Touching and Inspiring Hearts in 67 Minutes
The Siyabonga Care Village partnered with the Western Cape Government and community organisations to celebrate International Nelson Mandela Day (18 July 2012) by taking 67 minutes of action to help disadvantaged people in Vredenburg. The day was also celebrated in the town through a series of sporting events with an "Olympics 2012" theme. Since 18 July 2009, people have performed 67 minutes of voluntary service for a worthy cause to commemorate Mandela's 67 years of service to South Africa. Participants in the 2012 event gave their 67 minutes to outreach activities in support of the Siyabonga Welfare Centre, which plays an integral role in improving the lives of disabled people through various projects in the Vredenburg community.
In the spirit of devoting time to create a better society for all, people were inspired to give something back to their community around a sporting theme. Each participating group represented an Olympic country and made that country's flag and a poster. The groups then had a colourful march through the streets, bringing joy to the southern hemisphere winter. The highlight of the day was to see disabled patients competing against able-bodied people in soccer, netball, jukskei and touch rugby.
The Western Cape's vision of social inclusion is an important driver for the activities of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport. One of the ways this finds expression is in meaningful partnerships which contribute to successful events. The SA Navy and Department of Social Development made a big difference to the day by entering teams in the various sporting competitions on the day and using their time to put smiles on the faces of others.
Bennet Bailey, Deputy Director of Sport Promotion, says that sport has the power to change the world, to inspire people and to give hope to all. He praised Madiba for all he had done and described him as a "beacon of hope".
The department is committed to make sport and recreational facilities more accessible to all, and the 67 minutes that were given on 18 July shows that, by working together, we can build a better society.