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Child eye health a big winner in MySchool “21 Years of Giving Back” campaign

myschool_featuredThe Brien Holden Vision Institute, which works to foster universal eye care for children, amongst other vital eye healthcare programmes, is one of the winners in the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet ‘21 years of Giving Back’ campaign. In celebration of its 21st anniversary last year, the community loyalty programme launched the ‘21 years of Giving Back’ campaign with R2.1 million to give away to 21 causes.  Supporters were invited to nominate any South African charitable organisation or school that matters to them, even if they were not yet beneficiaries of the programme.  This has enabled 21 charities and schools across the country to each win a cash donation of R100 000 to boost their good work in their communities.  The Brien Holden Vision Institute was nominated to participate in the campaign by a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet cardholder who received a R1000 Woolworths Giftcard for putting forward one of the 21 winners.

Lack of access to basic eye healthcare severely compromises a schoolchild’s ability to learn.  Thanks to the R100 000 donation, the Brien Holden Vision Institute will be able to provide much-needed spectacles to an additional 625 school children in under-served communities this year. 

Across the country, the ‘21 Years of Giving Back’ campaign inspired more than 11 500 MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet cardholders to put forward their nominations of the causes close to their hearts and give them the chance to substantially boost their fundraising.  Thanks to these customers’ efforts, schools and libraries will now be refurbished, Early Childhood Centres will be established and equipped, volunteer firefighters will upgrade their base, sustainable food gardens will be established, new family strengthening programmes will be initiated, children with vision problems will be receiving new spectacles and much more.

“The 21 big winners of the campaign are truly representative of the variety and the breadth of what’s important to our MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet cardholders,” says Pieter Twine, General Manager MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet.  “It has been fantastic to see more grassroots projects coming to the fore, where the donation of R100 000 can really make a great difference to their work.  Our panel of judges had strict criteria for evaluating the many worthy nominations, which included assessing organisational impact and sustainability, as well as looking for beneficiaries which are well-aligned to our brand ethos and the concerns of our customers.  That search resulted in a wonderful spectrum of winners, big and small, working across all South Africa’s provinces with different, important mandates.  It’s been a wonderful celebration of 21 years of customer-driven giving back, and we thank our cardholders, the winners and all the nominees for their enthusiastic participation.”

Over the past 21 years, the MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme, one of the biggest in South Africa, has raised more than R500 million for South African schools, charities, animal and environmental causes thanks to supporters swiping their cards at participating retailers.  Shoppers sign up for free and can nominate up to three beneficiaries.  Every time, they shop and swipe their cards, donations are made by participating retailers on their behalf, and at no cost to them.  The funds raised through the programme enable schools and the MyVillage and MyPlanet organisations to pay their monthly bills, or even provide them with opportunities to scale up their services or start new, much-needed projects.

One of the judges of the ’21 Years of Giving Back’ campaign was Melanie Burke, Chair of Board of Directors of both Streetsmart and the Safer Together Community Safety Initiative, as well as the Chairperson of Symphonia for South Africa NPC and the owner of MAB and Associates.  Melanie said:  “It’s been a real privilege to be part of a community-minded campaign that connects cardholders with the opportunity to support a cause they care about.  The 21 winners can now go forward and use the funds to make a difference in schools, communities and for the planet, which ultimately benefits us all.”

The 21 Years of Giving Back campaign was open to MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet supporters throughout the country. If you are not yet a cardholder, you can sign up for free at and support the causes that matter to you.


  1. Arise Cape Town
  2. Beacon School for LSEN
  3. Bokamoso Day Care Centre
  4. Brien Holden Vision Institute
  5. Chic Mamas Do Care Durban
  6. Lebone Village
  7. Lesedi Early Childhood Development
  8. Mdzananda Animal Clinic
  9. Nkhabang Primary School
  10. Nombulelo Secondary School
  11. Nooitgedacht Primary School
  12. Radha Roopsingh Primary School
  13. Ramaditse Community Hope Centre
  14. Read to Rise
  15. Realema Teacher Intern Programme
  16. Silverdale Primary School
  17. Sunnyside Primary School Athlone
  18. The Sprightly Seed
  19. Thusanang PreSchool and Educare Centre
  20. Topsy Foundation
  21. Volunteer Wildfire Services