Mandela Day/Month 2023 - It takes a village to raise a child

July 21, 2023 | Girls’ College, Thandulwazi | Author: Senamile Ngiba (Girls' College Head of Community Engagement)

Mpho Mmasechaba is a resident of an informal settlement in Alex and started her kitchen in 2021 during the challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing leftover groceries from her mother's business and operating as an informal trader, she embarked on this endeavour to provide meals for children who were unable to attend school due to lockdown restrictions. These children heavily relied on school meals as a vital source of nutrition. Despite facing financial constraints, Mpho has continued running the kitchen, relying on social media outreach to seek assistance from compassionate individuals. Her kitchen currently feeds over 200 children daily. From sharing her story at the chapel, the school felt inspired by her struggles and her ability to use her limited resources to overcome these challenges and give back to her community.

In honour of Mandela Day, the Girls’ College supported Mpho Mmasechaba’s initiative, SwaraganoNPO by transforming Mandela Day into Mandela Month. This month included:

•The Grade 8s and Grade 9s doing a bake sale, which raised R25 000
•The Grade 10s made over 100 blankets
•The Grade 11s and The St Stithians College Finance Department donated non-perishable foods.
•Grade 12s made 200 colouring books and donated 100 colouring pencils
•The Round Square committee donated R7 000 from World Hunger Civvies Day

The Girls’ College students, parents, and staff paid a visit to the municipal hall in the Alexandra township on the 15th of July 2023. We were met with the enthusiastic and welcoming staff as we started with a prayer and a song to bless the day and set the mood. Students started happily preparing breakfast meals as the staff and parents prepared the lunch meals.


One of the food kitchen staff members blew a whistle, which is used as a way of alerting the children and women to come and receive their meals. Filled with laughter, the 300 children and women excitedly ran their way to get there. For breakfast, they were served bread and tea, while lunch consisted of rice, chicken stew, salads, and juice. The students from Girls' College eagerly handed colouring books and colouring pens to the children, who excitedly began using them to beautify their books or practice math problems. While we waited for lunch to be served, we presented Mpho and the kitchen with a R25,000 Checkers/Shoprite voucher. This voucher would help sustain her kitchen for some time by enabling her to purchase food. As a gesture of gratitude for the staff members who selflessly care for their community without receiving a salary, the students presented each of them with a R500 Pick n Pay voucher. This voucher would provide them with the flexibility to buy either clothes or food. Finally, the blankets were handed over to the children. This day shows that it takes a village to raise a child, and Mpho’s staff and herself embody that phrase.

At Strydom Park in Randburg, the staff of Girls' College were diligently working on enhancing Mpho's food van. This informal business not only generates income for Mpho's family but also provides income to buy food for the community. The GC staff members were engaged in painting and beautifying the food van, aiming to attract a larger customer base to the location.

We express our heartfelt gratitude to the following:
• Carreira Fruits and Vegetables store in Ferndale, for generously donating fruits and vegetables for the day
• Powersave Cash and Carry in Bram Fisher, for their kind contribution of groceries worth R2,000
• The St Stithians Operations Department, by donating paint to us to colour the spirit of Madiba





#MandelaDay2023 #makingaworldofdifference #PurposeInspired #PassionDriven #StrongerOneAndAll

A gallery of images from all of the activities that have been taking place.

A highlights video of our Girls' College Mandela Day 2023 initiatives.