Scouts all over the country rolled up their sleeves and gave back to their peers, their elders and their environment on Madiba Day. 1st Bellville South Scouts Troop have now also partnered with ‘Meals on wheels’ to continue giving throughout the year.
In Bellville 16 Scouts and their Scouters decided to honor our former patron and role model Nelson Mandela by giving back to community members around them. “I am very passionate about community service and Madiba was a real life hero to me,” says Carmielah Achmat, Troop Scouter from 1st Bellville South Scout Troop. “Madiba practiced leading by example and I firmly believe that is what we need to do too. So we decided on a project for Mandela day in addition to our weekly service to the elderly in our community.”
The Scouts cleaned up a local play park where children from the community spend their time. “We had planned to fill 67 bags with rubbish but ended up with over 150 bags of rubbish from the park, she says. “While the Scouts were cleaning up other kids got very excited and joined in. We rewarded the kids with sweets every time they filled a bag as a small token of appreciation. While we were busy a man with a bakkie pulled up and offered to take the bags to the waste removal site. This created a buzz among the kids and the Scouts as they now tried to fill as many bags, as fast as they could, before the next load was picked up. The fact that, despite the rainy weather, the kids and other people from the community joined us in cleaning up the park was the highlight of the day for me. It was such an amazing sight!” On whether activities like these change a Scouts perspective on life she says “This was an eye opener for them. Seeing that there are real needs in their community and knowing that they are doing something to help made them feel proud. The Scouts also claimed that they will never ever waste food again after seeing the conditions in which people live. One of them even said that he will visit his granny more often to see whether she has food”, says Carmielah with a smile. While the Scouts were cleaning the park, some of the Scouting parents had made some warm and dished it out to cold and hungry members in the community.
As Carmielah said giving back is something the Scouts from 1st Bellville South do throughout the year. They usually cook a warm meal on Wednesdays and take it to a group of 40 elderly people which they have ‘adopted’ in their area. This week was no exception. “For many of them this is the only decent cooked meal they eat in the week,” she explains. “This inspired us to contact ‘Meals on Wheels’ to include them in the meals they provide to people on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They have agreed to help, provided that we hand out the meals on their behalf”
After giving the elderly their soup the Scouts were very excited. “Come let us thank Tata Madiba for leaving behind a legacy of caring and sharing! You mos know there are a lot of us that do not like sharing, but this makes one feel proud of oneself ne” One of the scouts, whom no longer has living grandparents felt so proud when one the older ladies thanked him and rubbed his head saying” thank you my boy”.
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