If we all do something, our small acts of kindness will eventually lead to a better future for all.

Rural Development Projects


People Planet Community

Tetelo Mashishi is a 29-year-old attorney with an LLB (with distinction) and an LLM (commercial and business law) from the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2021, Tetelo founded People Planet Community, a nonprofit organisation aimed at delivering sustainable improvements to rural areas in Limpopo. Tetelo grew up in Ga-Mashishi village, Limpopo, and understands the problems people face. In line with the United Nations’ sustainable development goal 4 (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education), Tetelo and the team have provided school uniforms to more than 80 learners and have donated toys and books to three early childhood development centres. And more than 40 newborn baby starter packs have been given to teenage mothers. Tetelo is also dedicated to ensuring that everyone living with disabilities has social grants. In this regard, Tetelo and the team have assisted more than 20 families registered for birth certificates and identity documents at the home affairs department, as well as assisted those families with social grant registrations. Over the past 12 months, particular focus has been on clean water and sanitation (sustainable development goal 6: ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation. Tetelo and her team have provided 14 families with 2 400 litre water tanks and basic sanitation to three families. 

  • LLB (with distinction), University of the Witwatersrand 
  • LLM in commercial and business law, University of the Witwatersrand

  • We have provided more than 100 learners with school uniforms
  • In line with sustainable development goal 6, we have provided 14 families with water tanks and three families with basic sanitation structures
  • We have donated toys, books and puzzles to three early childhood development centres collected through toy drives
  • We have also provided more than 40 newborn baby starter packs to teenage mothers 
  • Our biggest milestone in respect of fundraising has been receiving a corporate donation from Exxaro

We always had people in our house. My parents were very intentional about community and helping where they could. As a child, it was ingrained in me that we serve the community we live in. Also as a child, I remember being shown so much kindness by my friends and their families that kindness and service became key values for me to uphold.

You do not have to shrink yourself, playing small doesn’t serve anyone. Go after all your dreams, you are worthy of every single one of them.

In five years, I would like to live in a South Africa that is committed to improved service delivery in rural areas. Too often they are characterised by insufficient access to quality education, information, healthcare, water and sanitation, connectivity and employment opportunities. In five years I would like to see a decreased dependency on social grants in rural areas and more sustainable jobs through improved access to quality education, healthcare and information found in improved connectivity infrastructure. 

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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