TikTok pledges $1m for SA Change Makers Programme

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 11 Jun 2024
The 2024 edition of the TikTok Change Makers Programme.
The 2024 edition of the TikTok Change Makers Programme.

[CAPTION] South African change-makers Dr Siyamak Saleh and Melissa, aka @pilot_onthegram.

TikTok has launched the 2024 edition of the TikTok Change Makers Programme, committing to a $1 million (R18.7 million) grant for social impact creators and non-profits in South Africa.

According to a statement, the initiative marks the platform’s first global social impact creator elevation initiative in SA, spotlighting creators and non-profits that drive meaningful change in their communities through TikTok. The programme aims to showcase its global community's diverse voices.

Throughout the six-month programme, the social media network will support these creators to build engaged communities, reach new audiences and unlock real-world opportunities through dedicated tools, resources and donations to designated non-profit organisations, which will allow them to drive greater impact around their causes.

The social network says it will donate over $1 million to more than 30 local non-profit organisations supporting various important causes.

Each change-maker will receive a $25 000 direct donation to support their respective advocacies, thereby elevating the impact of their work.

“As part of the TikTok Change Makers Programme, four purpose-driven creators from Africa have been selected to impact and inspire their audiences on TikTok and beyond significantly. Among them are Dr Siyamak Saleh and Melissa (@pilot_onthegram) from South Africa. To officially launch this programme, TikTok is celebrating and unveiling an inaugural global list of change-makers, comprising 50 purpose-driven creators from around the world,” says TikTok.

Dr Saleh is a medical professional and award-winning content creator with expertise in reproductive and sexual health education. He contributes to global public health as a consultant for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and through his TikTok channel.

Dr Saleh, who will partner with the WHO for this programme, explains: “I leverage TikTok to create fun and engaging content that not only raises awareness about sexual and reproductive health, but also debunks the most common myths with evidence-based information.

“This approach empowers a global audience to make informed health decisions, promoting well-being worldwide and bridging gaps in sex education.”

Melissa, who uses only her first name on social media, is a South African pilot and creator known for her aviation videos on TikTok. As the first in South Africa to be verified on the platform, she inspires future pilots and aviators, especially women, to challenge industry stereotypes. She will partner with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group for the programme.

“I use TikTok to break down barriers and inspire the next generation of women. Mental health is just as important as physical health. I am honoured to work with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group to raise awareness and support those who may be struggling,” she states.

For more information, visit the local Change Makers Content Hub. Over the next six months, the hub will feature inspiring programming and impactful stories.