Everyone has something to give on Mandela Day

The outcome was to be greater than the sum of its parts. Like termite workers building a functioning mound in unison, each volunteer and volunteer team, worked at either cleaning, painting or gardening, to get this school reflecting it’s potential.

Unassuming volunteers gathered to impart and contribute their knowledge and services, in the effort to give Kannemeyer Primary  School,  in Grassy Park, Cape Town, a make-over ,for Mandela Day– 18 July 2014. The aim was to co-create an environment that mirrored the sense of possibility of the school.

Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Durbanville Symphonia team arriving
Durbanville Symphonia team arriving.

As community members, businesses and corporates came together I was reminded of the spirit of ubuntu- Human-ness.

Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker ABSA team arriving
One of the ABSA teams arriving to help with cleaning and painting.
Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Louise van Rhyn Partners 4 Possibility and Symphonia
Louise van Rhyn from Partners 4 Possibility and Symphonia, at the entrance table, welcoming and directing volunteer teams to their sections.

Similarly, I was reminded of the African philosophy, Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu- A person is a person because of other people.

Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Hassiem Arendze Groundsman
Hassiem Arendze, Kannemeyer Primary Groundsman says. “I’m glad these people are taking away all these things, lying around- it’s dangerous for the kids,”  he says,  ” They broke into the school before the school holiday’s and took our tool box-I’m sorry, I don’t have a hammer for you but use this.”
Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Aquarium Green Team Box
One of the Aquarium Green Team’s– plant box make-over.
Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Painters Helping Out
Painters at work.

I volunteered on behalf of Gardenia Garden Escapades and the Junior Public Health Association of South Africa, If you know me well, you’ll know that health and education are my cornerstone values. I don’t always succeed at keeping myself healthy but I love to write about health issues and believe in bettering the mental and physical well being of South African citizens. Additionally,  Madiba’s words have played a significant role in my life. Plus, I spent a few of my Junior school years living in 2nd avenue in Grassy Park.

Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Planting Mariggold Seeds and Peas
Our plant contribution for the school: Marigold seeds and peas:) Love the bowls. I knocked holes into them with a metal arrow and a brick, courtesy of Hassiem.
Ready mix cement
Ready mix cement- Oh dear, we need an angle grinder and the rest of the bricks. Ashley says he’ll make a plan.
Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Ashley General Worker From Lotus River
Kannemeyer Primary School in Grassy Park’s, General Worker, Ashley, from Lotus River. “I’m recovering from a Hernia operation,” says Ashley, ” I have a friend who’s a professional builder, he owes me a favour- he can help with the paving.”
Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Finding Plants To Plant
Finding plants around the school to plant in the brick box.
Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Before We Composted
Flower box: before I got composting and planting.
Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Erasmus From The Vineyard Hotel & Spa Helping To Dig Compost For Transportation
Erasmus from the Vineyard Hotel & Spa digging up compost for the brick flower box.
Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Caitlin Smith Grade 3b my helper wants to be a doctor and an illustrator
My Kannemeyer Primary School, grade 3b, green fingered helper, Caitlin Smith  who lives across the road and helps her mum in their home garden regularly. She helped plant Azaleas and shrubs.
Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Caitlin Smith Grade3b Kannemeyer Primary School
Ambitious much? ” I want to be a doctor and an illustrator because I can draw and I watch Bones and Grey’s Anatomy alot,” says Caitlin.
Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Before We Planted Agapanthus
Ground flower box: before I got planting.
Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Painting to Repurpose an Old Mini Tire For Flower patch
Me repurposing by painting this mini tyre to use as a border around an Agapanthus plant, sponsored by NMC construction.
Gardenia Garden Escapades by Megan Harker Kannemeyer Primary School Helpers
Kannemeyer Primary Scholars, Caitlin Smith and Caleb Boonzae offering their school holiday time, to help plant.
IMG_6081
Capable miss green fingers, pledging, to take responsibility, to make sure the two flower boxes are looked after and maintained.

On my departure, little miss Caitlin, hugged me and said goodbye. I have been volunteering, doing things I love, while looking for a media job- it can get bleak at times, but today, I felt like I made a difference in a child’s life and in return, she and her community, refreshed, in my mind that everyone has something to give on Mandela Day.

It was a pleasure helping you today, Kannemeyer Primary School, And a big thank you to all who supported in your special way.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. sula1968 says:

    A beautiful and heartwarming piece. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the link 🙂

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