The 18th of July was declared by the United Nations as International Mandela Day.
Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact.
The Mandela Day campaign message is: "Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We're asking you to start with 67 minutes."
It is in this vain that The Justice Desk teamed up with Food Lovers Market to spend 67 minutes in the Nyanga community to spend time with children from Khanyisa and Inkwenkwezi ECD centers. The two centres are partner organisations of The Justice Desk, as an extension of the organisations strong belief in early childhood development and children’s rights. The Justice Desk thus believes in the values of empowering children at an early age and like the great Nelson Mandela once said:
There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
It is with this belief in mind that The Justice Desk partnered with the Food Lovers Market team and spent half the day with young children from an underserved society of Nyanga. The Justice Desk declared the month of July as Eco-Justice month and as a way of celebrating Mandela Day The Justice Desk team and the Food Lovers team planted a vegetable garden at Inkwenkwenzi Centre. The Vegetable garden would also serve a food source for the children who attend the school. Food nutrition is an important aspect of early childhood development and the garden will go a long way in providing nutritious meals for the children.
In addition to planting a vegetable garden, in the spirit of Eco-Justice month the team took time despite the pouring rain to clean the environment that surrounds Inkwenkwezi ECD centre. In the true spirit of Madiba the community members also joined the clean up campaign as a true testament of community ownership, one of the chief values of The Justice Desk. The day at the two centres was concluded with the Food Lovers team handing out toys and a fruit pack to the young joyous and hopeful souls.
Euwin Steven Fundraising Concert
During the evening of Mandela Day, The Justice Desk Team attended a fundraising concert for Euwin Stevens held by one of The Justice Desk’s goodwill ambassador, Craig Lucas, at the Artscape Theatre Centre. Euwin, a boy from Elsies River, who with superhuman drive, relentlessly fought to make a better like for himself and his family. The concert raised R80 000 for Euwin to attend university in the United States. In a true show of what can happen when a community gets together to support one of their own, the concert was a resounding success. The concert was graced with great talents that answered to the call of supporting one of their own. The concert was a realisation of Herman Melville words which cannot be truer that:
"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibres connect us with our fellow men."
Let us endeavour to ensure that everyday is a Mandela Day and ensure that our society is a better place for the present and future generations.