Going Wild and Swipe for Conservation

Words: Liquidlingo Communications

Every year thousands of local and foreign tourists answer the call of the wild and visit South African game reserves and national parks. There is nothing like going on safari - whether you’re roughing it in some remote camp or enjoying the comforts of a private game reserve.

Seeing animals in their natural environment, both large and small, is a thrilling experience and tourists travel great distances every year for the chance to do so. Recently announced tourism figures indicate a 10.2% increase in foreign arrivals for the period January until October 2012, outstripping the global rate of about 4% as estimated by the UN World Tourism Organisation. The numbers also affirm the South Africa’s reputation as a wildlife destination.


At the same time the challenges of protecting our wildlife are an everyday reality. The slaughter of rhinos makes nearly daily news while the African wild dog and Mountain Zebra are just two of the various species currently on the endangered list. Several existing projects dedicated to the conservation of indigenous species, habitat protection, research, breeding and rehabilitation need ongoing financial support. The sustainability of wildlife tourism pivots around the continued conservation of our natural heritage.


Fortunately, through the MyPlanet programme, South Africans have the opportunity to contribute to the protection and conservation of our wildlife without it taking any of their time or costing a cent.


Simply sign up for your free MyPlanet card, select a wildlife cause as beneficiary and get involved today by swiping your card every time you shop at a participating retailer. A number of beneficiaries engaged in protecting our natural heritage form part of the MyPlanet programme: Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Rhino Fund, the African Raptor Trust, SANParks Honorary Rangers, The Ajubatus Foundation, BirdLife SA or The Centre of Rehabilitation of Wildlife, FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, CROW (Centre of Rehabilitation of Wildlife) and Wildlife ACT.


The MyPlanet card can be swiped when purchasing at Woolworths, Engen Food stops and Quick Shops, Toys R Us, Waltons, Reggie’s and selected Supa Quick, Jack’s Paint & Hardware stores, Altech Netstar and on-line at kalahari.com. It is the most convenient way to support a cause you care about. With every swipe of the card a portion of the transaction value is allocated to the beneficiaries of your choice and up to three can be added.


Give real meaning to your love of the wild by using the power in your pocket to actively support wildlife conservation. And when you’ve signed up your MyPlanet card and/or wildlife beneficiary, encourage others to do the same when you next post your safari images by joining our conversation on Facebook.com/MySchoolSA and Twitter @MySchoolSA.


You can sign up for a MyPlanet card at any Woolworths store or for more info or online applications visit www.myschool.co.za or call 0860 100 445.


Additional Background Info

About MySchool

MySchool acts as a channel that raises and delivers essential funding to schools, charities and environmental organisations in order to improve education and social development or contribute to animal welfare or environmental causes in South Africa. This enables members of the community to participate in the future development of our nation in a sustainable way. The programme gives parents, as well as community- and environmentallyminded individuals, a vehicle through which to make a meaningful contribution to participating organisations, in a convenient and transparent manner. It is not a donation service, but a true partnership between charities and business partners.


How MySchool works

MySchool facilitates school support on behalf of a range of business partners who have a specific interest in education. The fundraising programme is a partnership between business partners, consumer supporters and schools; all striving to create a better future for learners in South Africa. Approximately 600 000 parents and community-minded individuals have MySchool supporter cards. Supporters use their MySchool supporter cards whenever they transact with one of the MySchool business partners. A small percentage of their transaction – up to 5 percent – is then allocated to their beneficiary school or charity. All these transactions are recorded and a statement is sent to individual supporters on a monthly basis. The supporter card is not a debit or credit but serves as a measure through which valuable supporter data, such as transactions and funds raised for a particular school, are tracked.


In addition to channelling funds to schools and organisations, the system also promotes developmental initiatives in under-resourced schools in conjunction with business partners. These initiatives are aimed at bringing much-needed resources to these schools, and starting partnerships with more affluent schools and business partners. Some initiatives include a twining model whereby a resourced school partners with an under-resourced school with the aim of aiding the school’s development, as well as multi-partner projects such as the Toys R Us donation station and stationery collection drives for our Thuso Schools.


MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet

While originally the MySchool programme was exclusive to schools and only schools could sign up as beneficiaries, the programme has been extended to include charitable organisations and other worthy causes. MyVillage organisations are charities that care for people; MyPlanet organisations care for animals and the planet.