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Vulnerable children in Orange Farm were treated to a day of fun, as well as goody bags to take home, as the City marked Nelson Mandela Day in the needy community.
IT was a day to remember for 16-year-old Teboho Mohlala from Sizanani Drop-in Centre, an orphanage in Orange Farm. For on the day, he received a gift from the City of Joburg.

 

Council speaker Constance BapelaGoodwill: Council speaker Constance BapelaTeboho was one of more than a hundred children in Orange Farm who received goody bags from the Speaker of council, Constance Bapela, and the area’s ward councillor, Lindiwe Nhose, on 15 July at Orange Farm Multi-Purpose Centre.
 

The event was held to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day, an annual global call for everyone to devote 67 minutes of their time to doing something for the betterment of humanity. It is held on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday.

“I am excited and happy for what happened today. It shows that we matter, although we are orphans,” Teboho said, thanking the City for making it a special day for them. “One day I would like to meet Madiba and thank him personally for what he did for South Africa.”

Children wore orange, green and blue T-shirts, with the words “Mandela Day” printed on the back. They sang happy birthday to Madiba, and the younger children played on the jumping castle while the teenagers played on the baseball field.

The excitement was ratcheted up a notch with the arrival of Hlelo and Thando Masina from the popular youth radio station, Yfm.

“This year, we have chosen to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day in Orange Farm. This is an area that is considered among the most impoverished in Gauteng generally, but Johannesburg in particular,” said Bapela.

 

GogoGogo Melvis Zwane receives a giftShe explained that the focus was on needy young people. “We recognise the fact that the world cannot survive without investing in its young people. These are the people who are going to inherit the communities that we are serving today,” she said.
 

Tumelo Molefe, an 18-year-old from Sakhisizwe Drop-in Centre, said he did not expect the gift and the love the City had for them. “I wish it could happen every year, because it is a good feeling to be loved,” he said.

Molefe wished Madiba many more happy years to come.

Bapela and Nhose also visited a family living in a two-room flat with 10 orphans, who are not registered for social grants. Melvis Zwane, the grandmother of the orphans, held back tears of joy when she was told that the children would be registered and receive social grants, and that she would get free electricity.

“I am happy that the municipality visited us on this special day to see the situation and they are willing to help,” she said; she also thanked Mandela for the work he did for the nation. “If it was not for him, we would not be here today.”

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