Nelson Mandela

Mandela Day inspires i-Fundi to make a social pledge for change

Nelson Mandela is famously quoted as saying: “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest”.

Inspired by this ethos, as an employment and skills development provider, i-Fundi continuously looks for opportunities to better the lives of the youth and unemployed in South Africa. To honour Madiba’s legacy, the i-Fundi team spent Mandela Day, 18 July, engaging in service at Othandweni Family Care Centre – a project of Jo’burg Child Services in Soweto. Othandweni is home to 30 infants and 60 older children.

The Home provides a safe and loving environment by catering to the children’s physical, emotional, spiritual, and educational needs.

United in camaraderie, i-Fundi undertook to give back by donating necessary goods and parcels, as well as selflessly labouring in the cleaning of the premises, gardening and feeding the children at the Home.

i-Fundi staff sweaping at Othandweni Family Care

Some of the i-Fundi staff clearing out weeds along the pathway at Othandweni Family Care Centre on Mandela Day.

According to Fariba Bowen, Director of Operations and Support Services at i-Fundi, “the day was as rewarding as it was emotional”, she says.

“Seeing infants and children from abandoned, abused, and neglected backgrounds was heart wrenching. It made me appreciate the need to support our communities in caring for vulnerable children.”

Othandweni supports children up to the age of 18, guiding them through their education up to matric level. Understanding the plight of unemployment in South Africa, i-Fundi sees an opportunity to support the youth of Othandweni in securing possible employment opportunities through learnership placements, or further education in vocational skills training. This is the opportunity that i-Fundi has pledged to seize. “We are definitely looking into establishing further cooperation with the Home, to continue to support their children to become adults who will positively influence the future of South Africa”, says Bowen.

i-Fundi spends Mandela Day at Muntu Akalahlwa Childrens’ Home

To commemorate Nelson Mandela Day, the i-Fundi team visited the Muntu Akalahlwa Children’s home in Soweto with some food parcels and sweet surprises on Friday, July 17.

Maureen Ntombela, founder of the Children’s Home collected the children to sing a welcome song for the team upon arrival. The children’s bright smiles warmed up a rather chilly Friday morning.

Laughter and excitement were the order of the day, as everyone  introduced themselves through a whimsical musical greeting, and set the stage for face-painting activities.

The team arranged a delicious lunch of hot-dogs and a slice of cake, which the children thoroughly enjoyed. The i-Fundi team then presented the home with some food and groceries.

Honoured by the support showed by the company, founder of Muntu Akalahlwa, Maureen shared a few words of thanks:

“I am so grateful, and blessed by your presence and generosity today. I don’t know how to thank you, but from the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of the children, I would really like to say thank you, may you continue to be blessed”.

i-Fundi supports and promotes the spirit and philosophy of Ubuntu. At the heart of the company’s corporate operations is a strong sense of  giving back to the community.

“What I enjoyed about spending time with the children at the home is that is was an authentic experience. There were no pretenses about the day. It was a spontaneous, vibrant, and joyful occassion where the spirit of ubuntu was beautifully evident”, says i-Fundi Customer Solutions Managing Director, Stefan Lauber.

The Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010.