This year on Mandela Day, our Johannesburg staff and loyal volunteers spent 67 minutes painting classrooms and developing the food garden at the Osizweni Community Centre in Ennerdale, Johannesburg.

More than 30 people came together on Tuesday, July 18 to give the facilities an upgrade in tribute to the 67 years of public service given by the late Nelson Mandela who frequently urged the nation to spend time assisting local development projects.

In South Africa, orphans and vulnerable children are faced with a barrage of challenges as a result of high levels of poverty, crime and HIV/Aids.

IRSA established Osizweni more than 10 years ago as a specialised place of help, learning, care and development for children. The centre focuses on fostering developmental needs of underprivileged children from an early development stage until they leave school.

The façade at Osizweni urgently required painting and were beginning to show its age due to the elements.

Islamic Relief remains appreciative to local hardware suppliers and manufacturers for in kind donations of Garden Tools and Wall Paint which initiated the upgrade.

In addition to daily school tuition from Grade R until Grade 4, the centre also hosts regular workshops for care-workers, guardians and community activists.

A food garden was established by locals and staff, which is now supported by the Dept of Agriculture with irrigation equipment, fertilisers and seeds.

A fresh harvest of carrots was revealed on #MandelaDay – hopefully, a sign of things to come.

Lettie Ngubeni, founder and manager of the Osizweni Centre says “today we are humbled at the coming together of staff, volunteers and community workers to show love and support, as a tribute great leader and also for the children of the centre.”

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