GEM project

The App “GEM” is a mobile rewards platform for volunteers to give back to their communities and get rewarded.


GEM or “Going the Extra Mile” was launched on Mandela Day 2015 by Co-founders Camilo Ramada and David Shields. They had discussed how difficult it was for people to change their socio-economic status. Together they used their skills to create GEM.

“We receive incentives and rewards for so many things, such as shopping at a certain place, or flying a certain airline,” explained Ramada. “Why then not offer incentives for the really important things, such as taking care of babies, helping to paint a school, working in a comkmunity garden, making food for the homeless, or cleaning-up neighborhoods?”

The App lists over 50 monthly community engagement events in various cities where people are engaging to support tens of thousands of beneficiaries. 

“In the past two years alone it has partnered with over 35 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) countrywide and hosted over 255 social projects, rewarding the involved community volunteers with over 150 000 GEMs so far.”

One GEM is equivalent to one South African Rand. Each member will receive GEMs for the community service they do via the App which can then be spent on things such as airtime, data, electricity and movie tickets. Thanks to more interest from partners the GEMs can also be used to redeem vouchers for KFC, Shoprite, Vida é Caffe and Checkers eVouchers.

Thanks to a large social media presence thousands of social media followers on Twitter and Facebook are willing to engage and share the idea.

“You don’t need to be a superhero or a millionaire to change the world, your time alone is a beautiful thing to give.”

Mandela Day 2016 was GEMs biggest success, partnered with Brands South Africa they completed maintenance work and food preparation for New Jerusalem Children’s home in Midrand, celebrated children with a party at Malaika Orphanage in Hillbrow. They also cleaned the premises of Ethembeni Childrens home in Johannesburg CBD and ran a food drive all around Cape Town.

For more information about the app and how you can start volunteering in your community visit their page here

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Sources: GEM 

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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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