Samsung and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have teamed up to encourage South Africans to unleash their inner artist in honour of the former president, ahead of this year's Mandela Day.
The initiative is also expected to improve education and access to knowledge in the country.
Doodle for International Nelson Mandela Day, both a charity and a marketing initiative by Samsung, asks users to create a graphic about topical issues or any other inspiration, and then submit it via the company’s Facebook page or at one of their public campaigns that is travelling to ten shopping centres around the country.
The first of these public events took place in Sandton City, north of Johannesburg, between 10 and 12 February.
Upcoming venues include Menlyn Park in Pretoria, Canal Walk in Cape Town and Gateway in Durban, among others.
For every doodle uploaded, the company invests R5 (US$0.64) into the campaign, whose proceeds will go towards the development of another solar powered internet school and will also help organisations to set up libraries in schools.
According to Samsung’s head of mobile products, Paulo Ferreira, the company has already launched such a solar powered school in Qunu, Mandela’s home village in the Eastern Cape.
“The campaign is more than just about connectivity for pupils. It is about creating access to educational content,” said Ferreira.
The solar powered internet schools are housed in shipping containers that have been transformed into fully equipped and functional classrooms.
Ferreira added that Samsung plans to build more solar powered internet schools around the country in coming months. The company is also looking to help equip schools across the African continent.
Taking action for better education
For Samsung South Africa’s MD Deon Liebenberg, the campaign is all about ensuring that people in needy communities have a sustainable future.
“Samsung is committed to investing in viable, tangible and measurable corporate social investment projects,” he said.
The doodle initiative has proven that South Africans are not slouches when it comes to charity. According to Ferreira, the response from the public has been overwhelming so far.
“It is a positive campaign and as South Africans we all benefit from this [initiative],” he said.
Aspiring doodlers are first asked to like the Samsung Mobile South Africa Facebook page before clicking on the “Doodle and Win” link. The link directs the would-be artists to the Galaxy Note application that allows them to upload a photograph of their choice and customise it to their heart's content with an online digital pen.
The doodler with the most votes so far is Carmen Blumrick with her “Save the Rhino” picture, which shows a person planting a kiss on a rhino. She has over 500 votes.
South Africans are urged to visit the company’s Facebook page to vote for and share their favourite doodle and in the process stand a chance of winning one of twenty Galaxy Notes.
The campaign is also live on the company website for those who are interested in entering the competition. The winning doodle will be displayed on Samsung’s local Facebook page.