67 Minutes for the greater good
“We are so excited; I don’t have the words to express my gratitude. We just want to dance and sing,” said Busisiwe Ngcane, a care-worker at the Buhle Besive drop-in centre. “The donations we received today is an answer to our prayers.”
Annually on 18 July, people from across the world donate time and resources to celebrate the life and legacy of tata Madiba. Mandela Day is a global call to action, promoting the idea that each individual has the power to help transform the world. Kishugu and Working on Fire (WOF) identified a need at the Buhle Besive Centre and stepped in to help.
This passionate after-school centre is located in the rural Zwelisha community in Mpumalanga, and offers a safe and loving environment to less fortunate children from the local community. Many of these children are orphans. They have been placed with relatives or willing community members, who often do not have the means to properly care for an extra child.
Even with their limited resources, the staff at the Buhle Besive drop-in centre care for up to 50 children a day. They provide each child with a daily hot meal, homework assistance, love and compassion.
Up until now, this centre had to operate from an old container and a small cooking hut, which was too small to accommodate all the children during rainy or chilly weather. Today, Kishugu and WOF combined efforts, and made a difference by donating a new classroom facility. This wooden wendy house will provide the children with a neat and sheltered structure where they can happily do homework, read or play.
Kishugu and WOF also donated 55 chairs, a few tables and various crockery items, such as plates and cups. The Kishugu and WOF employees also opened their hearts and contributed boxes filled with toys, clothes, non-perishable foods and stationary.
“I wish everyday could be a Mandela Day,” said one of the children in an address to the audience, who gathered for this festive occasion.
Two local WOF firefighting crews assisted during the hand-over on Mandela Day, and a few of them even recited their own poems to express what Mandela Day means to them. The WOF firefighters also delighted the young children with a parade and a few songs. Bongani Nhlabathi, Ground Operations Manager for WOF in Mpumalanga said, “It was an honour to be able to help this centre, who so selflessly helps these children. Mandela’s words are wasted if we do not follow his lead and share what we have with those in need.”
The message of the Mandela Day campaign states: “Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes.” Kishugu and Working on Fire truly felt privileged to join the global community in this honourable pursuit.