Maverick Citizen


Connection and community — social change agents launch 24 inclusive events offering you the power to give back

Connection and community — social change agents launch 24 inclusive events offering you the power to give back
Carrie Pratt and Ilka Stein. (Photo: Thom Pierce/ The Actionists)

Actionists Carrie Pratt and Ilka Stein offer you the opportunity to make a difference this Christmas by affording skills development and upliftment to those who need it the most.

With the holiday season upon us, and the start of a new year on the horizon, many of us are thinking about what we can do to make it a more productive year in 2024. It’s a time of reflection, a time of change and a time for thinking big. 

Carrie Pratt and Ilka Stein are both successful professional consultants who get satisfaction through their day jobs. Carrie teaches the Nexus Leadership Programme at Gibs and Ilka runs ForReal consultancy, facilitating team and multi-stakeholder development. 

In 2024, they have decided to dedicate themselves to conceptualising and creating 24 events, each focused on creating connection and community in South Africa. It is a generous idea that has no financial benefits for them, they merely want to be able to put their combined skills to good use and, along the way, inspire others to do the same. 

“I was up all night considering all the big questions. At the moment I am craving connection and community and I think we need that as human beings. If community feels so important, what is the part that we can play to create it? “Ilka Stein

The idea for 24for24 was hatched in early November and Ilka and Carrie worked diligently to put it together and launch by 1 December. The idea was to tie it in with the 24-day Christmas advent calendar, promoting one new activity a day through social media. 

Throughout December (and through 2024) they are promoting their 24 programmes all of which will positively impact a range of communities by focusing on the environment, reflection, self-development and advocacy. Each activity is unique but they have all been crafted with the same gentle emphasis on upliftment. 

The activities themselves are varied, they include events focusing on leadership, facilitation, the circular economy and environmental issues as well as a reusable coffee cup drive, a women’s DIY workshop and a day hike for young people from Johannesburg’s inner city. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: ‘Innovative solutions for African problems’ — Keke Malakele enables young people to grasp the future

At first glance, the 24for24 website seems to focus solely on raising money for the events, as each one has been given a monetary value that covers the operational costs. But the idea is that donations of food, transport, venues and expertise are as, if not more, valuable than the donation of money. When an in-kind donation is made, the value of that contribution is deducted from the total budget listed for that project on the website. 

Although this is a project that is close to both of their hearts, Carrie and Ilka would like to inspire others to get involved and are looking for people who believe in the need for change and who see the value of the events that they are offering. They want people to join them as “champions” of the events, to take on a leadership role and work with them to bring the event to life.

“It’s about recognising that, at this moment, a lot of people are very discouraged and feel like they can’t make a difference. You take action once and you see that you can make a difference and you see the difference it makes to you. You feel part of something bigger than your own life.”

As it is the festive season and a time of giving they also want to encourage people to give more but buy less stuff. If you are looking for a gift for someone who already has everything they need, why not take a look at the 24for24 and donate towards an activity on their behalf? DM 

Find out more about 24for24 on their website and through their Instagram account @24for24challenge

The Actionists was launched in early 2023 by photographer Thom Pierce. It consists of on-the-ground problem solvers, community activists, climate campaigners and human rights defenders who engage in direct action. They are people anyone can turn to in difficult circumstances: a growing community of people who care about the future of South Africa. Through a series of photographic stories, Pierce profiles these people. Through a website, discussion forum and social media, the aim is to provide ways for people to get involved.

Nominate Actionists in your circle at or email [email protected]


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