Madiba inspires staff member

22 Jul 2011 - 12:23

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Shireen Weber (back row, second from left) distributes food and toys to the children of Rylands squatter camp

Inspired by last year's Mandela Day initiative, in which Humanities staff collected toys for both the Red Cross children's hospital and the Langa Children's Home, Shireen and her family have since started their own community outreach project.

On Christmas Eve last year, Shireen's family took bundles of presents and toys to the Victoria Hospital in Wynberg and to the Tygerberg Hospital in Bellville. Since then, they have been involved in the clean-up of the Philippi farm school crèche and they organise a monthly soup kitchen for residents of informal settlements and for Cape Town's homeless people.

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Shireen and family members bring christmas cheer to the Tygerberg hospital

Shireen, who is a Senior Secretary in the Undergraduate Faculty Office, says "I was so moved by the Mandela Day experience last year that my family and I decided to do something positive for people in need. I hope that our story will inspire someone else and that in this way, we will add to the network of people who are doing meaningful things in their communities."

Shireen's story demonstrates the true spirit of Mandela Day - that with a big heart, a little commitment and a little ingenuity, everyone can make a difference in the world.