Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, was more than a mere politician. He is an iconic figure of tolerance and peace. His kindness known around the world, as he pursued equality and uniting a nation once torn apart.
As a way to pay homage to the man that helped mould the New South Africa, July 18 is earmarked as International Nelson Mandela Day. A day where people dedicate 67 minutes of their time to help someone in need.
The 67 minutes signifies the 67 years that Mandela dedicated to fighting for social justice.
As people and businesses prepare to pay homage to Madiba, Theku Plaza is determined to make a positive contribution to the community.
Situated in oSizweni, Theku Plaza opened on July 26, 2013. Over the years, Theku Plaza has built five homes for people in the area. It has also helped over 1 800 school children with school clothes, shoes, school bags and stationary.
Centre Manager, Estelle van Vuuren explains that she has also orchestrated other charitable drives.
“Thuthuzela Care Center was one of my big projects last year. Children who have been abused or raped, go to the centre and must wait a long time for all the formalities. I decided to make up gift bags for when they come into the centre. In the gift bag, I had something to eat and drink.”
This included noodles, Cuppa Soup, sweets, deodorant, a facecloth, soap and other items to comfort the kids.
“St. Anthony’s Care Centre is also one of my big charity projects. We give the children food, clothes, blankets and toys. The old people in the area are also close to my heart, and we have given out about 700 food parcels to the old people last year.”
But it is on Mandela Day that Theku Plaza tries to go big. “We have donated over 2 000 blankets to the community over the past few years. Theku Plaza has also helped a few schools in the area, by going out and painting them. We have also helped build new classrooms by donating corrugated iron, cement and whatever we could to complete the schools.”
Dedicated to community upliftment, Theku Plaza will yet again reach out to the community. “On Mandela Day, we hope to give out 300 blankets.”
But, to make the day truly successful, the Theku Plaza needs the community’s assistance. “We would like people to please donate all their old blankets, baby clothes, clothes, toys and anything laying around their houses that they don’t use.”
If anyone can assist Theku Plaza in ensuring the less fortunate can have a winter filled with warmth, be sure to drop your donations at the Plaza’s centre management’s offices.
We at the Newcastillian applaud the amazing efforts of Theku Plaza in building up our community.