We create brands and amplify voices online for a living. What makes Impact17 different is that we aim to serve a diverse population. From startups all the way through to fully established companies. And this is executed through our pricing and payment structures, so no client is turned away on the basis of finances and nor are they given less service for falling under a category of income. Equality and access are the order of every day.
There’s a reason I am writing this article. 1)I had a good breakfast. 2)I have a laptop. 3) I have uncapped internet 4) I browsed through a colleague/ inspiration from the Netherlands doing much impactful work in both the medical and humanitarian fields. I am privileged. 10% because I worked to create this brand but 90% because of the family I was born to and the fact I am now at the level of post-graduate education. I have support on a physical and emotional level to help me succeed. But, it’s not enough, knowing, there are millions who are not as fortunate as I am. What becomes of their destiny?
Today (21 March 2021), in South Africa, is HUMAN RIGHTS DAY. “This day is both a celebration of the rights of all citizens and a solemn remembrance of the suffering and sacrifice of the terrible 1960 Sharpeville massacre and the struggle against apartheid. Sixty years ago, South Africans gathered to protest against the pass laws that restricted and controlled travel, dictating when, where, and for how long black South Africans could stay within white areas. Saddening, we saw 69 deaths and a further 180 injuries after police opened fire on these protestors“. Read the full article here
Donella Medows explains the concept of LEVERAGE POINTS. “These are places within a complex system (a corporation, an economy, a living body, a city, an ecosystem) where a small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything.”
What does Impact-based Digital Human Rights look like from a woman of colour led Digital Media company?
- Internet. How else would you be able to read this without access to the internet? If only the privileged have access to the internet, then only the elites will be able to constantly be better themselves through online resources. Now with COVID19 and distancing, everything is online. What about the ones who do not have the internet at their places of residence? How are they able to keep up with the changes of the company or how are their children going to be educated through Zoom or MS Teams? Only through my Internet, I am able to offer my services beyond our borders and be exposed to international clients and resources. What about someone who has an extremely sharp mind and artistic talent and has not heard of Canva?
Possible Solutions: Internet for all could really add more equality to a massively unequal country- like South Africa
More Zero Rated Resources: Zero Rated means not needing data to access these sites. If “Internet for All” takes 20-30 years to be realized, this is might easier-to-implement solution. For Vodacom users, this educational site is free. Now, we need more of these. Not just for Vodacom users. From sites on ‘HOW TO REPORT GBV’ , ‘OUR RIGHTS AS SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS’, ‘PRIMARY HEALTHCARE AND ACCESS TO TREATMENT’, ‘SCHOLARSHIPS’ and a whole host of topics, we need to make our content reach those who need it the most.
- Access to micro-financing. How many people around you have spectacular ideas but no resources to execute. Or no family/savings to fall back on. Startups don’t make you fly first class in the formative stages (or ever really). People need to earn salaries to survive and still invest in their business till their brand becomes recognized, which takes at least 3-5 years. Example: A concept like GRAMEEN BANK. could here help give many entrepreneurs the foundation they require.
- Support. On this journey, I am grateful for local and international human beings in the form of family and friends who offer a supportive ear and shoulder when things go bad OR when there are successes to celebrate. Depending on your circumstance, your circles may not always support your social impact work or SMALL business. This is why at IMPACT17, we offer more, we offer empathy. For MANY clients, our team is the only positive cheerleaders they have. If the vulnerable population people have access to mentors and leadership training, we would see so much MORE being produced, in whatever form (granted all basic needs and the above three points are met too).
Dr Max Goodwin from New Amsterdam said: “We all feel like the system is too big to change, but we are the system, and we need to change.”
If you have resonated with this article, I urge you to please:
- Sponsor internet for a year. Be it 500MB, 5GB or 50GB. This could be NPOs, NGOs, university students, local entrepreneurs. On your doorstep, there IS someone who needs you.
- Invest in your family/friends. This can go pear-shaped in a matter of seconds, we understand it too. But, if you can lend them a resource or help with paying a small bill, do it without expectations. Trust me. Or even better,buy them an Impact17 voucher
- Mentor. Know someone entering the field you are in? Don’t have the “I know it all attitude” but rather, direct resources, talks, e-books, and articles their way that could help them! Video call or ask them to take you for a coffee- if they invest in it, they will hopefully not take you for granted.
At Impact17, we have been the luckiest to work with clients who believe in others and are constantly making lives better for those around them through non-profits or small businesses. We have also helped a range of men and women bite the entrepreneurship bullet, to improve their livelihoods. Even just a logo with Instagram covers, to help their business have a professional outlook. And as their income grows, they will build a website and reach unimaginable heights!
All points above are my PERSONAL opinion.
I thank you for reading and I look forward to your comments!