16th July 2016 .. Spending last night at Bundu Lodge is certainly a contrast to the cold weather we would have experienced in Gauteng. Although some of our fellow bikers may not have experienced this as they partied till the early hours of this morning.
The day started with a full breakfast at the Bundu Lodge before heading off to Sijabulile Primary School just outside Nelspruit. Sijabulile is a lovely small farm school, which like many other schools in South Africa is under resourced. It is always encouraging to meet educators and learners who are excited about the possibility of what a future can bring them. Our hope as the Bikers for Mandela Day is just that we inspire a little more hope and do our little bit to make the lives of the less fortunate in South Africa a little brighter, thus changing the future by the acts of kindness we do today.
Whilst at Sijabulile Primary School we handed out 300 blankets donated by Sesli Textiles, a few soccer balls and chocolates for each child. Following on our legacy started last year we handed out a mobile library donated by Mobile Library Solutions consisting of at least 300 books aimed at early childhood development.
We were then hosted by Protea Hotel Nelspruit where we packed 200 Bikers for Mandela Goodie Boxes that will be distributed by Protea Hotel Nelspruit to members so the local community that form part of their outreach program.
As the Bikers for Mandela we are involved in legacy projects and our partnership with Jumping Kids is such a project. Jumping Kids identifies candidates who are amputees under the age of 18, these children are then assisted with prosthetics. This gives the child the mobility they require, allowing them to live a normal life, play sport and attend a school just like every other child. One of the children in the Jumping Kids program Ntando Mahlangu has just returned from the IWAS Junior World Athletics Championships where he won gold in four events, breaking two open world records.
Our focus on this particular occasion was a young man Damon Shongwe who lost his right leg below the knee to cancer in his foot. Jumping Kids first assessed Damon 4 months ago and it was decided to fit him with a walking leg, but with the Bikers for Mandela event coming up and Damon’s commitment to his own development, they decided to surprise Damon with a Blade to allow him to have maximum movement and freedom to take part in athletics where his interest lies. This has mainly being made possible by the generous donation of R 800,000 from Joy Global in support of this legacy project.
Our Bikers for Mandela group also donated R 5000 to The Meyer Beukes Warriors on Wheels Foundation who supports children spina bifida, providing them with miniature wheelchairs to give children independent mobility, the production cost of a miniature wheelchair is around R 2000 and this small amount does so much to boost the confidence of the affected child. The foundation also manufactures reverse walkers, this device costing around R 800 enables mobility for an older child who has spina bifida. John Meyer one of our bikers, who himself is an amputee donated R 1600 for the production of two reverse walkers.
Thanks to Protea Hotel Nelspruit for hosting us for lunch and dinner today.
It is our challenge to every South African to share your act of kindness, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to be. It is your unselfishness that will bring Hope to the hopeless and thus making everyday a Mandela Day