FEEL GOOD: UK Minecraft players raised almost R2 million to help feed South Africans
- Two UK-based Minecraft players ran a fundraising drive for poor communities in South Africa.
- Nearly 700,000 gamers tuned in across the world.
- The drive raised nearly R2 million.
- For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.
Two popular players of the online Minecraft game - who stream their adventures to fans via YouTube - have raised almost R2 million to help feed poor South Africans.
The collaboration began when a South African-born gamer called Rendog (who wants to remain anonymous) - approached SOS Africa, a UK-based charity that primarily funds education opportunities in South Africa, who now also feeds families, to do a fundraiser.
Rendog is originally from Bloemfontein, but moved to the UK in 2006. He has just over 463,000 subscribers on YouTube. The content on his channel is focussed on his gaming adventures in Minecraft, a game that allows you to build new worlds with blocks. Through SOS Africa, Rendog already helps sponsor the education of three children in South Africa.
Rendog proposed a Minecraft stream with his fellow streamer Grian, a hugely popular British YouTube streamer with 5.26 million subscribers, to raise money for SOS Africa. The result was the most successful fundraiser in SOS Africa’s 17-year history.
Last Sunday, just before the Minecraft stream, Matt Crowcombe, founder of SOS Africa, set a ‘hugely ambitious’ target of R550 000 (£20,000) for the event.
A few days before the stream, SOS Africa was excited about the nearly R100,000 that had been raised by UK donors. The money was “enough to feed the families of each of our children for 2 months and provide 4,000 soup kitchen meals for the surrounding communities,” said the charity.
But over the course of a few hours, Minecraft fans and avid gamers knocked SOS Africa’s fundraising projections out of the water.
Then the Minecraft stream began and people started giving. And giving. Gamers watching the stream donated money to support Rendog and Grian, and to keep them playing
By the end of the night, Grian and Rendog had raised nearly R2 million for severely disadvantaged people in South Africa. Over 700,000 gamers tuned in to the stream. And people are still giving – a day later the fundraiser had received another R50,000 in donations.
Due to the unbelievable generosity of thousands of people from all over the world tonight, we raised over £75000 for @SOS_Africa during our charity stream with Grian. To put it into perspective, thats over 300000 hot meals for South Africans in desperate need. THANK YOU ALL! RD pic.twitter.com/1wJE4V8IYD— ReNDoG (@renthedog) May 10, 2020
“We had absolutely no idea we would receive this response,” says Crowcombe. “The funds raised will feed many thousands over the coming months,” says Crowcombe." All the funds will be invested in emergency food packages and hot meals in the Western Cape, he says.
"We were all completely overwhelmed with emotion," he says. "Our staff in South Africa were following the event and were constantly in floods of tears."
"The incredible amount of funds donated is not only a demonstration of the generosity of the sponsors but also a reflection of Rendog and Grian as people; kind, generous and hugely popular!"
Watch the stream here.
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