The Evergreen Lifestyle Group, like the majority of other business entities both in South Africa and across the world, is faced with a unique set of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the effect of the pandemic on the national economy cannot be overlooked, the group is, first and foremost, working feverishly to prevent their 1,200 residents from falling ill. When the severity of the COVID-19 threat became apparent, the staff complement pulled together to offer round-the-clock protection and assistance to both the residents and the business.

A mammoth sacrifice was made

A week prior to the official onset of lockdown in the country, all Evergreen Villages were locked down. Essential staff, including doctors, nurses, and security guards were asked to relocate to the Villages for the duration of the lockdown.  Although drastic, this move would ultimately provide added protection to both residents and staff.

While at home with his family one day, Cobus Bedeker, MD of Evergreen Property Investments, realised just what an immense sacrifice the Evergreen essential workers were making. In order to show solidarity with them, he shaved his head and challenged other senior staff within the organization to follow suit. When speaking about his choice in challenge, Mr. Bedeker stated: “I wanted to keep it simple with no monetary elements.”

Simplicity was key

Soon, what started out as an internal challenge became somewhat of a global marvel with more than 6.5 million individuals pledging support for the #ShavefortheBrave and #HairforCare campaigns. Apart from the tremendous support received from the general public, a number of well-known local personalities also joined in the fun.  Neil Powell (Blitzbokke Coach), Marius Schoeman (Manager & Head Coach SA 7’s Academy), Siviwe Soyizwapi (Blitzbokke player), Jacques Faul (CEO of Cricket SA), James Wilson (CEO of the Amdec Group,) and Piet Mouton (CEO of PSG Group) all chose to show solidarity to the unsung heroes of the pandemic.

During a recent interview on SAFM, Mr Bedeker revealed that the time has now come to call upon the nation’s biggest corporations to join the campaign and show solidarity with frontline workers. Despite lockdown being systematically eased, the pressure on these workers is expected to continue for anywhere between 6 months and a year. The aim of the campaign is to show these workers, which includes medical staff, the police, the army, and retail workers, that they are valued. When anyone with a shaved head or brightly-coloured hair is spotted outside their homes, these workers will know that they have the support of an entire nation behind them.

How do I get involved?

One of the reasons the campaign has gained so much global traction is the fact that it is not only simple but sported a fun element as well. In order to participate, you simply shave or colour your hair and take a photo that you upload to your social media platforms. Be sure to tag @evergreenlifestyle and use the hashtags #ShavefortheBrave and #HairforCare. The Evergreen team will pick up your post and re-share it on their own platforms.

Mr. Bedeker and the rest of the Evergreen Lifestyle Group is challenging everyone who benefits from the unselfish actions of South Africa’s essential workers to join the campaign and #ShavefortheBrave.


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