“Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.”
These were powerful words uttered by the late president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. One of the ways in which the new democratic South Africa has done this is through the commemoration of various public holidays dedicated to reminding society of the our very painful history in order to ensure none of the atrocities that took place ever take place again. One of such holidays is Human Rights Day, which is celebrated on the 21st of March every year. The 21st of March was declared a national public holiday in 1994 following the inauguration of the late President Nelson Mandela. The day serves to commemorate the tragic Sharpeville Massacre whilst also serving to celebrate South Africa’s unique constitution, which gives equal rights to all.
The Maboneng based Lalela Centre of Arts and Innovation, part of the Lalela Project, saw this day as an opportunity to educate our future leaders on the injustices of the past to ensure that they indeed, never happen again through a fun initiative titled Twenty Save A Teen Mural Bright Day [our creative slang for 2017 HUMAN RIGHTS DAY]. This we do often to ignite imagination and teach children how to map and manifest their dreams and goals, launching the possibility of a different future for themselves and their communities. Our role in arts education is to help blaze the trail in whole brain thinking with a proven path to innovation and new job creation. These are high impact programs that create permanent change with positive outlooks, community role models and the mindset for our students to design a more certain future for themselves and their communities.
The initiative highlighted section 24 within the Bill of Rights encompassing the environment; everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well being.
How we celebrated this right was through a visit to the Rhema Children’s Village, a not for profit organization focused on offering a safe environment for abused, neglected and severely impoverished children from all walks of life within Johannesburg inner city and the surrounding areas. The day centered around a variety of activities, such as playing fun games that allowed the children within our Joburg project to socialize and mingle with those of the Rhema Village. We also decided the home needed an artistic revamp which saw all the kids working together to paint the dining hall and to paint a beautiful mural for the study facilities at the home. A number of volunteers were needed to supervise all the activities, which were taking place simultaneously, and we had an ample number who truly enjoyed the day as it gave them the opportunity to unleash their inner-child!
All in all, it was a very eventful and exhausting day! As Lalela we are proud to have facilitated the creation of long lasting friendships amongst all who were there, the Rhema Children’s Village is so impressed with the end product of the painting activities and judging by the number of volunteers and the fun which was had, we can accurately state that our Lalela Family is growing! It was indeed a very fun and educational day for all who were involved and we are confident as Lalela that our future lies in the hands of very capable young leaders.
Join our World Class Campaign here.