The brilliant hues of an African sunrise streak across the plains and wake the feathered heralds from sleepy wonder. Another day unfolds and all of Africa is illuminated, the good and the ugly. The same sunrise that glints off the high rise office blocks and through the hardy boughs of the towering baobabs, that streams into the depths of the impressive stadiums and finds the waves crashing in wild Southern oceans, also shows up the extreme poverty, the crime, the corruption and the struggle for survival.
It takes one on a roller-coaster of emotions and good intentions, swinging wildly from pride to shame, circling back around to frustration and indignation, helplessness and disgust. Looking at brokenness can break us, but hopefully our hardened African hearts will never reach that point where we are not moved at all by the struggle of those around us.
“Is that a real crutch?” “Does it matter?” “How can I help?” “Why is that child alone and on the street?” “Where do I start?” “Will it matter what I do, anyway?”
The problems seem insurmountable, permeating every part of life in Africa and colouring the boundary lines in shades of grey. There is always a need for more – more money, more time, more efficient management, more education, more conservation, more motivation and more hands working together.
There is a place you can start and it is: Different.
“Different” is different
Two South African brothers, Philip and Atholl Tomlinson, felt trapped by the futility of corporate life that made no impact on those suffering under it. Priorities are skewed where charities with the potential to save thousands of lives spend most of their time fundraising; instead of doing the things that really matter. A vision began to form for a more sustainable model of doing business in South Africa. World, take note: it is working!
“Different” was born: a life insurance company that supports crowd-funding of non-profit organisations and runs a tight ship on projects that really do make a difference to others. The life insurance company, Different Life, distinguishes itself by donating the first payment of every year (that is effectively a twelfth of Different Life’s annual income) to the policy holder’s designated project. Now that is amazing.
The proceeds of the first payment then goes to Different.org (the non-profit organisation) for distribution. Different.org also runs crowd-funding initiatives throughout the year in aid of various other philanthropic projects – for people and conservation. The project costs are covered by Different Life, which means that one hundred percent of the donations can be given to each project, every time.
Sustainability and innovation
As you can see, the Different Group is inspired to play a role that uses talent, training, business acumen and marketing resources to uplift the needy who are ignored, ill-equipped and marginalised by the outside world. The motivated team of employees works hard, with a smile, striving to stay effective and humble in a world where greed and ambition can derail even the best intentions.
“Africa is a tough place to live beside heartbreaking realities, but Different gives me hope for our future – and a platform from which to join the fight. It starts with you.”