Francois Pienaar, founding chairman of The Make A Difference Foundation (MAD), poses with staff and students. The foundation has been named as the beneficiary of the 2012 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Johannesburg.
Make A Difference Foundation
to benefit at 9th Corporate Challenge
Francois Pienaar is Founding Chairman
for Education- and Leadership-Focused Charity
JOHANNESBURG, 21 November, 2012 — Companies participating in the 2012 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Johannesburg will be making a real difference indeed.
The Make A Difference Foundation (MAD) has been named the beneficiary for the ninth-annual Corporate Challenge, to be held on Thursday, 8 March 2012 on the grounds of the historic Wanderers Club. The event is expected to once again attract a capacity crowd of 12,000 runners and walkers from 400 companies.
MAD is a non-profit South African-based registered charitable organization whose absolute focus is to identify academically talented youngsters from less fortunate circumstances and provide them with exceptional educational opportunities that will enable them to realize their full personal potential.
The organization was formed in 2003 when Francois Pienaar, former captain of the world-renowned 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok team, met with a like-minded group of friends from the worlds of international sport and top level corporate business, with a shared passion to give something back that would make a difference in South Africa.
“We are fortunate to live in a country like South Africa, a country with huge potential but also daunting challenges,” Pienaar, the founding chairman for MAD, said. “We all need to invest in the future of South Africa — the leaders of tomorrow need our leadership today!
“The Make A Difference Foundation is excited to be the beneficiary of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge,” Pienaar continued. “MAD and J.P. Morgan share the same educational belief that all children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, deserve access to quality educational opportunities. That access helps them acquire the knowledge and skills needed to be productive, engaged citizens — to reach their potential and be the ‘tipping point’ within their communities.”
The MAD Education Programme, which will be the primary beneficiary of the donation, has aided more than 2,000 youngsters throughout South Africa since MAD’s inception. The Programme embraces the ideology of holistic learner educational development, which includes leadership development, career counseling, study skills, life skills and mentorship.
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation will make a donation to MAD on behalf of the Corporate Challenge, continuing a tradition of annually making contributions at each Corporate Challenge worldwide. More than $600,000US in total was donated in 2011 in 13 cities in seven countries.
Online registration has opened for the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Johannesburg, a 5.6-km (3.5 mile) road race that encourages company teamwork and camaraderie. The event has reached its full capacity of entries the past six years and promises to do so again in 2012.