Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT) is setting the example of how to spend International Mandela Day on Wednesday 18 July as they invite everyone to join in a two-headed community uplifting initiative this coming Wednesday.
Mandela Day is celebrated on the country’s first democratically elected president, uTata Madiba’s birthday and encourages everyone to give 67 minutes to help people less fortunate – one minute for each year of his life Madiba gave to politics.
“In the spirit of Mandela Day, we have to remind ourselves of his selflessness and compassion. At NMBT we understand the importance of helping one another. By setting time aside on this day, we want to commemorate our former president for all he has done, as well as following his example,” said NMBT marketing manager, Titus Chuene.
NMBT will start its two-part outreach programme with the ceremonial hand over of a cheque to the Linge Tots Development Centre in Kwazakhele after Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) donated funds for much needed infrastructural upgrades at the centre. The Linge Tots Development Centre provides therapy and basic pre-school education for physically and mentally challenged children between the ages of 0 to 12 years and currently caters for 30 children from the surrounding communities.
“Its not hard finding worthy causes to support. We chose to assist not only one cause this year, but two. The Linge Tots centre was one of the worthy recipients of some wheelchairs during the recent Wheelchair Wednesday campaign and after visiting the centre the staff unanimously felt that each one of these kids deserve to be treated every day as if it is Mandela day,” said Chuene. The tourism body is calling on anyone willing to donate anything from blankets to carpets, sippie cups and educational toys – anything that might help the centre care for the children. Donations can be dropped off at the any of the NMBT Visitor Information Centres situated in Uitenhage, the Donkin, Port Elizabeth Airport and The Boardwalk.
The other community group benefitting from NMBT’s 67 minutes initiative is the Sukume Museum and Cultural Centre in Walmer where the team will assist an HIV ladies support group to establish a vegetable garden from scratch. Chuene said that more than a hundred tons of top soil will be needed to prepare the allocated space before they could even start with the planting. NMBT would like to invite everyone to don their gardening clothes and help the NMBT team breaking soil and turning ground to start a vegetable garden.
Chuene said that the vegetable garden will be the first step for the group of ladies to become self sufficient. Not only would it provide them with the essential sustenance needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle but the money made from selling the excess vegetables would enable them to provide financial support to group members during times of illness. “We invite everyone, our members and public to get into some gardening clothes, grab a spade and help us turn the soil from 11:00 on Wednesday.” Chuene added that donations such as soil, shovels and other gardening material for the vegetable garden will also be most welcome.
It is NMBT’s hope that a company will eventually adopt the vegetable project and assist the group to realise its dream of forming a co-operative one day.
The afternoon concludes with a soccer clinic sponsored by the Mustangs Sports Academy. They will donate soccer balls, numbered jerseys and socks to 40 girls and boys from the aftercare centre that will enable them to participate in league games in future.
“Make the best of Mandela day, show you care and use the 67 minutes to change your community for the better,” Chuene concluded.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2012/07/spend-mandela-day-in-the-bay/