Net#work BBDO strategist Kerry Hibberd is going to be swapping creative strategy for volunteering next year, as part of Vodacom's Change the World (CTW) programme...
It’s not often that Boniswa Pezisa, Net#work BBDO group CEO, is proud of a staff member’s resignation. “I’m so proud that Kerry is going to be making the world a better place for South African school children. But, it’s not surprising that Vodacom sees in her what we’ve all seen over the past few years as colleagues. Our door will always be open!”
Hibberd has chosen to volunteer at Olico Education, an NGO based in Diepsloot that uses a mix of tutoring and technology to help township school learners improve their maths skills. She looks forward to helping Olico develop and promote its free, Caps-aligned maths content to as many school-going youths as possible.
“I have been passionate about ‘goodvertising’ for some time now and have actively sought out opportunities to do purpose-led work for my brands in my advertising role. I’d been doing strategic work for Olico focussed on the goodvertising space as well, and when their leadership team told me about the Vodacom CTW opportunity where Vodacom pays your salary to use your specific skills at an NGO of your choice, I jumped at the chance.”
Here, Hibberd explains how she plans to ‘change the world’ in 365 days…
Congratulations on being one of 20 applicants to be selected! What does this recognition and opportunity mean to you, and the agency?
I am so excited to be part of the Change the World programme. When I received the call, it suddenly dawned on me that I had signed up for a full 365 days of difference.
The opportunity excites and terrifies me – I’m joining a sector that wakes up every day to make positive dents in the way our society works.
Why maths education and why Olico Education?
It’s actually less about maths and more about unlocking the potential of kids who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance. If you think about it, mathematics acts as a barrier for thousands of kids: low grades = less choices. Kids with low grades have less chance of unlocking opportunities to study what they want, be what they want and do what they want with their lives. Olico can help them change that through their programmes which use tech and tutoring to get learners where they need to be mathematically.
According to a release sent to Bizcommunity, you’ll be helping Olico develop and promote their maths content to as many school-going youths as possible. How do you plan to do this?
Being a strategist, I definitely have a plan! It’s documented in a Project Charter and there are Excel sheets… aaaahhh, a planner’s dream!
Essentially, my main goals are to create and promote new content that Olico has begun to work on, called Maths Clubs, which is in collaboration with SA Numeracy Chair Project, Axium, Kellelo and Wits. Then I need to help get them famous so that we can increase their impact and assist with fundraising!
Will you return to Net#work BBDO afterwards, or will you make a decision on your next steps closer to the time?
I’ll take each day as it comes! But BBDO have been very supportive of my decision and have said their doors are always open. Thanks Net#work!
Net#work BBDO's Mike Schalit founded the not-for-profit Make a Life (Mal) Foundation a while ago as a banner for initiatives that use creativity for good. Here, Schalit and Mal designer-in-chief Emma Strydom explain how their recent t-shirt designs have benefitted the Seed library initiative and more...
I’ll miss the crazy, experimental ideas that get thrown around every day. Sometimes we even made some crazy ideas come to life and that was always fun.
According to the release, you’re the mastermind behind the Vagina Varsity campaign for Libresse. Why are you proud to be associated with this award-winning campaign in this way?
I wasn’t the only mastermind behind Vagina Varsity – there was a big team behind this incredible campaign and it would never have happened without us all pulling it together. I’ll always be proud of this particular piece of work because it was taboo-breaking and started conversations about vaginas, periods and female health that were totally silenced before. Vagina Varsity was also a major goodvertising case study for me – proving that purpose-led work really works.
Net#work BBDO's Vagina Varsity campaign for Libresse recently received its 14th award at the Epica Awards in the 'Health, Beauty and Fashion Digital Campaigns' category, and was the only South African campaign to be awarded at the prize giving ceremony in Berlin on 16 November...
What change do you hope to see in the world in 2018?
Less armchair activism, more small, real changes. Don’t just tweet about how bad something is. Go onto Thundafund or visit an NGO's website to donate that R50 to the people doing something about it. It’s the cost of a burger and it really helps.
Olico currently has programmes and resources for learners from grades 1 to 12, and will soon also offer training to education providers and other partners who are interested in helping learners in their communities. Follow Hibberd and @olicoeducation for updates.
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