How does it work?
If you live in Johannesburg, Cape Town or Pretoria, you can simply download the ‘GEM Project’ app on your iOS/Android or dial *120*GEM1# from any phone to get started! You’ll be shown a number of community projects that you can volunteer at, including: working with animal shelters, orphanages, soup kitchens or community clean-ups. Choose the one that suits you best and click “attending”.
Once you’ve done your volunteer work you’ll receive your GEMs (1 GEM = R1), which you can use within thirty days to buy airtime, data, electricity and movie tickets! And now, thanks to new partners interested in such an innovative way to contribute to society, you can also redeem them for KFC, Shoprite, Vida è Caffe and Checkers eVouchers!
In the two years since GEM was launched, it has partnered with over 30 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) countrywide and hosted some 350 social projects, giving the involved community volunteers over 175 000 GEMs in rewards so far.
The official launch was on Nelson Mandela Day 2015, where GEM partnered with Brand South Africa’s ‘Play Your Part’ campaign. Over 350 employees + volunteers celebrated the South African icon and former president’s life by completing maintenance work and food preparation at the New Jerusalem Children’s Home in Midrand or manning the soup kitchen at the Thusong Youth Centre in Alexandra. They also cleaned the premises of the Ethembeni Children’s home in the Johannesburg CBD and took part in a food drive at Balkan Burger in Greenside. It may have been one of the first big GEM undertakings in the country, but it won’t be the last!
A big part of the GEM Project’s success comes from a large social media presence, with thousands of social media followers on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram willing to engage and share the idea that you don’t need to be a millionaire or superhero to change the world, your time alone is a beautiful thing to give.
The app is so easy to use that GEM has over 7 000 registered users who play their part weekly in any of the 50 events held on average each month. This huge reach has encouraged some of the biggest brands in South Africa to collaborate with GEM in order to complete Corporate Social Investment (CSI) that is as practical as it is poignant.
Our institutional network consists of reputable organisations in South Africa (BrandSA, Foundation for Human Rights, mLab) as well as abroad (Zorg van de Zaak Foundation, Social Trade Organisation).