The Mandela Day project calls for people to sacrifice 67 minutes of their time in helping to build, maintain and upgrade your community – thereby building a better South Africa.
Lotus FM, together with the SABC and SABC News, will carry out much-needed maintenance work and upgrades at the Chatsworth Youth Centre – a centre built by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The Centre was built for the youth, after the Throb Nightclub Tragedy claimed the lives of 13 teenagers – one as young as nine-years-old – on March 24th, 2000. The 13 youngsters were tragically killed in a stampede after a teargas canister was thrown on the dance-floor of the packed night-club by a rival club owner at an end-of-term matinee.
Following this tragedy, it became apparent that there was a lack of a recreational venue for the youth to become gainfully involved, develop social skills and stay away from the social ills that plague that community.
In 2003 the Chatsworth Youth Centre was opened by former President Nelson Mandela as a haven for the youth of Chatsworth who would otherwise have to resort to roaming the streets or going to nightclubs.
Now, the centre has fallen into a state of disrepair and is in need of urgent maintenance work and upgrades.
Lotus FM Station Manager, Alvin Pillay, says, “It is important that as South Africans we pay tribute to one of our fathers of our modern-day democracy by taking care of the legacy he has left us. The centre has helped develop young Chess Champions, wrestlers, table-tennis stars and even helped children get much-needed tuition for school. This is our way of giving back to the community AND serving our people.”
The station, including SABC and SABC News will conduct maintenance work and upgrade the centre. In March the SABC News Current Affairs Team, Newsbreak, held a pre-election debate at the centre and noticed the poor state of the centre. Newsbreak, then appealed to Lotus FM to help in upgrading the centre on Mandela Day.
Lotus FM Marketing Manager, Donne Henry says, “Far from this being a mandate requirement, this project is close to our heart. An icon, like Nelson Mandela, took time out from his hectic schedule, to commission and opens the Chatsworth Youth Centre for this community. The least we can do is take care of such a beautiful gift, from such an important man, for our children, our future. Over the years the youth centre has fallen into a state of disrepair – windows are broken, the paint is peeling and fading. By upgrading this centre we are not only helping one child, but hundreds of children who frequent the centre after school and during the holidays. This is just our way of saying that Lotus FM Cares for your community and this time, we’re putting our money where our mouth is and asking YOU to share the Mandela Day experience with us.”
The station will broadcast from the Chatsworth Youth Centre from 10h00-18h00 and is calling on volunteers to help with cleaning, sweeping, washing windows and even planting gardens and trees or cutting the lawn!
If you’d like to volunteer and lend a hand to maintain Madiba’s Legacy, visit the Chatsworth Youth Centre on Mandela Day 18th July 2011. All volunteers are required to register and will receive a Lotus FM T-shirt. If you would like to donate anything for the event, kindly contact Donne Henry on 031 362 5464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.