who we areAt Heartlines, the Centre for Values Promotion, we believe in the power of story and positive values to touch hearts and transform behaviour.
WHERE IT STARTED
I reviewed my own storyline and recognised that, beyond health, South Africa’s challenges related to the breakdown of our moral fabric. – Dr Garth Japhet, Heartlines CEO
Heartlines was founded in 2002 by Dr Garth Japhet, a medical doctor driven by a passion to transform behaviour through storytelling. Working in Alexandra during apartheid South Africa, Garth realised that treating symptoms would never truly improve the health and quality of life of his patients.
Together with some fellow doctors, Garth founded Soul City in 1992, an award-winning multimedia edutainment platform. It is still reaching millions today with easily accessible and contextual health and social justice messaging.
However, many of South Africa’s health and social justice challenges stem from a moral or values breakdown. Heartlines was formed as an initiative of The Mass Media Project, a non-profit Section 21 company. The vision was to move people from professed values to lived values, in order to address key societal issues.
In 2006 we produced 8 values-based films which launched our first national campaign, ‘8 Weeks. 8 Values. One National Conversation.’
Each film focused on a specific value, and accompanying resources supported taking the conversation on that value further in a small-group setting, such as a classroom, bible-study or faith-based group. These films went on to win numerous awards, including the Durban Film Festival and the Banff World Television Awards.
In 2009, we launched the campaign ‘6 Weeks of Values in Action’. Our flagship was the series and later on the film Hopeville, which won many awards including a Rose d’Or, two SAFTA awards and an international Emmy nomination.
Our current project, What’s your Story? was launched in 2016 to spark conversations around values and race, difference and understanding. The supporting film of this project is the drama feature film, Beyond the River.
As the Centre for Values Promotion, our vision is to be the voice of values in South Africa, and the centre for engaging values-based content. One of early slogans sums it up: “We mobilise people to do what’s right in order to fix what’s wrong.”
Our approach & values
Do you ever stop and think about why you do certain things? What drives your behaviour, your decisions, your actions? The answer to this question lies in the concept of your values, the things you believe are important. The values that you hold are what drive you or shape what you believe about the world.
If you think respect is important, how you treat or respond to people will be different from if you didn’t think it was important. If you believe that generosity is important, that will play a big role in how you respond to the needs of others.
Heartlines promotes all positive values. Some of the values promoted through our previous projects include honesty, responsibility, forgiveness, acceptance, respect, understanding, compassion, self-control, integrity, wisdom, empathy and generosity. While we hold a Christian worldview, we partner with all major faith groups.
Our TeamWe asked the Heartlines team, “What’s the one value South Africa needs most today?”
Honesty. When people are not honest in their dealings and steal, it not only leads to poor or no service delivery but also it reduces people’s confidence in the country. The end result is greater unemployment, less money for services and greater poverty and suffering.
Chief Financial Officer
Trust is the cornerstone of good long term relationships (between individuals, between people and political parties, between people and companies, in families, on the roads etc etc.). And good societies are based on people that trust each other.
Office & Human Resources Manager
Self-control. Regardless of what you do – whether it involves a physical act or a mental decision, must be maintained to produce desirable results.
Senior programmes manager
Integrity. A lack of integrity destroys relationships, and deprives people of wealth, education, jobs and security. When integrity is restored, business and government will succeed – relationships will be restored; people will be at peace with themselves.
Head of What's Your Story? digital & media
Love, in its truest form, as that will cancel out so many other social ills, such as envy, greed, selfishness, hatred, etc.
Chief Operations Officer
Diligence: God gives us talents; it’s up to us to make the best use of them.
Understanding. It is important to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, to understand situations from their perspective. This helps us gain insight into the beliefs, feelings, experiences and intentions of others. Understanding others allows us to respond appropriately to them and to situations.
Future-mindedness, as we all caught up in immediacy
Resilience because we are going to need it to keep hoping and fighting for the future of our children
CEO - Heartlines Consulting
Curiosity. We need to be curious about each other, we need to be curious about what is happening around us (in government, at work, in our families, and our communities)
Programmes & Activations Manager
Honesty – it underpins all values important for a cohesive society. If we were honest, firstly with ourselves, imagine what a free life we would all live. If one cannot be honest with oneself, how can one be honest with others?
Multimedia Content Manager
Hope reminds us to look beyond our circumstances and have faith that God’s grand plan will exceed our expectations.
Receptionist & Clerical Assistant
Success in life comes from perseverance. Perseverance will help us keep going when there are challenges and forgiveness is important because it helps you heal from whatever hurt you have experienced.
PR & Communications Officer
Compassion. We are so caught up in our own worlds that we are not compassionate towards each other, as individuals and society in general. It’s every man for himself.
Responsibility: Every individual should learn to take responsibility for their actions and not shift the blame onto others. Always tackle every situation in a responsible manner.
Correctional Services Team Lead
Tolerance. Becoming more tolerant of others will allow us to get out of our comfort zone and possibly expand our social circle. You might realise that you really enjoy someone’s company; someone that you would have avoided if you hadn’t tried to listen to them and understand them.
Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another and themselves.
Determination is a positive emotional feeling that involves persevering towards a difficult goal in spite of obstacles. Determination occurs prior to goal attainment and serves to motivate behavior that will help achieve one’s goal.
Generosity in giving (living a life of service)
Honesty in earning. I think a lot of scandals are related to how people earn their money. That’s why it’s even hard for them to enjoy the money, hence the lavish lifestyles after they’ve defrauded people, to appease their conscience.
Forgiveness is a value that I believe is essential because everyone deserves a second chance in life. If you are able to forgive you become a better person.
Cohesion between the different people in our society. We have also lost interest in knowing each other – whether it’s what’s going on with our neighbours or each other in general.
The value of Reconciliation is my grounding value – it is my guiding value to go about the work of social justice, and realizing equitable, inclusive, transformed & beloved community.
I believe in responsibility as a value, When you take responsibility for your life, even in the work place you can achieve your dreams. You are totally responsible for your life. This is the founding principle you must embrace, and there is wisdom in the value of taking responsibility.
Achievement is a value that can help you accomplish something and be admirable in your work ,education or your life in general, while accountability will hold you and others to a code of ethics in order to address the appropriateness of your behavior in relation to your values. Finally, faith will help you to commit to a cause or to champion a way of life ,even if it may mean putting your life at risk.