Friday, 21 July 2017

Nelson Mandela Day



Every year on 18 July, the day Nelson Mandela was born, individuals and businesses around the world, mark Nelson Mandela International Day by making a difference in their communities. Everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better, and Mandela Day is an occasion for everyone to take action and inspire change. For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity. In his honor, every year on this day, people around the world dedicate "67 minutes" of their time. As a company, we got involved in various ways, this week.

We partnered with an amazing project,
based on the Garden Route, The Precious Tree Project https://www.facebook.com/pg/precioustreeproject/about/?ref=page_internal

The Precious Tree Project concentrates on creating patches of Forest, by planting indigenous and endemic Forest Trees in The Garden Route area of South Africa. The Garden Route, although lush with vegetation has only 30% of its indigenous forest left. 

During the recent “Knysna Fires”, the forest took a massive hit. The devastation is evident and the forest suffered. Many homes were completely burnt down and some residents lost everything in the fire. http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/knysna-suffers-the-fury-of-fire-20170611-2

Despite the devastation, there is a positive attitude in the air. Help is coming from all over South Africa (and the world) and people on the Garden Route are stronger together, than ever before. Rebuilding and picking up the pieces of this historical region and tourist hotspot. This forest is very special to us and forms the heart of our tour, plus two of our guides and Hendrik, the owner, were born on the Garden Route! Needless to say, we are doing as much as we can, to help the progress of this reforestation process. 



Our guests on tour, had a few opportunities to get involved and do their part for Mandela day. Some guests assisted with the reforestation project, getting their hands dirty and planting some new saplings in the damaged part of the forest. There was also an opportunity to volunteer at a local distribution center, receiving and sorting the much needed donated supplies, coming from all parts of the country, for the fire victims.

We are running a tree donation campaign for this project. You can donate a tree at R180. This funds the tree and the crucial aftercare, giving these young saplings the best chance of growing into a mighty forest, once again.

Earthstompers has donated 1 tree for every guest we took on tour, during Mandela Week. Since we launched this campaign, a week ago, we have donated 20 trees :D Yay!




Our Cape Town-based part of the team, headed to Khayelitsha township, close to Cape Town, to assist with the refurbishment of a classroom, at Kuyasa Educare Centre. The roof got taken off by the wind, during the “Cape Storm”, which was the same storm as the “Knysna Fires” – all of these disasters, caused by abnormally strong gale force winds, we experienced in South Africa during that week.



At Kuyasa, we worked on the damaged classroom, making it as new and neat as we could manage. Cleaning up, peeling old plastic from the walls, painting the ceiling boards and starting to get the roof back up. This project is run by our friends in volunteering, African Impact. They do amazing work, all over Africa, in a very sustainable and responsible way. African Impact runs a two week project based in Cape Town, where volunteers can do one week volunteer work at the Cape Town project and then go on a Garden Route tour with us, during their second week in South Africa. What an awesome opportunity, right?! The feedback for this 2 week package has been fantastic and this product is definitely increasing in demand.

We have had such an exciting and impactful week, being part of these various projects and getting involved, hands-on. We have been overwhelmed by the positive response we’ve been getting from past guests and people following us on social media. People donating trees and guests on tour, volunteering their time to help us build a better South Africa.


Thank you to our late President Nelson Mandela, for being the inspiration behind such a big movement. On this day we are reminded. On this day, we all stand together with one mission; to create a better future. Every day should be Nelson Mandela Day.

Cindy

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