This year’s Mandela day we decided to partner with a nonprofit Christian organisation called iCare. Their aim is to create a meaningful and sustainable solution for the street children of Durban through awareness programs, rehabilitation, shelters and skills creation. Each day during the week they have about 20 children come to the centre for food, showers and clean clothing as well as games, sport and educational programmes.
On Mandela day however their schedule changed dramatically. They were met by the staff from Duromed who were busy preparing an amazing breakfast of scrambled egg, bacon, tomato and bread rolls. The children came in and showered before being served this delicious treat which really got the day off to a great start.
Together with the VUM staff we then split the children into four groups, and engaged with them in an interactive activity called city mapping. City mapping was a drawing exercise which was meant to show/inform us where the kids spend most of their time. With VUM staff asking the kids to draw Durban as they see it, they were asked to draw their safest place, favourite place, worst or most dangerous place etc. The end results revealed some interesting points beside their obvious love for soccer and the beach. It also revealed their fear of metro and the police who often round them up in the vans and drop them off in far places as far as even Stanger. iCare have their own social workers who try to reintegrate these children with their families but I think this exercise was appreciated by the children because it gave them a voice, even if it was just for 67minutes.
We were fortunate to have an amazing bunch of volunteers who then led the kids in some fun and games. Activities such as balloon popping, hoola hoop catchers, blind folded mime game and the sellotape game amongst others.
While the kids were busy with their city mapping and games there were some hard working volunteers who became carpenters for the day. They sanded and stained the wooden staircase in the hall as an additional blessing to the iCare group. They managed to do 99% of the work but with time restraint had to come back to the following week to complete it but its now finished and it is looking great.
In the afternoon we all gathered outside where Velocity had prepared a braai for lunch. Everyone from the iCare staff, the kids as well as the volunteers sat outside to share in this amazing feast which ended off an amazing day.
iCare has responded with comments of gratitude, informing us on how they had such a great experience that day and especially how the kids loved it. It was such a privilege and honor to serve that Organisation and those children.