An evening filled with passion!

I am writing this blog en route back from JHB, where I attended the Change a Life Foundation Feedback Session last night. I was asked to present at a function hosted by the ever generous JSE and to provide feedback to the benefactors of the Change a Life Foundation as to what The DNAPROJECT has done with the funds it received from the Foundation during the course of 2008/09. The Change a Life Foundation  has 3 beneficiaries, one of which is the DNA Project, and they have introduced a 4th this year. I was very humbled to be part of such an amazing group of people.  Please, take some time to read about Martin Dreyer’s incredible Change a Life Paddling Academy in KZN, Carole Podetti’s unbelievable passion in transforming young offenders’ lives who have Chosen to Change their Lives and Phillip Stoneman’s critical work in providing proper trauma counseling and care for rape victims at the iThemba Centre. These people are Changing peoples lives in SA on a daily basis.

Directors of the DNA Project, Vanessa Lynch & Allan Thomson with CEO of JSE, Russell Loubser

Directors of the DNA Project, Vanessa Lynch & Allan Thomson with CEO of the JSE, Russell Loubser

It is difficult to describe the palpable energy that always emanates from this band of people who are involved with the Change a Life Foundation – from the organisers, to the riders, to the support team, to the beneficiaries. It is without doubt thanks to the vision of CEO of Computershare, Stan Lorge, who started the Foundation , who insists that the beneficiaries of the Foundation  must be driven by the people who founded each project, and that the Founders have to stay involved in the project in order for it to be supported. In this way, Stan knows that each project will be motivated by the passion with which it was started in the first place.

The Change a Life Cycle Race , which raises the funds to support each project, is an incredible annual event which not only brings people together on such a dynamic level, but the people who ride in this event are continuously drawn into the projects which they support. It honestly feels like a big family when we are all together, and it is this collective energy, which I believe makes the Change a Life Foundation such a unique success story. You want to be part of this group of people and you want to be part of the Change that they are making in this country.

I presented the DNA Project’s achievements for 2009 as well as what we intend to do in 2010.  This was followed by a short clip of the Training DVD which we are currently finalising. To end the presentation, I showed the audience the VUKA! Commercial –‘Leaving Something Behind’ – which was produced and donated to The DNAPROJECT by the media industry in the Cape Town & The Change a Life Foundation. I gave little warning to the audience of what they were about to see, suffice to say that I told everyone that it was a ‘very powerful’ piece. The lights were dimmed, and the commercial was played at full volume on a movie size screen. For those of you who have seen the commercial on your computer screen, the impact is a thousand fold when seen on a big screen. I literally felt everyone draw breath as the opening scene began, and when it ended you could have heard a pin drop – people were visibly moved and as hard hitting as that commercial is, it highlighted what we live with in SA and how we need to be reminded every now and again that crime is not OK.

Stan Lorge, Ursula du Plooy with Carol, Martin Dreyer & Vanessa Lynch

Stan Lorge, Ursula du Plooy with Carole Podetti, Martin Dreyer & Vanessa Lynch

So, the evening drew to a close together with this years cycle race, but I felt that everyone could not wait for next years cycle race in Malawi to begin and to meet back again next year to reflect on what we, together, have done to Change not one, but many lives in SA.

“When we dream alone it is only a dream, but when many dream together it is the beginning of a new reality.” Friedensreich Hundertwasser


My biggest supporter, my mum, as always in support of the work we do!

My biggest ally, my mother, as always in support of the work we do!

2 Responses to “An evening filled with passion!”

  1. gary green says:

    a very worthy cause to gain support for.

  2. Liz says:

    a Great article, with links as support to the article.