Captured South African journalist Shiraaz Mohamed is alive in Syria and could be home within a month.
VODACOM is giving 10 readers an opportunity to volunteer their services at non-profit organisations.
In partnership with Avusa Media - of which Sowetan is a member - Vodacom is continuing its Vodacom Change the World programme that was launched last year.
Vodacom has identified organisations across South Africa that are in need of resources and volunteers with skills to help enhance their work.
Ten volunteers will be chosen and will work closely with the NPOs for 12 months to make a difference.
Natasha Kleyn, Vodacom's public relations manager, said this week: "The aim is to get people to help the organisations and impart their skills so that once the 12 months are over, the organisations are able to function without them."
Each volunteer will be given a monthly stipend of R25,000, a portable personal computer and a cellphone with prepaid credit to document their work and "share their experiences with the world and inspire others to make a difference as well", Kleyn said.
One volunteer, Funeka Mani, 32, gave 12 months of her time last year to the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, a non-profit organisation in Nelspruit which focuses on the prevention and treatment of alcoholism and drug dependence.
"I think this programme is important because in the past we used to care for the poor, but now we have lost that. Vodacom is encouraging this spirit of community and volunteerism again," Mani said.
In addition, Vodacom is expected to provide a R70,000 grant to each organisation that hosts a volunteer and a further R10,000 a month for project-related costs to be managed jointly by the NPO and volunteers.
The closing date for entries is February 10. Online application forms and other details are available on the Vodacom website.
The 10 organisations that have been chosen for the corporate social investment and responsibility project are:
- Association for Persons with Disabilities in Polokwane in Limpopo;
- Johannesburg Child Welfare Society in Gauteng;
- New Beginningz in Tshwane in Gauteng;
- The Smile Foundation in Johannesburg in Gauteng;
- Free State Residential Care centre in Bloemfontein in Free State;
- Nurturing Orphans of Aids for Humanity in Umhlanga in KwaZulu-Natal;
- Algoa Bay Council for the Aged in Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape;
- Tertiary School in Business Administration in Cape Town in Western Cape;
- Ndlovu Care Group in Groblersdal in Limpopo, and
- Family and Marriage Association of South Africa in Upington in Northern Cape.