When we started fundraising in South Africa, we hoped to have 5 800 supporters onboard by the end of 2010. Thanks to you, we easily passed that target, ending ended up with over 6,000! We think it's quite an achievement, and something we're very grateful for.
The support is even more impressive when you consider that Greenpeace Africa hasn't advertised; our strategy has simply been to go out and meet people face-to-face. We call it 'Direct Dialogue', and it's a technique we're pretty proud of.
Recently we sent out a team of 'Direct Dialoguers' – Sweetness, Restley, Malvern, and Meshack – to canvas South Africa's East Coast, and the response was incredible!
In one week alone, Meshack (25) managed to sign up 45 new Greenpeace Africa supporters! He's been a part of the Greenpeace team since September 2009 and loves talking to ordinary South Africans about issues like climate change.
Meshack at T2 Protest
Meshack (right) outside the Japanese embassy in Pretoria, holding a banner saying "Activism is not a crime" (in Japanese)to protest the verdict against two Japanese activists who exposed corruption in the Japanese government’s Southern Ocean whaling programme.
© Shayne Robinson / Greenpeace
One of the toughest parts of Meshack's job is the rejection he sometimes faces. "Often people think there are more important things we should worry about, like poverty, food security and poor health." Meshack is quick to point out how these problems are all connected, and how climate change will only make them worse if we don't start taking action now.
"I'm proud I can encourage other youths to take action – it makes me feel like I am giving back. We are the next generation and we will be responsible for what comes next; we're the ones who'll suffer the consequences if we don't do our bit," says Meshack.
Donors are fundamental to the work Greenpeace does. As we are funded entirely by individuals like yourself, Greenpeace is completely independent from government and corporate interests. This provides us with maximum flexibility when it comes to our campaigns; tramping on the toes of governments or companies — and having our funding cut — is not something we have to worry about.
But donors are important for more than just their financial support. The more supporters we have, the more likely it is that those in power will listen to us. Simply put, each donor gives us more political clout when it comes to lobbying and pushing for change.
Thanks for your support and all you help us achieve.
And if you'd like to become a supporter, it couldn't be easier.