67 minutes of service

July is traditionally ‘Mandela month’ as it is when Nelson Mandela or “Madiba” as he is affectionately known celebrated his birthday on 18 July. In tribute to this great man, a world symbol of goodness and humanitarianism, South Africans traditionally take 67 minutes of their time to help others, paying their respects to the 67 years that he served us as a nation, starting from 1942 when he began campaigning for human rights. Zimele was delighted to be approached by the team from Nedbank Pietermaritzburg, who wanted to help people in need as part of their 67 minutes campaign.

This team of 67 minute volunteers had collected funds and decided to make a difference to the lives of the Ngcobo orphans, Thandeka (15 years old) and Thabi (18 years old), in Swayimane. Accompanied by the Zimele representatives, they drove to their meagre home, and while they were at school, the team cleaned and repainted the house and stocked the cupboards with food.

They were so shocked by the bareness of the home that they also drove to the store to buy some furniture – a small kitchen table and some chairs – plus blankets and cooking utensils. As a final act of kindness, they cooked a meal for the girls. “It was probably the first time since their mother had passed away that they came home to the smell of a hot meal,” said Rosetta Stander of Zimele.

When the girls came home they were overwhelmed, and went from room to room, looking at the new possessions in disbelief. Thandeka had tears streaming down her face.
DSCF7472          Gift from Nedbank team

In addition to changing their lives on this day, there is also some money left over to help them in the future. “It was a very emotional and rewarding experience,” says Rosetta.

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Zimele Community mentioned in the Meander Chronicle

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