Pupils from preschool to matric at Johannesburg’s SAHETI School commemorated Nelson Mandela International Day last week.

“SAHETI School learners have been encouraged to make a difference in the lives of others … It is in this spirit that we commemorated Nelson Mandela International Day 2023 throughout the school,” says Anna Botha, the school’s marketing head.

Learners from the high school donated “pre-loved” computers to Safe Study, an after-school educational enrichment programme operating in Lorentzville close to the suburb of Senderwood, where SAHETI School is located.

“The computers enable the children to learn programming, do their schoolwork and have access to educational programmes,” says Botha.

High schoolers also made more than 670 sandwiches that were distributed via Fearless Life Ministries to the homeless and also to an organisation that assists families who are struggling financially. Learners from the primary school joined in this effort, making 1 489 sandwiches and collecting 32 loaves of bread that were donated to charities in Turffontein, Rosettenville and Bellavista, all suburbs in the south of Johannesburg.

“To add a special touch, each student wrote an inspirational note to go with the sandwich,” says Botha.

Non-perishable food items were collected for Kids Haven, a children’s home in Benoni on the East Rand, and SAHETI learners were encouraged to perform random acts of kindness during the week by handing out food parcels to people begging at street corners or traffic lights, says Botha.

Children in the playschool and pre-primary school collected 287 blankets for the Immaculata Shelter, based at the Rosebank Catholic Church and run by the Rosebank Homeless Association. The shelter offers overnight accommodation, as well as skills training for the homeless.

“The gesture was to ensure that one more person would sleep warm this winter. Leading up to the day, the teachers spoke to the children about the significance of Mandela Day and acts of kindness. The children helped carry the blankets to the delivery vehicle and were excited to see that each blanket was leaving the school and going somewhere, to help someone,” Botha says.