Mandela Day 2012 community project supported by Kirstenbosch Gold Fields Education Centre
On Mandela Day, 18th July 2012, staff from the Gold Fields Education Centre at Kirstenbosch collaborated with a wide variety of community organisations, businesses and community members to take action to reaffirm dignity and inspire change within the Blikkiesdorp community, near Delft on the Cape Flats. The aim was to fulfill the vision of International Mandela Day by providing a platform to “Take action, inspire change, make every day a Mandela Day.”
Who was involved?
The call to action was co-ordinated by the Boundless Heart Foundation who worked on this project with organisations as diverse as SANBI (Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden), SAB, Plascon, Greenpop, Abalimi, Global Green, The Taxi Radio, Oxford University Press, Random House, University of the Western Cape, City of Cape Town (Human Settlements Department). Also involved were Councillors from Subcouncil 5 and Mayco Human Settlement councillors, Iziko Museums, LeadSA, PimpMyBook, Wonga, TB/HIV Association, Africa Centre on HIV/AIDS Awareness (based at Stellenbosch University), Cape Philharmonic Orchestra Youth (one double bass player and three violinist), photographers and artists and a host of other organisations and individuals.
SANBI’s participation was co-ordinated by Roleen Ellman and Zane Matthews of the Gold Fields Environmental Education Centre. SANBI Education staff, together with community members and volunteers from various organisations, laid out a garden at the entrance to the community and planted 105 indigenous plants, suited to the harsh conditions of the area.
A large number of individuals happily turned the soil, cleared the weeds and grass, shoveled and mixed compost and finally had the reward of planting in the newly prepared beds. One young community member who had studied agriculture for Matric, was excited to see and touch bonemeal, used to encourage strong root growth, for the first time. He clearly enjoyed the morning, getting to grips with a subject which had not previously sprung from the pages of his text books. All were very satisfied with the end result of 5 indigenous plant beds.
The centre point of all of this activity was the placing of a brightly painted, large container which will serve as a library for children, and where story telling took place on Mandela Day to launch its use.
In addition to this action, other organisations co-ordinated the planting of a vegetable garden, painting of house walls, planting trees, manning stands for HIV AIDs and TB awareness.
The podium was used to bring all volunteers and community members together, as Soli Philander entertained the crowds, who also had the opportunity to listen to tunes, including our National Anthem, played by members of the Cape Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.