As the hype for this year’s Vodacom Challenge starts to build up, Vodacom will once again donate R150 000 for every goal scored by a local team during the 2011 Vodacom Challenge soccer tournament to facilitate cataract surgeries.
Initiated in 2008, the ‘Goals for Miracles’ campaign will see thousands of South Africans benefit from free cataracts surgery countrywide. This initiative forms part of Vodacom’s commitment to improving community access to healthcare.
This initiative coincides with the Vodacom Challenge which is scheduled to take place from 16 to 23 June 2011. Prominent English football team, Tottenham Hotspur will take on local soccer rivals, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates FC, for the main prize.
How the goals will help the cataracts
“Proceeds generated from the campaign will be donated to various partner organisations across the country. The initial ‘Goals for Miracles’ campaign raised an amount of R450 000 and this year we are hoping to double that figure” says Mthobi Tyamzashe, Vodacom’s Executive Director for CSI.
The ‘Goals for Miracles’ campaign will help to raise awareness of the danger of neglecting cataracts. “Not many people are aware that cataracts slowly causes vision loss and can potentially lead to blindness if corrective surgery is not conducted in time,” says Tyamzashe.
According to research conducted by the SA National Council for the Blind, an estimated 350 000 people in South Africa are in need of cataract surgery, and close to 80% of this number live in rural areas. Cataract is the leading cause of blindness worldwide and in South Africa; more than 50% of blindness is caused by this condition.
“The ‘Goals for Miracles’ campaign will allow local soccer players to produce outstanding performances by using their soccer skills to help some of the 350 000 sufferers obtain access to cataract surgery in South Africa. For every goal scored, South African cataracts sufferers will receive free operations,” adds Tyamzashe.
Some of the institutions partnering
As in the past, the operations will be performed by the partner organisations of the Vodacom Foundation: the Pretoria Eye Institute, Netcare and the South African National Council of the Blind (SANCB). Elderly people in need of cataract operations can contact the following for assistance: South African National Council for the Blind on 012 452 3811; Netcare on 0860 638 227; and the Pretoria Eye Institute on 0861 630 630.
The Vodacom Challenge commences on Saturday 16 July at Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane, where Kaizer Chiefs will take on Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs will then take on Orlando Pirates on Tuesday 19 July at Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit. The Soweto giants will then duel against each other on July 21 at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth. The winner will take on Spurs in the final match on Saturday 23 July at Coca- Cola Park in Johannesburg.
(Press release, July 2011)