Social groups look to improve communities with LG’s help

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From left: KFHI’s Juhee Lee, Sarah Shkaidy, Cavall-Ann Elliott, Annette Hole and LG South Africa president Jinkook Kang.
From left: KFHI’s Juhee Lee, Sarah Shkaidy, Cavall-Ann Elliott, Annette Hole and LG South Africa president Jinkook Kang.

The local leg of LG Electronics SA’s Global Ambassador Challenge saw the selection of three winners, who will go on to become its new brand ambassadors.

Yesterday, the South Korean electronics company unveiled the first South African winners of itssocially-led initiative, naming a digital upskilling youth development forum as one of the big winners.

The local leg of the LG Global Ambassador Challenge was initiated in September, in partnership with Korean Food for the Hungry International (KFHI). The initiative encourages individuals and organisations to submit ideas on how to empower local communities and solve local community issues.

It was open to all Gauteng-based residents with a desire to make a real difference and catalyse positive change in their communities.

According to LG, the challenge attracted submissions from students, designers, entrepreneurs, scientists and innovators, showcasing their best community-growth ideas in the hopes of building a better society, as well as being recognised as official LG ambassadors.

A panel of judges assessed each application based on the necessity, effectiveness, efficiency, specificity and feasibility of the applicant’s idea, it states.

After narrowing the entrants from 83 to three, LG announced Cavall-Ann Elliott from Soweto; Annette Hole from Mamelodi, Pretoria; and Sarah Shkaidy from Eersterust in Pretoria as the winners of the challenge, becoming the company’s newest brand ambassadors.

Each entrant will receive a grant of $10 000 (up to R150 000), as well as help from local NGOs and individuals.

Elliott is a digital instructor at the Sakhane Youth Development Forum, which she founded. The organisation aims to empower people within the community, especially young people, with digital education.

“Our organisation is based on the mission of upskilling our youth in disadvantaged and marginalised communities with digital skills…so that we can actually deal with the digital divide that we currently have,” she said.

“We’re dealing with the scholars, we’re focusing on high schools where we can actually proudly say our high school learners in those communities will be able to engage in virtual classrooms, and we’re dealing with a range of social ailments.”

Shkaidy, project manager at Circle of Life HIV/AIDS Support, said she hopes to provide people with the tools and resources to live sustainably by starting a bakery.

Hole’s vision is to transform her community through an agriculture project called Mhlengi Sustainability Farming, created to teach communities about sustainability and food security.

“I have chosen Bajabulile Primary School to teach them about sustainable farming and upskilling,” stated Hole.

KFHI’s Juhee Lee explained that the selected winners’ ideas have the potential to enrich the lives of South Africans and create a better future for all. "The overwhelming response to our challenge made us realise we have extraordinary untapped talent and no shortage of inventive thinkers in South Africa.”

Newly-appointed LG South Africa president Jinkook Kang welcomed the ambassadors to the LG family. “It gives us great pleasure to partner with organisations such as KFHI, and we truly appreciate the work they continue to do on a global scale.

“LG is a global and corporate citizen, and we fully support initiatives that are aligned to market and governments’ needs where we operate. Through this partnership, we are able to continue to contribute to building a future-proof society where people can enjoy a better world − one which they deserve,” noted Kang.

LG said it hopes extending the annual Global Ambassador Challenge will empower everyday South Africans to step up as local leaders and community heroes.

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