Nelson Mandela. Who doesn’t know his name? July 18th has become known as ‘Mandela Day’, and this year the company that I work for decided to make a contribution towards this initiative.
This morning, we made our way to the Masimbonge Old Age Service Centre in Hammarsdale, KZN, South Africa.
It’s a very small centre, caring for around 20-25 elderly, handicapped and disabled members of their community. The looks on their faces when we brought in box after box, bag after bag of food stuffs, blankets and even a counter top stove, had me very close to tears. These are people who barely make it through each month, but their doors are always open. It was a truly humbling experience, one that I hope to have again soon.
We split into different groups; cleaning teams, cooking teams and painting teams. I ended up being a part of both the cleaning and painting teams, and I loved every minute of it! If only we’d had a week or so, we could have repainted the outside of their buildings properly; scraped off all of the old paint, put primer and filler, and then painted over it, but as we only had a few hours, we filled the holes where we could, and gave the building a mini face-lift, in the form of 2 new coats of much needed paint. The occupants of the centre came out whilst we were busy, and entertained us with songs and dancing, and all I could do was smile, smile and smile. Their appreciation and (in all honesty) shock was extremely humbling; it grounded me and showed me that I really do have so much to be grateful for.
All in all, it was a wonderful morning and afternoon, and I’m so very happy that I was able to contribute and give back to the community, even if only in a small way.