Mandela day

BY Chwayita Hanabe and Hasti Pansuriya

In the spirit of Mandela Day, Riebeek College undertook various acts of kindness. The day started with the Grade 11s visiting the College Hill Grade 3s. In small groups, the Nelson Mandela story was shared with the boys and girls, another story book was read and pictures shown, and there was a discussion about superheroes, small acts each child could undertake at home like washing dishes or spending time talking to an elderly person. The Grade 11s made everyone proud with their great and animated behaviour and were well prepared for the tasks. The walk there and back was lively and fun, and the teachers were astounded to see the girls extend themselves in being excellent role models. Thank you to Mrs Marias and the College Hill staff. Riebeek left colouring in pages for the Grade 3s.
During school, some Grade 8s, accompanied by Miss Meyers and Mr Weidemann, handed out sandwiches and water bottles to those waiting at the clinic. The gratitude and smiles from the patients brought a sense of happiness to the girls' hearts. Thank you to the grade 12 girls who made the sandwiche; Miss S du Preez and Mrs Myburg for helping with the administration; grade 8 girls who accompanied Miss Meyers to Provincial Hospital's Out Patient Section; Mrs Gerber for making all of the main arrangements, and a special thanks to Mrs Klassen and Mrs Hoffman for receiving Riebeek with such hospitality and warmth. Thank you to Mr Weidemann for capturing our memorable moments and assisting the girls with handing out sandwiches and water to the patients.  When the Class of 1998 held their reunion in May, they donated funds to be used in the Mandela100@Riebeek100 Acts of Kindness campaign. Their contributions were used to prepare snacks for the Out Patients at the Uitenhage Provincial Hospital. Thank you, Class of 1998 and head girl, Prof Kerry-Lynn Thomson.
After school, Mrs Stear, Mrs Viljoen and Mrs Stark gardened at the hospital potting hardy plants in flower pots at the entrance. Miss van der Westhuizen, Mr Jonas and Miss S du Preez accompanied an enthusiastic group to hand over toys to the children’s ward. They visited the children and accompanied the choir on their ward by ward performances. The senior choir sang two beautiful melodies on six wards making it a marathon performance, and the positive response from the audience of nurses, hospital visitors and patients was appreciated. Mrs Mapoma and Miss Mintoor accompanied the girls from ward to ward. It was goosebump moment after goosebump moment as the Choir drew crowds and the girls were professional in their performances. A group of girls visited patients and gave them cards and inspirational posters with Ms Barnard and Mrs Stroebel leading the way.
Riebeek College also had a special assembly to give tribute to all of Nelson Mandela’s acts, in which Mrs Stear said: “Nelson Mandela was born on this day, the 18th July, 100 years ago. In May 1994, he became the first president of South Africa to be elected by ALL the people. He was 75 years old and HIS journey to Freedom had ended. BUT, a new journey had now begun – a journey to build a new South Africa. This new journey requires all people to join hands and say we are ONE country, ONE nation, ONE people, marching together into the future. A future in which people of all colours will learn to live in peace. Nelson Mandela said these profound words: “Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud.” There are many, many lessons to be learnt from Nelson Mandela. Some of the lessons that we can learn from Madiba: Never quit. Have patience. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison. The strength of this ability makes our demands for things right now seem silly! Be willing to wait for things that are important to you. You can do it: Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it is done.” People are capable of so much more than they think they are. Knowledge is power. Another quote from Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Intelligence and kindness make you strong, not weak. Nelson Mandela said, “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” How is it that in today’s society, kindness and compassion are often mistaken for weakness? Often you find clever people trying make out that they are not so clever because they don’t want to be seen as a nerd. As Mandela points out, being smart and being kind make a person a force to be reckoned with. Forgive – It’s easy to stay angry and much harder to forgive. Mandela said that he knew when he was released from prison he would have to leave his bitterness and hatred behind him or else he would still be in prison – a prison of his own making. Finding the strength to forgive after even the most difficult of experiences is an ability that will make you stronger and happier. Sacrifice and give up of your time to help others. This will make the world a better place.”
Riebeek College has reached their goal of 100 acts of kindness but, they will continue to do acts of kindness in honour of Nelson Mandela. It felt so good to give back, that some girls wish it was Mandela Day every day and are determined to live by Mandela’s values!

 July 22, 2018
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