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28 October 2022
In honour of Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and founding patron of Peace Parks Foundation, and in the spirit of Mandela Day which is annually celebrated on 17 July, staff members on 27 July dedicated their 67 minutes in support of two local charity organisations.
Assigning skills where they could best be utilised, the staff divided into a handyman group and a gardening group before setting off to Vuya Endaweni Environmental Education Centre and Legacy Community Development, both in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch.
At Vuya Endaweni Environmental Education Centre, the handymen and -women spent the afternoon putting up shelves, fixing tables, painting the exterior walls with fire-proof paint, and just lending a hand wherever else a job needed to be done.
Vuya Endaweni, which in Xhosa means “be happy in that place”, educates the residents of Kayamandi – which borders a critically endangered Renosterveld fynbos biome on Papegaaiberg – about the environment in which they live and encourages them to protect and positively transform the area into a celebration of nature.
The Environmental Education Centre educates and empowers local young children in the protection of the environment. The children meet weekly on a Saturday morning to learn about the environment through various mediums, including interactive talks, art projects, music and drama.
The gardening team sprang into action at Legacy Community Development where they planted trees, and assisted with general garden maintenance. This organisation runs various educational, health and development initiatives in Kayamandi, aimed at raising literacy and employment levels, and providing an overall improvement in quality of life. Programmes include after-school educational assistance and learning enhancement for young people, skills transfer and training programmes for adults, vegetable gardens, HIV support and health education, as well as sports programmes.
Said CEO of Peace Parks Foundation, Werner Myburgh, “Nelson Mandela stated that the burden of leadership in addressing social injustices lies within the hands of each next generation – which now, are our hands. In this spirit we were privileged today to be able to literally use our hands to assist two organisations that contribute in such an impactful way to the enrichment of the local communities and, in so doing, commemorate Madiba’s life and legacy.”
Peace Parks Foundation would like to thank Van Den Berg Nursery, Timber City and Oranje Blanje Blou hardware store, for supporting its Mandela Day activities.
Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18 July 2009, via a unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly.
It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier, for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that ‘it is in your hands now’.
The Mandela Day campaign message is: ‘Nelson Mandela fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes. We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity.