CEO Sleepout South Africa – A farce

This past week while parked at the robot, I saw two males walking towards the car in front of me. The driver handed each of the men a loaf of bread. They proceeded to cross the road, sit on the side and eat the bread. They looked most grateful and as I sat there in my car I felt the most horrible feeling of sadness and wishing I could help too. A few days later driving in the CBD I witnessed a man desperately trying to get every drop of food out of a small container while sitting on the side of the road with crutches.

Living in South Africa, these are the things we see on a daily basis. There are millions of homeless people who battle every day just to receive a meal to sustain them. This is their life, many being born and dying on the streets.

A new ‘trend’ taking place here is the CEO Sleepout. This started in Australia and has now been adopted in South Africa. Business leaders will gather for ONE night to sleep on the street to gain a sense of feeling that these people go through everyday, while raising funds for a local charity.

While this may be a good cause I just cannot agree. I feel sick to my stomach when we receive company communication about how our CEO will be spending the night outdoors with other CEO’s “tweeting” about his experience and the dropping temperatures! Seriously? Tweeting next to the very people who cannot even afford a slice of bread!

The funds raised are not going to these homeless people on the street that they are sleeping next to neither are these CEO’s helping the millions of homeless in our country. The money is going to selected charities who already have a community of people they help and organizers who will choose how the money is implemented to help.

The CEO’s say that this experience is eye opening and humbling??? Yeah so the next day they return to their privileged lives driving their fancy cars and continue driving past these homeless. Yet they feel humbled to have spent one night sleeping in the street?

Why all this drama and acts to raise funds with complete disregard for the reality?Raise the fund without this charade if you must.

South Africa’s homeless need help, they need shelter, they need food, not a CEO wanting to sleep next to them to raise funds for some other charity.


One thought on “CEO Sleepout South Africa – A farce

  1. Reblogged this on Star Thrower and commented:
    Poverty porn or poverty tourism is one aspect of my time in South Africa that was difficult to understand. I took a couple of tour trips into townships, two of them were with my school group on a city tour. When the bus pulled into the township children and men (unemployment rate is 26%) would come toward the bus. Some of the people smiled, but many of them flipped us off and yelled obscenities at the bus. I couldn’t feel mad at them because almost felt like we shouldn’t be there. Yes, going through the township helped me visualize the conditions, but it just felt wrong. It felt like the residents were, yet again, being exploited without their consent for the gain of the country. The people looking on our bus with distain did not know that we were students eager to learn about their country and trying to do it with a sense of respect.


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