LEADER of non-profit organisation, Making A Difference South Africa (MADSA), Chan Naidoo, has been nominated for the Influential Men of the Year award. Naidoo who co-founds MADSA with his wife Keshnee, has been nominated in recognition of the philanthropic work undertaken by the organisation in the community.The Influential Men of the Year and Legends Awards will be held at the Lyric Theatre in Johannesburg on November 3.The event seeks to recognise entrepreneurs, community leaders, philanthropists and legends.Explaining the work of MADSA, Naidoo said the organisation operated as a collective of family, friends and colleagues who wanted to make a meaningful contribution to the community. “MADSA seeks to make a material difference to the lives of vulnerable members of communities through the provision of welfare, humanitarian, education, development and health care support,” said Naidoo.In addition, he said through the donor base, strategic partnerships have been established with various organisations to ensure maximum reach to beneficiaries. “The award would be a step forward to actively lead the vision of creating a better life for all and address some of the socio-economic challenges our communities face across the country,” said Naidoo.Highlighting MADSA’s efforts, Naidoo said: “MADSA has affected change to thousands of lives. Key programmes include annual Easter, Mandela Day, Diwali and Christmas drives together with emergency relief efforts. Additional projects include the provision of reusable sanitary pads to disadvantaged girl pupils.”He emphasised that he will never forget his roots, which is why he leads a project in Pietermaritzburg annually, to provide school shoes, socks and stationery to thousands of pupils and positively impacts their lives. Outlining the organisation’s vision for 2020, Naidoo said they aim to reach 7 000 pupils with the provision of basic necessities.“And thereby tangibly change the path of our country’s future leaders. Bringing approximately 4 000 of these to Pietermaritzburg targeting the most vulnerable children,” said Naidoo.Adding that by providing these basic necessities, a positive experience for pupils will be created while keeping them interested in the learning process without feeling marginalised due to their circumstances. “This positive spirit will allow them to rise above their circumstances in the journey to create a better future for themselves through the power of education. I believe this is a sustainable long term solution to fight the negative impact of poverty in our country,” said Naidoo.