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Mandela Day


The Johannesburg Associated Magazines team celebrated Mandela Day 2012 by spending the morning at Lesedi Day Care Centre in the Lanseria Informal Settlement. This is a wonderful school, where children are given a safe, educational and cheerful space to spend the day while their parents are at work. Each child's parent is requested to pay a nominal monthly fee, but Maria, the head of the crèche, admits that only half the parents do so. She does not turn them away however, as the area is unsafe and she would hate to leave the kids uncared for during the day. Maria starts her normal working day at 3:30am and works until 8:30pm, playing with the kids, organising classes and feeding them three times a day. Together, the Johannesburg Associated team raised R2 500 for the school, which we spent on basics such as plastic chairs and tables, educational posters, tinned food, First-Aid supplies and other goodies for the children. We arrived in the morning and set straight to 'work', dressed in our T-shirts, which were provided by Jonsson Workwear. Dulux supplied paint and varnish, with which we repainted the outdoor play area and bathroom in wild colours, and varnished the jungle gym, so the kids would no longer get splinters. The House and Leisure team donated a selection of bright and cheery decals, which we applied to the kitchen, classroom and nursery walls. Everyone donated toys, books, and clothes, which we handed out while playing and singing with the children. All in all it was a wonderful morning, and Maria and the Lesedi Day Care Centre were overwhelmed with our donations and the time we spent playing with the children. If you would like to help Maria by donating or volunteering at the Lesedi Day Care Centre, you can contact her on 073-588-7093.