Smiling through the misfortune
The face behind the inspirational hashtag on social media #thesmilechallenge is so much more than what you expect it to be.
The idea was formulated after the June 2017 fires by 22-year-old Kayla Ferreira, a Sedgefield local who speaks passionately of the concept that has since attracted hundreds of followers on Facebook and Instagram, as well as inspired many more lives.
She explains that the slogan “Be the reason someone smiles today”, is intended to motivate people to get more involved with one another through the common language of smiling, happiness and kindness.
“I felt, let’s show the youth and people how we can use social media positively because through the fires we all saw what great impact social media had,” says Ferreira.
The initiative consists of a series of competitions where people capture themselves or their company doing an act of kindness or making others smile for sponsored prizes.
“Using this concept I have created opportunities through competitions for companies and small businesses who would like to get involved with a specific competition, to sponsor prizes for the winners of a specific challenge and also make others smile.” ‘Marketing exposure’
“Organisations and companies can get marketing exposure for their charity events in the Garden Route and other areas,” she says.
The Sedgefield-born Ferreira did her primary schooling at Sedgefield Primary before attending Outeniqua High School where she matriculated in 2015. She is now studying towards a degree in foundation phase teaching at the University of the Free State.
“The idea has always been close to my heart. It started as a fundraising idea at university but after the fires it progressed into something much more meaningful. It’s not limited to influencing local positive change, but it also challenges individuals, companies and everybody out there to make a difference in someone’s life, and be their reason to smile.”
Followers are encouraged to spread the love and post videos and photos of acts of kindness and the smile challenge on Instagram and on Facebook, using the hashtag #thesmilechallenge. Find out more
For more information on how to get involved, please email kayla.li[email protected] gmail.com.
Through her social media initiative #thesmilechallenge, Kayla Ferreira encourages people to spread smiles and happiness – and win prizes in the process.