by Andrea Vinassa

Celebrities and corporates unite

Casual Day: new beneficiaries come on board

Miss SA Marilyn Ramos

Casual Day, South Africa’s most successful fundraising project for persons with disabilities, has invited eight new organisations to join its beneficiary family: Autism South Africa (ASA), Down Syndrome South Africa, The National Association for Persons with Cerebral Palsy (NAPCP), the South African National Deaf Association (SANDA), the National Institute for the Deaf (NID), QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA), Alzheimer’s South Africa and the South African Disability Alliance (SADA).

Miss SA Marilyn Ramos has added Casual Day to her portfolio of causes that she will support this year. She is passionate about children, and has spent much of her reign so far advocating and caring for vulnerable children. By supporting the Casual Day campaign, she is helping to raise awareness of the needs of all persons with disabilities. 

Casual Day is a project owned by the National Council of Persons with Physical Disabilities and has been run in partnership with its national beneficiaries, SA National Council for the Blind, Disabled People South (DPSA), SA Federation for Mental Health, Deaf Federation of SA (DeafSA) and Epilepsy SA, for the past 18 years. “The addition of the new beneficiary organisations affords us the opportunity to effect real transformation of the project and to become more representative of the wider disability sector,” says Therina Wentzel, National Director of the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA).

“Now in its 19th successful year of service to the community of persons with disabilities, this gives the Casual Day project team the chance to refresh our approach and to re-align our values within a changing landscape of diversity and greater inclusion of persons with disabilities in today’s challenging world.

Casual Day stickers, caps and shirts will now be available through the new beneficiaries. Continues Wentzel: “All these new beneficiaries are committed to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities. Apart from the services they provide to their constituencies, they are involved in advocacy and lobbying for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in mainstream society. Together with our veteran beneficiary organisations, the Casual Day beneficiaries now constitute a significant lobby group for the human rights of a diverse group of persons with a range of disabilities.” 

Last year Casual Day raised a staggering R22.2 million. That is ten percent more than the year before. All in all, the project has raised R170 million. “We are ecstatic about the response from South Africans. With the world economy in turmoil, and a decline in funding for NGOs from corporations and government, Casual Day is going from strength to strength. Casual Day is a lifeline for many disability organisations that serve persons with disabilities. The money we raise through this project affects the lives of thousands of vulnerable South Africans.”

Donations are raised R10 at a time for a Casual Day sticker, which is distributed via the infrastructure of the project’s various sponsors and financial partners and a wide network of participating organisations rendering services in the field of disability. “This is a moving example of community spirit in action,” concludes Wentzel.

Remember, remember, Friday 6 September is Casual Day

The Casual Day them is Go Big, so whether you wear big hair, a big tie, big shoes or just go big on the number of stickers you wear, anything goes, as long as it’s big. Visit the new website at www.casualday.co.za to find out how you can go big this year. It is never too early to start planning your outfit – or your fundraising campaign. This year Casual Day takes place on Friday 6 September. To participate in Casual Day and Go Big, visit www.casualday.co.za

Marilyn recently donned her Casual Day golf shirt and cap, and found a special place near her heart for her Casual Day sticker. Through her work with various children’s organisations, and meeting children like Ditebogo Majara (photo) she has become aware of the importance of children’s development, especially in the first 1 000 days of their lives. 

Shado Twala Casual Day ambassador 2013
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