The 18th of July was Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday and, to honour the birth of our iconic leader and “Tata” of South Africa, the day has now been named after him. As part of the Nelson Mandela Day celebration South Africans have been inspired to pay homage to Madiba’s incredible influence for goodness by taking time to serve their communities and fellow human beings. Ocean Basket embraced the call to serve wholeheartedly and we chose to work with underprivileged children in disadvantaged communities in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal.
Serving in Eldorado Park
Our Gauteng crew spent two days at the Don Mattera School in Eldorado Park. The team were first taken to the Kliptown Museum by the school’s Principal, Eric Batchelor, before settling down to spend some fun, quality-time with the children. The Gauteng team brought much love and laughter to the school, doing face painting for the little ones and assisting the elder children with mosaicking and beading. The school’s fence received a new coat of paint courtesy of the team and, on the 18th, we sent the school a giant birthday cake to celebrate Madiba’s birthday.
Eric had this to say of the cake: “The cake arrived and what an experience. Massive, delicious and it had to be cut immediately. The children went home with big slices of cake, you couldn’t wipe the laughter and smiles from their faces.”
Catherine Bloomhill from our Johannesburg team shared this with us: “What a heartwarming day spent in Soweto! A visit to the Kliptown Open Air Museum and quality time spent with the children of the Don Mattera School. We left with as much, perhaps more than we went there to give.”
Warmth and Care in the Western Cape
On the 16th of July our Western Cape team offered their services for good at St. Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children in Montana. Our team offered their smiles and loving attention to the children in the “Sweet Basil Ward”. The children, who ranged between the ages of 12 months to 10 years, were showered with goodies, given big hugs and fed by our Cape Town crew. The Sweet Basil Ward also received a new colourful coat of paint courtesy of Ocean Basket Cape Town.
Ronéll Petersen of St. Joseph’s Home shared this with us: “It was such a pleasure having your team here, and our staff expressed their thanks to all of you for your help.”
Fun, Food and Paint in KZN
Meanwhile in our KwaZulu Natal team went to work delivering love and care at the 1000 Hills Community Centre in Hammersdale. Originally started by Dawn Leppan and Alan Paton, this centre caters to over 30,000 people, a large portion of which are children. The KwaZulu team arrived early on the 16th of July to help prepare breakfast for the children. After breakfast it was off to the playground to share in the fun and games between the children, staff and the Ocean Basket crew. After playtime everyone settled down to paint a huge banner of cloth saying: “Happy Birthday Madiba”. Then it was back to the kitchens for our team to prepare lunch for the children.
Mala Maharaj from our Durban crew had this to say to the 1000 Hills Centre: “A very big THANK YOU for inviting us to be part of this event, it was really a heartwarming experience that I’m know will remain with all us for years to come.”
All-in-all it has been a heart felt couple of days spent doing good in our communities throughout the country. From everyone at Ocean Basket: “Happy Birthday Tata Madiba, thank you for inspiring us all to share and serve our fellow South Africans, setting an example for the world.”