CEO SleepOut is a charity known as the most successful single philanthropic venture in South Africa. The event, which was launched in 2015, is championed by Sun International and has had some of the top South African business leaders, like Gavin Varejes as participants.
What Happens at the CEO SleepOut?
South African leaders and influencers spend a chilly winter’s night on the streets to raise funds for the less fortunate. The 2016 event had 168 registrations from C-Suite Members from a variety of industries. The participants join in various activities to ‘win’ items like sleeping bags, food and blankets to make their night bearable. The following day the items are donated to homeless people. Even the shacks that are used to host the various activities are handed over to local communities in need.
CEOs Fundraising Through the Night
Much like the previous year, the 2016 event was a great success. Every CEO who participated did his/her part in order to collect funds for vulnerable local communities and raise awareness to homelessness. Nonetheless, a number of CEOs stood out as being the participants who raised the most funds at the event. These CEOs were Executive Chairman of Richmark Holdings Gavin Varejes, joint CEO of Blue Label Telecoms Brett Levy, and CEO of Northam Platinum Paul Dunne.
Additional Help from the CEO SleepOut
The selected beneficiaries and the local homeless were not the only ones to benefit from the event. The activities also helped several schools, companies and education institutions through initiatives to collect food, clothing, technology, books and stationery. Beneficiaries included TLC Orphanage, St. Anne’s Home, Daily Bread, The Inner City Mission and Usindiso Ministries Women’s Shelter.
General Impressions from the Event
Pravin Gordhan, the South African Minister of Finance, spoke about the CEO SleepOut event as being a mechanism for building social consciousness. Brett Levy, joint CEO of Blue Label Telecoms, spoke about how it would be easier, yet less effective, to simply donate money instead of trying to experience the difficulties of homelessness. Vodacom’s Shameel Joosub called on other corporate business people to get involved in this meaningful initiative and actively support its goals.
Over the two years of the initiative's existence, 73% of The Project’s income revenue - R34 million - has been donated to charity. The remaining 27% were invested in maintenance and preparation of the 2017 event.