Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918. He devoted 67 years of his life to public service and so, on Thursday the 26th of July, Oakhill School gave 67 minutes of their time to the community.
A range of students gave their time to people in need. Good deeds were performed in a variety of ways, from making sandwiches, visiting the elderly in the nearby old age home or spending the hour and seven minutes at the Animal Welfare centre.
Our group, along with our mentor teacher, Mrs Carver, decided to give our time to the little children on our very own campus at Little Oaks. We baked a GARGANTAUN vanilla sponge cake with luminous, lime-green icing and a plethora of rainbow-coloured sprinkles. Making use of the talents in our group, our Grade eleven friend, Fransu, played absolutely gorgeous Spanish music to the group of 3-4 year olds. They olayed and cheered with everything in them! We sang a variety of songs with them and learnt all their favourites along with hand movements. We read stories to them and played countless special games, both in their beautiful, colourful classroom as well as up and down the jungle gyms in the outdoor playground. Then, of course, it was time for…. The Cake! It was absolutely delectable. Each child cupped and cradled their hands into a plate form to receive their sweet delight.
The joy we witnessed was absolutely indescribable. The English language cannot encompass the feeling you get in your heart when you see the utter joy in their sparkling eyes. It was a day when we were enveloped in absolute innocence, purity and happiness. For an hour and 7 minutes, we could leave behind worries of the world of growing up and just completely immerse ourselves in a place of fun and simplicity. The youth are the future of our country and of our entire world. Throwing money at a cause, no matter how worthy it may be, does not necessarily help. Giving of yourself, giving of your time, no matter how small or in which way, is what truly matters.
Nelson Mandela is an extraordinary hero. He represents everything that our country is: our culture, our heritage and our spirit, as well as everything we are striving to be. People around the entire world know of his courage and wisdom, his bravery, honour, humility and sacrifice. They look at him and see freedom, inspiration and hope. Hope is what we need to move forward.
It felt truly and undeniably amazing to give our time, (a tiny portion, compared to what he gave) to make a difference in our own, small way. This was a day where we could really make a difference, a day where we realised that we can be involved in something bigger than us all. This was a day when we got to be the change we want to see in the world. What could be more important than that?
Report: Kristin Groenewald