CASUAL DAY AND THE HISTORY OF THE PROJECT
In 1995 the Casual Day project was launched in South Africa. Although on a small scale, it was such a success, that we decided that this project should become an ongoing, annual event.
Now in its 21st year, and celebrating 20 years of service to persons with disabilities. The project has a long and respected history of fundraising and increasing awareness of persons with disabilities. Participation in Casual Day gains commitment towards persons with disabilities as we move our society towards equality, a celebration of diversity and full inclusion. Since its inception Casual Day has raised over R200million.
NATURE OF THE PROJECT
What is Casual Day: Casual Day is a fundraising project that benefits and aims to simultaneously create awareness of persons with disabilities. It both encourages the public to contribute financially through a small donation of R10 for a sticker, and lobbies for the full inclusion of persons with disabilities into mainstream society. Therefore, not only does it raise funds, it also raises awareness of the needs of this sector of the community in a fun way.
Casual Day is the flagship project of the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA). Casual Day makes it possible for the NCPPDSA to work towards fulfilling its mandate of creating a fully accessible and inclusive society for all.
Each year South Africans are called upon to dress differently on the first Friday of September and to wear the Casual Day sticker to show their support. Casual Day is South Africa’s foremost fundraising event of this nature and raises more than just money; providing opportunities for corporate comradeship, community support and NGO participation.
Casual Day is a highlight on the calendar of the 500 organisations that provide services to persons with disabilities – they participate in the project, making use of the opportunity to raise funds for their organisation’s needs. The lives of persons with disabilities have been greatly enhanced by the funds that have been raised for those who render services in the field of disability.
Casual Day and its network of participants encourage South Africans to join the movement:
If you work in an office, and would like to participate, get permission from management, encourage your colleagues to join in the fun, but most importantly, wear the official Casual Day sticker. Casual Day creates a lot of excitement in the workplace, as staff members compete with each other to dress up in humorous outfits. However, underlying all the fun is the serious business of raising funds for and changing perceptions around persons with disabilities.
Stickers are distributed via the infrastructure of the project’s financial partner – Edcon stores countrywide, Game, DionWired, Shoprite and Checkers, and Absa branches, and via a wide network of participating organisations rendering services in the field of disability.
Each year Casual Day chooses a wild and wacky theme – and 2015 is no exception. This year we are encouraging participants to Spring into Action – and to interpret our fresh and minty theme as they wish.
It’s on this day that the Casual Day community takes time out to celebrate persons with disabilities and to make sure that we are all just one big family. This is creativity is bursting out all over and we are dressing up or down in our Casual Day outfits.
There’s a sweet smell in the air, the sounds of the birds, and hints of warm summer to come. It’s a time of rebirth, of new beginnings. We have woken up from our winter grind with opportunities are sprouting right and left.
It’s a time of good intentions, cleaning, tidying and updating our lives. It’s time to clear out your cupboards – get rid of the old and bring in the new. Casual Day traditionally coincides with the first week of Spring, so this year we have decided to truly celebrate Spring, a time for joy, a time for smelling the flowers, and just enjoying the awakening of the season.
The beneficiaries of this project are the following national organisations:
Casual Day is run in partnership with its national beneficiaries, National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in SA, National Council for the Blind, SA Federation for Mental Health, Deaf Federation of SA (DeafSA), Autism South Africa (ASA), Down Syndrome South Africa, The National Association for Persons with Cerebral Palsy (NAPCP), the South African National Deaf Association (SANDA), the National Institute for the Deaf (NID), QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA), Alzheimer’s South Africa and the South African Disability Alliance (SADA).
The National Council of Persons with Physical Disabilities is a registered NPO (NPO 000-923).
Abovementioned organisations all provide a service on a national level and represent over 500 different schools, homes and workshops in the field of disability. The funds raised by Casual Day are deployed in many areas, including job creation, poverty alleviation, social upliftment, housing, education and training, improvement in accessibility and initiatives that serve to fully integrate persons with disabilities into the community.
Companies and the public can obtain stickers from the following national outlets. NGOs must order stickers from the Casual Day national office, or you will miss out on your share of the sticker donation.
The project is organised by the team at the National Council of Persons with Disabilities in South Africa.
MARKETING OF CASUAL DAY
Casual Day is promoted nationally via radio, television, newspapers, magazines and through on-line media. We are continually grateful to members of the media for their huge contributions to publicise the Casual Day message. This assists us in keeping the overheads of the project to a minimum enabling the funds raised to go towards the beneficiaries.
CASUAL DAY FRIENDS
A project of this scale needs fans, friends and followers to be truly successful. Edcon is the primary partner and sponsor of Casual Day. They contribute financially towards the project and give an infrastructure for the distribution of the stickers.
Casual Day 2015 will take place on Friday, 4 September. This is a fundraising project involving a group of public benefit organizations providing services within the field of disability.
The project has always been a great success and is a highlight in the lives of persons with disabilities – and all participants. Casual Day not only raises funds for persons with disabilities but also addresses various problems in the field of disability, thus improving the lives of the community as a whole.
The project has already raised over R223 million over the last 20 years, and last year raised over R28 million, but the real success can be seen by the impact it has on the lives of persons with disabilities around us.