Posts Tagged ‘cotlands’

Cotlands: A day to play – World Play Day 2013

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

As one of Cotlands benefactors, I was invited to attend their Experiential visit which formed part of their #WorldPlayDay initiatives. Cotlands World Play Day - Handing Talooma donations over to LoisThe day included a tour of their head office as well as a practical demonstration of their transition from health focused initiatives to education.

Our tour began with visiting the current group of babies that are awaiting adoption, witnessing feeding time and some even getting bathed. At first, we felt a small reservation to go into the rooms but the sight of the smiles on their faces was enough to melt your heart! Following that we were taken on a tour of what used to be orphan rooms and are now the sensory rooms – sight, sound and touch. Viewing the tools used in each room really made me feel like I took nursery school for granted. I remember dressing up at school and fighting over who played what, yet there are so many lessons to be taught that many children don’t have the opportunity to experience.

We were also shown the hub of the Johannesburg Toy Library, a room where all the toys are grouped by the lesson it teaches, some brand new, some donated. This is where the ladies that travel to the different schools collect their packs from each week, depending on the lessons to be taught. I really felt special to have been able to have played with some of these toys as a child!

After having our faces painted, Europcar Vans were on hand to take us into Soweto. Our first stop was the Faba household in a more informal area, where Cotlands have been providing support and education to the 2 disabled grandparents of a small child. She is HIV positive and Cotlands have educated her grandparents on how she should take her ARV’s, as well as how to provide basic child learning. Cotlands also provide seedlings to help generate an income for families as these and some of the funds raised will be used to send the child to Grade R which, in addition to her health and extra education, will give her a better grounding for success in Grade 1.


Our next stop was to a little playschool at the Dube Hostel. We had to receive permission from the Chiefs to be able come in as visitors

to the hostel. Here people live without electricity and under political divisions. The residents have generously donated what was their Community Hall so that the children from the two opposing political parties can have a place to play, learn, develop and be looked after during the day. Some of their parents work, others do not and these children would normally not have done anything constructive. Now Cotlands sends a teacher with the latest Toy Library box and lessons for the week, to see them and help advance their development.

After playing with the kids at Dube, our day was completed by having lunch with Sakhumzi at his restaurant in the famous Vilakazi Street where he gave us a very inspirational talk!

He explained how a speech made by Nelson Mandela inspired him to lift himself out of unemployment and to help those around him. Focussing on something he loves he was already providing full bellies to his friends and family. He then opened a restaurant at his house. He now employs 70 people from Soweto at his restaurant, where he serves a buffet of traditional South African cuisine to locals and foreigners alike.

I felt so humbled to be spending the day with people trying to make a difference in our country – I even got to meet Miss South Africa, Marilyn Ramos, who is a Cotlands Ambassador.

Lois Moodley, National Marketing and PR Manager, was on hand to take receipt of donations from our staff members. Thank you to Kerry, Charlene, Bonita and Aimee for your kind donation!

JD Consulting comes third in the SIM Mini Challenge at JHB ZOO

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Sanlam Investment Management host a corporate challenge every year for 3 days. This years’ support charity is Cotlands.

JD Internet Consulting took part in the mini challenge event on Wednesday 5 May 2010 at the Johannesburg Zoo. This mini event was intended to replicate the Sanlam Investment Management South African Challenge.

The team members taking part and thus representing JD Consulting were Paul von Zeuner (Team Captain), Jonathan Houston, Nick Duncan and Megan Trow (the only girl on the team).

The challenge
The challenge was designed to introduce potential entrants to the main event, to the concept of Intelligent Sport.

The mini event itself was run free of charge while the main event has an entry fee of R 36 000 for the entire team which includes all the accommodation and meals during the event.

The schedule of the afternoon was as follows:
Teams needed to arrive and register between 14h30 and 15h30
Team Captain’s briefing 15h30 – 16h00
Event 16h00 – 17h30
Presentation and Cocktail party 17h30 – 20h00

When we arrived we registered and received our free t-shirts with our team number printed on the sleeve. JD Internet Consulting was team number 9. We were then also requested to be in a team photograph – one serious and one funny. We are looking forward to seeing how these photos come out :)

An introduction was then done by the event organisers and roll call was taken. The captains were then taken away for a team briefing. Once they returned we were given a chance to read the rules and get an idea of what was required of us. In terms of strategy, we tried to make a decision as to how we would become once we were given the maps.

How it worked
Each team had four members – no more and no less. The rules were simple. No crossing any grass areas – time penalties if you did. There were 10 questions we needed to answer – rated easy, moderate and difficult. Each question also had a corresponding clue. We had to attempt to answer as many correct questions as possible within the shortest amount of time. We were given two maps with the location of each question and its corresponding clue indicated on the map.. If you managed to get in before an hour then bonus applied. The cut off time for penalties was 1 hr 15 minutes.

No cell phones or GPS equipment was allowed on the course and the only pre-requisite on our side was to be dressed accordingly- in a running kit – shorts, t-shirts and running shoes. All the specialist equipment required during the course of the event was provided. One water point was also available, and water was also provided before the event.

Over a period of 2 hours the 17 teams that participated were challenged;

  1. PHYSICALLY as they navigate around the course
  2. INTELLECTUALLY as they solve mensa type puzzles
  3. STRATEGICALLY as they decide on the most effective plan of action

All this with the added pressure of competing against the clock and the rest of the field, testing communication under pressure, collaboration and time management – all important skills that are utilised in the SIM SA Challenge and every day in the workplace.

The course was pretty grueling with lots of hills and there was definitely a fitness requirement. We did however learn a lot a from the experience and had fun at the same time and would definitely played the game a little differently if we were given the opportunity to do it again.

Prize Giving and Results
At the prize giving we were treated to drinks and platters while we awaited the announcement of the results.

The results were calculated and read from last place to third. The only team that received a penalty for crossing the grass was the Cotlands team (10 mins).

JD Internet Consulting came third with 6 correct questions and a time of 55:54 – a mere 47 seconds off the second place teams time. The winners were the team from Liberty with a time of 1:04:40 and 9 correct questions.

First Prize was a free entry to the 3 day event to be held in September in the Magliesburg mountains valued at R36 000 per team of four.

Next Event and More Info
The next free mini event is to be held at the Groot Constantia Estate in Cape Town on the 12th May 2010.

Contact Coll P Macdonald – Invent Hospitality/Challenger World for more information.

Tel: 0861 001053
Fax: 021 761 6418
Mobile: 082 895 0171

Also visit the site at