THE SPARK IMPACTPROGRAMME

The Spark Impact Programme

The younger generation holds the key to our future, yet many are disenchanted with the current state of affairs, including: inadequate education and training, limited job prospects, poverty and unfulfilled political promises. In response, we have developed The Spark Impact Programme, our flagship youth employment accelerator.

We launched this programme in 2021 and have already trained more than 40 young South Africans aged 21 to 34 from all nine provinces. The programme equips young media entrepreneurs with the skills to use film as a tool for promoting dialogue and creating community-level impact on pressing issues such as: gender-based violence, conservation, mental health, teenage pregnancy and substance abuse. Moreover, our skills development component provides the Spark Impact ambassadors, or Sparks,  with the necessary digital marketing knowledge and equipment to earn a monthly income from gig work (freelance digital marketing and media production work, such as photography or facilitation).

Sunshine Cinema is committed to scaling our refined programme model in the coming year thanks to supporters such as the National Film and Video Foundation PESP Fund.

We encourage our trainees to earn a minimum of R1 500 ($70)  in personal income from gig work each month during our 10-month flagship Spark Impact programme, as part of our effort to promote entrepreneurship and alleviate youth unemployment in South Africa. On average participants earn between R1 500-R10 000 ($70 – $550) in digital marketing gig work income per month. All  thanks to the training and equipment sponsored and provided by Canon South Africa, JBL, Yoco, Dell and Jackery.

Throughout our different projects we focus on promoting active citizenship to advance the social justice agenda, encouraging communities to hold those in power accountable and find suitable solutions to particular local issues.

Join us in driving positive change and building a brighter future for Southern Africa.

Read more below on  how we are engaging youth and creating jobs:

Daily Maverick article

News24 article

Applications for the South Africa 2024 Spark Impact Programme are NOW OPEN.

Applications will close on 18 March 2024 at 5 PM.

APPLY HERE!

What is it?

*Please note this is not a practical filmmaking course.

It is a unique media-based practical accelerator programme that runs from May 2024 until February 2025, training you both as an  impact facilitator – to use films to spark dialogue –  AND as a media entrepreneur – to access gig work and earn an income during training.

What’s on offer in the programme?

  • Training in audience facilitation, content creation, social media, digital marketing and communication skills.
  • ‘Learn by doing’ entrepreneurial training.
  • Discover how to secure gigs, practise facilitation and digital media skills and earn a sustainable monthly personal income.
  • A film impact screening facilitator course certificate from the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Film and Media Studies.
  • Life skills mentorship.
  • Peer-to-peer learning within an inspiring network of young leaders across the Global South.

*Data and logistic expenses covered by Sunshine Cinema.

Who Should Apply?

Young, aspiring media entrepreneurs who are committed to building a long-term platform in their community where social issues can be addressed in a way that leads to positive action and social change.

What are the Requirements?

  • Matric or an equivalent NQF Level 4 qualification.
  • Confidence in public speaking.
  • Interest in learning how to use film screenings to facilitate conversations on important issues to help raise awareness and make a difference in your own community.
  • Commitment to completing a very intensive 10-month apprenticeship programme;
  • Access to a laptop and stable internet to participate in the online class commitments.
  • Aged between 21-34 years and live in a rural or peri-urban community in
    South Africa and able to provide proof of address.

What are the Time Commitments?

A contract of commitment will be signed at the start of the programme to:

  • Attend the in-person orientation bootcamp.
  • Dedicate 8-10 hours per week to your UCT studies.
  • Dedicate 10-15 hours per week to your Spark Impact training commitments.
  • Host two monthly, free solar-powered cinema screenings of African films that spark conversation and engage diverse audiences.
  • Attend monthly online check-ins with the Sunshine Cinema team.
  • Participate in Masterclasses with media industry experts, collaborate and share knowledge with the cohort promoting peer-to-peer learning.
  • Earn at least R1 500 ($82) in gig work to unlock stipend.

 

Gig Work Opportunities

We train our sparks to ensure they have the necessary digital skills to earn a freelance income from gig work in media, marketing and impact facilitation.

On average participants earn  R1 500 – R10 000 ($82 – $545) in digital marketing income thanks to the training and equipment sponsored and provided by Canon South Africa, JBL, Dell, Yoco and Jackery.  In 2022, we secured R200 000 ($10 505) in gig work partnerships and employment opportunities for graduates. This grew to R1 million ($52 507) in just the first five months of 2023. Gig work presents an opportunity for youth to earn a sustainable income while sparking vital dialogue in previously marginalised communities.

Throughout our different projects we focus on promoting active citizenship to advance the social justice agenda, encouraging communities to hold those in power accountable and find suitable solutions for their own development challenges. Graduates continue to earn gig work with us as trained impact facilitators through our screening programmes with National Film and Video Foundation PESP Fund, UNICEF South Africa, 350.0rg, African Climate Reality and a range of award-winning films including Influence and My Octopus Teacher.

Connect to Your Audience

“Sunshine Cinema really forced me to grow and take my business seriously. For example, I started with Canva but throughout the Upskilling Course I’ve taught myself Photoshop and InDesign. My next goal is to get myself a digital drawing pad so I can create more authentic designs and illustrations.”

Matshepo Khumalo, 2022 Spark graduate

Our trained, experienced freelance community facilitators and digital specialists can help you connect to your audience and achieve your  social impact or business goals.

These young self-starters have a track record of finding imaginative ways to deliver quality media solutions. They have completed accredited diplomas in small business management and have developed skills using a variety of apps and equipment to fulfil a range of jobs.

These include:

  •   data collection and capturing;
  •   CV and logo design;
  •   digital photography for product launches and personal brands;
  •   social media management;
  •  transcribing and translating marketing materials and information; and
  • organising and hosting public events such as community screenings and social impact dialogues.

By hiring these talented humans you are contributing towards achieving youth employment goals for South Africa. Please view their individual profiles to find a gig worker in your specific area.

To request a gig work quote, please fill in this form:

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      COHORT

      • Noluthando Mdayi
        “I believe that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for activating people. Good stories have the power to inspire members of a community and empower armies of volunteers and donors.”
      • Katlego Maake
        “I think film or story telling can help uplift the youth in my community especially in matters relating to climate change, conservation, unemployment, gender-based violence and other social ills. I am looking forward to expanding my media and photography skills to secure gig work.”
      • Sinegugu Ntshakala
        “I feel strongly about this, as I believe that the future lies in the hands of an active youth. I want to use storytelling to tackle different individuals as they go about their daily lives in my community and to give different viewers another perspective of other people's lives.
      • Tlou Boloka
        “Using film and storytelling can help raise awareness. People in my community will now have access to films that they can relate to, by showing the different themes that they can have conversations about.”
      • Boitshepo Mamosebo
        “Most people in my community do not have access to cinema because there is no nearby mall that has a cinema. I can use this opportunity to get people in my community involved in watching the film/stories that can motivate them and create conversations.”
      • Sbusiso Bhengu
        “As an aspiring filmmaker I have always loved authentic stories, stories that resonate with our communities. I believe that films/stories have the ability to change and influence the mindset of the viewer. I would love to screen films that would challenge and spark conversations in our communities, conversations that will involve children, parents, teachers and community leaders.”
      • Snako Msi
        “Through sharing stories we can uncover our own truths as well as discover and relate to those around us. Storytelling builds empathy, allowing us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, creating the foundation of social emotional intelligence that is so important in early education of mental health care. Storytelling creates connection and a sense of belonging, it would be an opportunity for my community to develop through the film.”
      • Nonkululeko Mputi
        “I can use film or storytelling to teach the kids that are still growing that there is more to life than what they see in the township. I want to open their minds to the beauty of discipline and how much you can achieve if you play far from what is killing our brothers and sisters. I want to show them films of success stories of youngsters from across the country, to motivate them.”
      • Ntombiyakhe Shezi
        “I can use film to create change in our community, by addressing the core issues that face our community, such as gender-based violence. Film can be a way to open minds to many people and it can help the community to speak up or reach out for help.”
      • Siziphiwe Bingwa
        “Through film, people from all walks of life can be exposed to different perspectives, stories and experiences. The influence of film and storytelling can be used to educate and inspire those living in my community to challenge the status quo.”
      • Neo Bonokwane
        ”The art of engaging an audience, relating to their experiences, generating genuine emotions and leaving a lasting impact - that is storytelling. My goal is to use the solar cinema (Sunbox) to inform community members about issues such as: gender equality, drug abuse and culture.”
      • Mthokozisi Getye
        “I am going to use films to teach more about the social issues that our community is facing. The hosting of screening events will bring my community together to spark conversations and that will help minimise the rate of the youth getting caught up in bad behavior.”
      • Sinesandla Willem
        “I want to use film to teach and share knowledge with the young people in my community about mental health and especially boys/males. To share vital information on how to identify the symptoms but most importantly to teach them that it’s okay to seek help and where they can get help.”
      • Wilhelmiece Loyd
        “With the training from the programme, I want to use the skills and film screenings to share with the youngsters in my community, to motivate them to combat the high crime and unemployment rate.”
      • Zusakhe Ngqame
        “Educating and facilitating has always been my drive. From this learnership I am hoping to gain knowledge and experience. Making change in my community is one of the biggest goals. This is the best platform to engage with my community and understand them better with their challenges and come up with solutions where we can.”
      • Olerato Motlalekgosi
        “ I want to tackle the issue of mental health, there is an increasing need for a creative approach such as visual communication, and this is where using film to create change factors in. I am prepared to feature film screenings in awareness events. I can host mental health awareness and empowerment events in universities and schools, airing a selected short film that aids the conversation and inspires”.
      • Lebogang Ditsebe
        “I want to participate in my local community through stakeholders and liaison partners, this means a compact collaboration with local media houses to raise awareness on issues affecting us and how such issues affect ordinary South Africans.”
      • Nozipho Swelindawo
        “I can use films or stories to steer the youth away from the streets by making them part of my film screenings. I Am living in a town that is well known for its high rate of crime. With the film screenings, I believe my peers can learn so many things.”
      • Obakeng Chakela
        “I want to bring film to my community, because my community is facing a lot of challenges, the main one being substance abuse. Using film to engage with community members will create a positive impact in my community.”
      • Sipho Mbonani
        “I expect nothing but growth from an opportunity I have been longing for. I want to show my community exactly what the world has to offer through this platform. I want to build a solid network of people to challenge any issues that our local communities face daily. I also want to learn as much about film and how it can be used as a tool of education rather than normalised entertainment.”
        • Mthobisi Ngwenya
          “The role the film plays is that it brings information that you did not know. Film is made up of a lot of things like documentaries, for instance a documentary about climate change. It’s a topic we are not used to, so if I bring it to a community, it will bring new information to them.”
        • Mandisi Heshu
          “Storytelling is very powerful because it brings all the essence of what Africans are, in terms of their culture, their tradition, their customs and where they want to go in terms of the development that is happening around the world and how we can connect with the world and how we can move as a unit.”
        • Mofenyi Kgamane
          “African stories need to be told because as a young person growing up in a community where there is a lack of resources, I don’t have access to know about the history of Africa. African stories need to be told to young people and to the community at large by those who have access to information.”
        • Nthabiseng Mogashoa
          “As young people one thing we tend to do is think that everything will be served on a silver platter, but gig work allows you to do the groundwork.“
        • Dakalo Mahapa
          “Storytelling is powerful because it opens up your mind to different things that are happening and it also channels us towards opening up to different things or different activities that affect our daily lives.”
        • Nondumiso Madlala
          “Our youth are losing their identity. They don’t know who they are which affects them actually being able to understand what they’re capable of and what they can do. They need to know who they are, what they can do and what they’re capable of as African children.”
        • Matsepho Khumalo
          “What really drew me to Sunshine Cinema was the idea of distributing films to communities. In most cases people make films and they go out to festivals. And especially without documentary films, they never really reach the communities they’re meant for.”
        • Masego Bogastu
          “The power of showing films comes through the lessons that can be learnt. If we show a film about GBV to our target audience we will be able to help them open up to us. So, we can use film to open up and spark conversation and create change.”
        • Nobuhle Zulu
          “Stories are beautiful because they show you possibilities. They will show you what is and they will try and show you what could be, and they can also show you what actually was or what might be. So then, if you use stories as a medium to get people together you can show them all the different possibilities that might exist.”
        • Atlegang Shuenyane
          “There are a lot of challenges that my people are faced with, so I hope from this programme I’m going to learn to facilitate conversations that can assist in making sure my community is equipped with knowledge and skills and just generally with ways to better associate and work with each other. I hope to make the community a better place.”
        • Rejoice Legodi
          “Storytelling is important to me because it changes perspectives. You get to learn about other people’s ideas, experiences and their journey, how they get to embrace their journey and for you to get out of your comfort zone and be like: if someone can do it, I can do it, through storytelling.”
        • Morena Mofokeng
          “What I’m hoping to get out of this programme is that I’m hoping to be a better facilitator, be a game changer within my community. I want to use film as a tool for social change. I want to bring the feeling of cinema to the community and bring strong African content to people within our society.”
        • Piet Rakabe
          “I am very passionate about community building and entrepreneurship. I think my community will be excited when I show them the films because they will also be learning new things in their lives and be able to spark conversations on those things.”
        • Roneatens Steven
          “Being a Spark ambassador means I can promote change in my community, I can develop new skills and knowledge, into our youth in society and use them to promote better decision making among them.”
        • Silindile Mtetwa
          “It’s easier if you communicate with the community using something that they can see and relate to, like film, so we can start a conversation with them. It will be easy for them to raise what they are worried about and what they have always wanted to raise but did not have a way to do it.”
        • Sibusiso Mnisi
          “African stories need to be told because we need to share our truth. We need to inspire with our authenticity, our background and show the world what we are standing for.”
        • Wandiswa Shabalala
          “I will be that voice that will open the platform to other people that feel the same way about my community, who will come together and combat the issues that we are facing.”
        • Kwenzo Khoza
          “I am super excited about this programme because of the fundamental skills I will learn and acquire to be an independent creative, I am naturally a storyteller so I am excited to spark conversations within my community but most importantly pass on teaching through my work and bring about change in our black excellence and identity while opening up a safe space for other creatives to be part of this journey.”
          • Banthatile Tselana
            “I am a highly organised, reliable IT professional with the ability to work well under pressure. I am based in Tshwane and hold a Bachelor’s Degree in information technology. My work as a Spark has encouraged me to explore crossover opportunities that exist in the digital media industry and the IT field. I am currently a junior IT professional at Siemens Healthineers. I have been chosen to be part of a group of professionals who offer mentorship services to young adults so that they can receive guidance on their journey to making valuable career and education choices. It’s truly rewarding being able to be a changemaker.”
          • Bongeziwe Khuzwayo
            “I am an extroverted and hardworking professional with experience working with events management, film production companies and consulting organisations. I hold a national diploma in public relations, a certificate in film and TV operations, and an impact film screening facilitator course certificate with the UCT’s Centre for Film and Media Studies.“
          • Colin Afrika
            “I am an extroverted and hardworking professional with experience working with events management, film production companies and consulting organisations. I hold a national diploma in public relations, a certificate in film and TV operations, and an impact film screening facilitator course certificate with the UCT’s Centre for Film and Media Studies.“
          • Dimpho Sethololo
            “I am a creative, organised and highly reliable BA media studies graduate currently providing social media management and content creation services for small businesses in my community. As a Spark ambassador based in Limpopo I have gained exceptional communication, planning, organising and event management skills.”
          • Katlego Bosaletsi
            “I am a driven, resourceful, and reliable team player with an exceptional ability to mentor and motivate others. I am seeking to make a positive impact as a social change facilitator, teaching assistant, or youth coach.”
          • Lehlogonolo Sello
            “I am an emerging and talented film director, screenwriter and producer.The impact facilitation course with Sunshine Cinema at UCT’s Centre for Film and Media Studies has added another dimension to my film career.”
          • Lerato Matlawa
            “I am a dynamic and self-motivated individual who is competent in my field of work and I strive to achieve excellence in all tasks. I’m an analytical and critical thinker with an interest in current affairs and people, which has given me a sound general knowledge. My work ethic is driven by integrity which motivates me to do the best I can in any given situation and to continuously improve my skills as a professional.”
          • Masego Mokang
            “I am an ambitious and hardworking creative based in the Northern Cape. I am currently studying towards my national diploma in human resource management, while working as an impact facilitator at Sunshine Cinema”
          • Mbali Nontokozo (Ntuli)
            “I am a creative entrepreneur from Mbazwana Umhlabuyalingana in KwaZulu-Natal. I am keen to work as an impact facilitator for film screenings, and also in project management in a film-related field. I am currently a member of the board at Sunshine Cinema”
          • Mpho Percival (Bogatsu)
            “I am a talented fine artist, a photographer, a digital designer, and an entrepreneur. My passion for art led me to study a BA in fine arts, film, together with media, digital concepts and marketing in order to further my skills. As an entrepreneur and a freelancer I’ve hosted live screenings, facilitated events, earned a living through creativity and drafted a graphic novel, which I aim to see published, then turn into an animated film.”
          • Neo Mosoang
            “I am a passionate and ambitious creative communicator who is fascinated by the world around me. I am a Cum Laude graduate with a diploma in tourism management. I am also an impact facilitator graduate who is able to work as a digital content creator or social media manager in the marketing, tourism, or social media impact space.”
          • Nomcebo Mgaga
            “I am a social entrepreneur and a creative who has been in the digital marketing space for a year now, working with start-ups and entrepreneurs. Working as a strategy designer will help sharpen my decision-making and problem-solving skills, while I assist business owners to promote and grow their businesses.”
          • Nontobeko Mpume (Ngcungama)
            “I am a University of KwaZulu-Natal graduate in environmental geology who is passionate about creative expression. I am passionate about writing films, film producing, impact facilitating and telling stories through acting. I also enjoy working in sales, the digital marketing space, social media content creation and have experience working with small businesses to help them enhance their profiles.”
          • Nontokozo Prudence (Sibanyoni)
            “I am a highly self-motivated and driven marketing graduate from the Tshwane University of Technology and an impact facilitator. I am currently based in Cape Town and a full-time employee at Sunshine Cinema as a media coordinator. My roles involve: social media manager, content writer, communications marketing manager and helping with the overall Spark Impact programme.
          • Noxolo Thandeka (Mlungwana)
            “I have the attitude that any problem can be solved with a little bit of hard work, solid technique and a whole lot of imagination. I am an abundant artist, I firmly believe that I cannot place each part of my life in separate silos and still reach my full potential. I am currently a Global Youth ambassador, I have taught extensively in the community facilitating performing arts classes as an extra mural activity and as a classroom teaching assistant in creative arts learning areas. I am a co-founder of Blossom Adventures Arts Creation (BLAAC).
          • Ntombenhle Madlala
            “I am a highly organised and enthusiastic leader with exceptional team-building skills. I see myself making an impact as programme manager, facilitator or social development worker in the NGO space.”
          • Sanele Thwala
            I am a talented, goal-driven journalist from East London. Named Global Peace Ambassador by the Global Peace Chain in 2019, I strive to be an active agent of change connecting with others to implement solutions for an inclusive world. My future lies in human capital, digital marketing and writing.”
          • Sibongile Emogion (Nkosi)
            “I love meeting new people especially if I am going to learn something; it always keeps me excited”
          • Ayanda Rulashe
            “I am a highly creative digital content creator and Spark ambassador. I have grown to love the impact facilitation field as a result of the UCT course and practical training I have received from Sunshine Cinema. I am currently seeking to grow my portfolio of clients in the social media and content creation industry, specifically in the field of fashion and personal branding.”
          • Thabang Thapo
            “I am an entrepreneurial IT Specialist with a MSCE certificate and experience in infrastructure support. I completed UCT’s Centre for FIlm and Media Studies course in impact facilitation, where I gained specialist skills in planning and organising film screening events and promoting active citizenship using African films.”
          • Tshwarelo Mothupi
            “I have been working in the digital marketing and media facilitation space for five months as a Spark ambassador. I am seeking a career opportunity to focus my creative skills in photography, screenwriting and directing fiction films as I work towards my dream of becoming a successful social entrepreneur and independent filmmaker.”
          • Refilwe Nongcebo (Chiloane)
            “I am a BA graduate from Wits University, with majors in international relations, political science and sociology. I see myself being an asset to any organisation that needs an excellent copywriter, proofreader and graphic designer.”