Last week, Islamic Relief South Africa commemorated Mandela Day by holding a series of activities at their community centre in Johannesburg.
Mandela Day is an annual celebration and a call to action for people to follow Nelson Mandela’s example in striving proactively for equality, reconciliation, diversity, responsibility, respect and freedom. Nelson Mandela spent more than 67 years fighting for the rights of humanity. The Mandela Day campaign calls for people to devote 67 minutes of their time to serving their communities on the July 18.
Islamic Relief South Africa marked the occasion by hosting a fun day for orphaned children at the Osizweni Community Centre in Ennersdale, Johannesburg. Over 80 volunteers turned up on 18 July to give their 67 minutes to the children at Islamic Relief’s centre.
The day’s activities were organised by the Caring Women’s Forum (CWF), a not-for-profit organisation that carries out and supports community work with organisations such as Islamic Relief.
"It was touching to visit the Osizweni Community Centre. As Mandela Day approached we thought it would be an ideal way to spend 67 minutes giving back to a project that had become so dear to us,” said CWF representative, Zaheerah Bham-Ismail. CWF assisted in cleaning, washing and redecorating the centre, as well as restocking supplies such as blankets, stationary and diapers.
“I’m so happy, it feels like my birthday- I’ve never celebrated a birthday before,” said 12-year-old Novuyo from Ennerdale. Over 100 children attended the fun day and took part in a variety of activities put together by the CWF such as biscuit decorating, face-painting, craft workshops and sports.
“It is always heart-warming to see the smile a gift brings to a child,” said Atiya, who assists Islamic Relief in their Saturday library programs at the centre, “but these children need more than gifts and I am hoping that some of the volunteers from Sunday will join us in developing a reading project that will add more value to the lives of the children.”
“Thank you for your time, it means a lot to us,” said the Osizweni Community Centre Manager, Lettue Ngubeni, “it is not about money, it’s about time, care, love and support, and hopefully this support will continue.”
Islamic Relief South Africa would like to thank the CWF group members, as well as the many volunteers who participated in the day’s activities.