“We are people by people. This is an example of ubuntu. They don’t say it by words but by their actions,” says Amos Solomon Moyo, a community leader as he surveys the scene at Zamokuhle Day Care Centre in Diepsloot. Boys from St Stithians Boys’ College, a private school based in Bryanston, are playing with the young children who attend Zamokuhle and together they are enjoying the newly bright and happy environment.
The St Stithians Boys’ Interact Club raised the funds throughout the year and then spent a week of their April holidays painting, repairing and laying down astro turf at the centre in Diepsloot. “It’s been cool; fun seeing this place transform from what it was to what it is today. The children will feel better about the area in which they live. They’ll have more fun and be able to learn more and be safe,” comments Kyler Mintah, one of the St Stithians boys.
The boys were accompanied by a group of moms every day who also helped to set up the little party for the children on the Friday. “They’ve made a big difference. The children feel cared for, the centre owner feels cared for and the boys are happy that they’ve done something constructive,” says Trish Nxumalo, mom of Asante Nxumalo, head of the St Stithians Boys’ Interact Club.
One of the boys’ grandmothers had baked cupcakes and each boy helped a little one to spread yummy icing and add some Smarties and Astros as a topping. It was so cute to watch the toddlers tucking into their own little cakes! Each child was also wrapped in a bright blue scarf for winter, kindly donated by Eskom.
“Going forward, they’ll be wanting to do more – this is not a once off in their minds. They’ve become invested in the development of the centre and so appreciate JAM and what it stands for,” adds Nicole Mintah, mom of Kyler Mintah.
Dorah Motswaedi is the JAM SA Field Monitor who regularly visits the centre. She also expressed her delight at the end result and the impact it would have on the community: “The children will be happy, also it really shows the community how committed JAM is and they appreciate what we do. They recognise that this bright centre is a safe place to bring their kids.”
Prisca Msibi, owner of Zamokuhle, was completely overwhelmed with gratitude. “I was crying the whole night. I am so happy I have no words. I want to say thanks. God must bless the hands that have worked here; they make me a mama. I am a mama today because of these boys.”
Amos Solomon Moyo’s speech at the end of the handover (translated from isiZulu) was a fitting testimony as to how far we’ve come as a nation, as South Africa celebrated 20 years of democracy and freedom on 27 April.
“Normally we know that black and white people don’t mix but these young people – white and black – they are teaching us old people that we are one.. I wish this would go into the world – it teaches us that if we treat each other properly even war and hatred will end. I wish that millions of people could have your heart, your love and the world would be a better place.”
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