News Release

Remembering Nelson Mandela Through Service

“Freedom without civility… is not true freedom at all.” Nelson Mandela 1918-2013


Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of service for humanity. He passed away in 2013 leaving a legacy of love, service and reconciliation. His birthday was 18 July, and in a fitting tribute to him, people everywhere were asked to give 67 minutes of service in their community on that day. Young church members from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did just that in a wonderful way on Saturday 18 July 2015.

“It’s amazing what you can achieve in just 67 minutes,” said Marilyn Nhlapo, one of the organisers of the service project in Tembisa, South Africa. “We invited our young single adults from our church to do their part, and what happened was astounding. They came from all over - Centurion, Kempton Park, Tembisa, Rabie Ridge and Birch Acres - put on yellow Mormon Helping Hands vests and got to work. In 67 minutes we had made up 100 school kits, 50 hygiene kits, unpacked and folded 26 handmade quilts, completely refurbished the jungle gym and cleaned up the gardens at the Are Baokeng centre in Tembisa. We even had some time to sing and dance in true Mandela style.” The service was contagious, as young members from the community even joined in, making the number to 60 strong.


Pieter Henning, the local government Councillor, greeted volunteers on their arrival and wished them well with their efforts, thanking them for their sacrifice and enthusiasm. The volunteers were cheerful and disciplined as they each worked on their assignments. Later, the centre founder, Flora Modiba, was deeply appreciative. “It is fitting that a church should be the last one to provide service here today. You bring something special to my heart and to our needy people...thank you, thank you, thank you!” she said at the hand-over ceremony. The school kits, blankets and hygiene kits were then distributed to the needy recipients present.

Partners included Dis Chem, LDS Charities, and private individuals. The spirit of Mandela was present, and the young church members sang a hymn to recognise their faith and testimony. Ernest Magkomarela, local church leader, commented in his remarks that 'when you are in the service of your fellow-men, you are only in the service of your God'. The receivers and the givers both benefitted equally that day.

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