Do it every day for Madiba

| August 28, 2015 | 0 Comments

Dominican Convent participates annually in Mandela Day. Every year, millions around the world offer 67 or more minutes of their time to actively improve their communities in honour of the late Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Dominican Convent is situated in Belgravia, Johannesburg, a suburb that overlaps its neighbour, Jeppestown. Says teacher Paul Horn, everyone at the school has learned how history affects the way people live now. He explains:
In the gold rush of 1886, people flooded to Johannesburg seeking their fortune. Julius Jeppe and his son began developing our local community. By 1897, Jeppestown was described as the “most ambitious and best little area among the neat little suburbs on the outskirts of the town proper”.

Then Johannesburg’s gold mines ran out, and many of the managers and engineers living in the community sought work overseas. In the 1970s, the neighbourhood became home to working-class immigrants from Europe and Asia. As these skilled labourers found success, they moved to more affluent Johannesburg neighbourhoods. Since 1994, many of the vacated homes were purchased by landlords who sought to house many families in one house. Though less than ideal, the homes are a welcome refuge to immigrants, who would otherwise live on the streets. These families survive by any means necessary, in hopes of finding a life better than the one they left behind.

Dominican Convent students learn, says Horn, that more than charity offered on one day of the year, those living in South Africa need ways to develop their skills and knowledge so they can find meaningful work.

In this spirit, Dominican Convent founded Kgosi Neighbourhood Foundation (KNF). “KNF has offered over 600 neighbourhood children free preschool education. This year, KNF began sewing and other crafting projects to empower the people of our community,” says Horn.

The Dominican Convent community has been inspired by Mandela’s own words: “The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us.”

Category: Spring 2015

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