KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala together with the Mayor of Msunduzi Municipality Councillor Themba Njilo brought smiles to the faces of over 40 children of Sunlit Garden Orphanage when they delivered blankets, school uniforms and goodies like chips, sweets and biscuits.
Sunlit Garden, situated in Northdale, is in distress as orphanage’s expenses exceed income. Premier Zikalala, Mayor Njilo and MEC for Finance, Ravi Pillay visited the orphanage as part of efforts to improve the lives of the affected children.
Sihle Zikalala addressing the children and the community said they chose the Sunlit Garden because former President Nelson Mandela invested a lot of time and money in the development of the lives of children.
He said, “It was former President Nelson Mandela who built schools in rural areas. It was Nelson Mandela who travelled the length and breadth of the world fundraising for a number of initiatives to support children. When we are here we really believe that we are doing this in his honour.”
He also said they know that there are several needs as they have been taken around and saw with their own eyes. He continued to state, “We noted all the things you need, I will mention a few; firstly, you need stationary for 2020, bags, uniform. Secondly, we also know you need things like a fridge, a stove, and a bore hole. We are making a commitment to come back and assist, we must contribute to the future of these children who are with us today. In these children sitting here, we have future leaders of this country. We have lawyers, doctors, nurses and innovators. We will make a meaningful contribution in shaping their future”.
Premier Zikalala also encouraged the kids to go to school as education is so important. The Chaiperson of Sunlit Garden, Dr Omesh Somaroo, thanked the delegation led by the KZN premier and Msunduzi Mayor for the contribution made to the home, by saying, “We thank the Premier for coming through and benefiting the children with the gifts they provided.”
Earlier, Premier Zikalala laid a wreath in honour of the late statesman at the Howick capture site, in the Midlands. The wreath laying ceremony was aimed at remembering former President Nelson Mandela on what would have been his 101st birthday. The site is the exact place where Madiba was captured by the apartheid regime on the 5th of August in 1962 and the place has since become an international tourist attraction.
Thereafter, he went to deliver a keynote speech at the joint initiative of the Midlands Medical Centre (MMC) in partnership with the provincial and regional ANC leadership in making a difference at Jika Joe Informal Settlement down town.
In keeping with the adage, “charity begins at home”, approximately 1000 needy community members received meals, health education, basic life support training and health screening as part of the initiative. Nobuhle Nene who lives at Jika Joe Informal settlement was very happy for the assistance received through this initiative for the youth in the area.
Speaking to MSUNDUZI NEWS, she said, “As we celebrate the Nelson Mandela Day, we are grateful for the opportunity afforded to us by government as we received basic life supports skills, this will help advance our skills. We thank the Mayor, Premier and Midlands Medical Centre.” These initiatives were highly appreciated as they go a long way in improving the lives of the people, especially children and the needy.