Today is Mandela Day. On this day people all around the country honour former president Nelson Mandela by giving 67 minutes of their time to help others. For many years Cubs, Scouts, Rovers and Scouters have been participating by implementing projects in their local communities. One such project was the establishment of a vegetable garden for Thembalami for the aged.
The Northrand Scout District in Gauteng decided to join forces for Mandela Day as they wanted to do something sustainable, and not just give 67 minutes and disappear into the sunset. A planting project was chosen as it was something that could be sustained. They also wanted to assist the Leaping Wolves (Senior Cubs) with their greening project.
On approaching Thembalami it was found that their gardens were beautifully maintained by Amos Malukeke, the horticulturist on site, but they did not yet have a vegetable garden. So the seed (excuse the pun) was sown. With the help of Elize Raath (Manager of Thembalami), Amos and Anthony Schaffer (sponsor of Thembalami) a plan of action was developed.
107 Cubs (from 1st Kengray, 1st Bedfordview, 1st Edenvale, 1st Hellenic, Eastleigh, Harmelia and 1st St Benedict’s), 15 adult volunteers and parents and siblings (not counted) got together and planted about 5,000 plants. The Cubs planted seedlings in shifts starting 08h00 and finishing 16h30. The transformation was breathtaking! It was humbling to be part of this wave of Cub community service showing once again what can be achieved when people unite.
Going forward, Anthony and Amos are planning a monthly session where Cubs will be invited to learn about pests, maintaining the gardens and eventually harvesting and reseeding the gardens.
When we asked the Cubs what they thought of the project, this is what they had to say:
Kirstynn (11) from 1st Edenvale ‘It felt amazing to help with the garden at Thembalami. I was so very happy when the residents came to help the Cubs with the planting. There were so many Cubs from all over the District and we chatted together with kids we never met. It was such a lovely morning and the energy in the air was electric!” Giovanni  from 1st Edenvale agreed, “I felt helpful and good to plant plants. I can’t wait until its fully grown!” When we asked Demi  from 1st Hellenics what he felt, his eyes lit up and smiling from ear to ear he said “Everything was special. Really had great fun!” Otile  and Kadam (7) also from 1st Hellenic added “especially loved the watering of the plants! All of it was great fun.”
Noah  from 1st Kensington enjoyed getting stuck in. “I really liked planting and getting my hands dirty. My favourite vegetable I planted was beetroot.” Alyssa  from 1st Kensington agreed with her friend. “It was interesting to plant ‘food’ that you know you are going to eat when it is finished growing.” “It was a lot of hard work but it was nice to help people who have less than us”, concluded Ronan  from the 1st Kensington Cub Pack.
#scoutssouthafrica #mandeladay #67minutes #SDG #globalgoals #messengersofpeace #FoodForLife #Skills4Life