Weekend Post (South Africa)

Using Facebook to give a helping hand

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SINCE he was a Grahamstow­n schoolboy giving extra maths and science classes to peers, Mbulelo Plaatjie has derived pleasure from being a volunteer and now wants to prompt others to practise acts of kindness.

Plaatjie, 44, has set up a Facebook-driven movement called Community Champions which encourages young people to volunteer their time to help others in whatever capacity they can.

“I was inspired by an American Facebook page called the Little Acts of Kindness Movement which suggests acts of kindness people can perform in their communitie­s,” said Plaatjie, who is a dedicated CHOC volunteer and the deputy director of the rental housing programme in the Department of Human Settlement­s.

Volunteeri­ng has been a mainstay of his life ever since he was a teen at Nombulelo High School in Grahamstow­n and gave up his free time to help others with maths and science.

“I got hooked on volunteeri­ng – it was like a drug, so when I was doing a B Com at Rhodes University I continued giving classes to matrics.”

Plaatjie wants to see young people in schools and universiti­es as well as young profession­als help others in any way they can and hopes they will use the Community Champions – South Africa Facebook page to post about their experience­s.

“If people see others do something good, they might be encouraged to do an act of kindness. It can just be something small, like helping a child-headed household.” – Barbara Hollands

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