equipped to take in women and children and make their stay as comfortable as possible. In each of the four centres the Foundation has provided furniture and office equipment, including telephones and computers, where NGOs can record statistics needed by the Department.

Through this partnership the Foundation wants to see many more Centres fully operational by 2015.


SANAA Africa

MTN SA Foundation was a proud sponsor of the 2013 SANAA Africa Arts Festival. This is an African cultural festival endorsed by the City of Johannesburg, and held in partnership with the Wits School of Arts. The idea behind the festivities was to create an event that exposes a cross section of Africa’s talented and multicultural heritage which incorporates visual art, craft, song, dance, theatre, poetry and film. The 2013 festival took place at the WITS Theatre and other venues around Johannesburg from 23 to 26 May.

“SANAA” means to create from your heritage (in Swahili), which poetically sets the theme and tone for the event. It is acceleration of the creativity of the African continent by means of a platform for artists to showcase their work to the public and art sector. The event is positioned to elevate the status and appeal of creative expression in this country and beyond


Mandela Day

Since Mandela Day was launched, MTN SA Foundation has co-ordinated Mandela Day campaigns on 18 July each year. The idea is to build on the developmental work established by MTN employees during the 21 Days of Y’ello Care campaign. For the purpose of ensuring sustainability of the Y’ello Care projects, MTNers around South Africa are encouraged to participate in the 67 minutes of action on Mandela Day by revisiting the projects initiated during the Y’ello Care Campaign and adopting new projects to give back more to communities where MTN operates. Various Mandela Day initiatives are co-ordinated annually by selecting needy schools as a beneficiaries.


Mandela Day 2013

Although Mandela Day is commemorated in all regions where MTN leaves a footprint, the highlight of the 2013 Mandela Day was the handover of prefabricated classrooms at Vredesvallei Primary School in Kakamas, Northern Cape Province. Additional donations includes equipments such as water cooling system, fridge, desks, tables, chairs, software CAPS educational aid for the computer centre that MTN SA Foundation installed in March 2013, vinyl, electric wiring, chalk boards, stationary, books and so on. This was a big event where community members, particularly 100 elderly received blankets donated by MTN. As a result of poverty in the area, majority of learners are a ‘granny-child’. They are being looked after by grand-parents and some of them are from orphaned and vulnerable homes. This Mandela Day, MTN did not only make an impact on infrastructure development of the school, but had addressed holistic needs of learners. We successfully enabled learners to enjoy an environment where they could come to school and focus on learning and not worry about where they are going to get their next meal or a sip of water when the heat is unbearable in summer.


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The MTN 16 days of activism & awareness exhibition

While the MTN SA Foundation’s core focus has been education and socio-economic upliftment of communities through ICT, we recognise that there are other initiatives deserving of our support that align with MTN’s position as a caring company. Many of these projects allow us to make a contribution to priorities of national importance that benefit the broader South African community. Amongst others, priorities that include an awareness of the HIV/Aids epidemic and acting against gender based violence and child abuse.

In September 1997 MTN decided to support South African artists. This marked the beginning of what was to become a leading corporate collection of South African and African art. Almost 18 years later the Art Collection now comprises some 1,500 African and South African works, by African artists across the continent and abroad in most of the currently explored mediums.

With this diverse collection the MTN SA Foundation has initiated many arts CSI projects since 1998; training, publishing, awards, national touring exhibitions and internal in-house exhibitions and displays at MTN’s head offices; such as the current MTN Activism & Awareness Exhibition, specially curated by the MTN SA Foundation, for staff to participate in 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence and child abuse - which started on 25 November 2015 - and raising an awareness of HIV/Aids from the 1 December 2015.

The MTN Activism & Awareness Exhibition allows an opportunity for staff and visitors at the 14th Avenue Campus to engage with artworks that form part of two collaborative portfolios namely - Break the Silence and Proud Survivors, produced between 2000 - 2004 by South African and international artists. The Break the Silence portfolio of prints speaks to raising awareness about the worldwide HIV/Aids epidemic, while the Proud Survivors body of works acknowledges women not only as victims of gender-based violence but rather as survivors.

For this in-house exhibition, the MTN SA Foundation is proud to have partnered with Artify in presenting staff and visitors with a downloadable smartphone app which allows the viewer to scan a QR Code from the label next to each artwork on display which then avails instant access to information and images of those artworks as well as background and images of the artists. The app also allows the viewer to comment and share views of each artwork with colleagues, friends and family.

The exhibition will be installed on the link bridge and gallery on level 2 phase 2 at the Innovation Centre and is open for viewing from 25 November 2015. We invite you to view, engage, experience, reflect on and share in MTN’s Activism & Awareness campaign.

click here to see artwork.


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