DUT Mentors Give Their ’67 Minutes’

DUT Mentors Give Their ’67 Minutes’ At Various Schools In Durban

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The Durban University of Technology (DUT) Schools’ Engagement Programme mentors from various faculties visited numerous schools in and around Durban, devoting their 67 minutes of their time to helping others as a way to celebrate the birthday of the iconic Nelson Mandela on 18 July.

The Nelson Mandela International Day began in November 2009 when the UN General Assembly declared 18 July as ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’ in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and harmony. By devoting 67 minutes of their time, people can make a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step towards a global movement for good.

DUT’s Department of Horticulture was very proud to participate in the Mandela day project. Philile Ngcobo from the Horticulture department, a member of the DUT mentor team, along with Sastri College pupils from Grade 10 to matric, helped in creating a Nelson Mandela peace garden in a simple, secluded nook of the school, yesterday (Thursday, 18 July 2019).

Sastri College’s Nivi Brijmohan said the aim of the peace garden was to create a calm and relaxing environment for the pupils to gather, meet, and to experience tranquillity after a stressful day. She also said that it was strategically situated for the pupils so that they could come out and enjoy the ambiance of a peace garden after their cultural activities.

Grade eight Sastri College pupil, Pearl Khubeka said the experience of creating a peace garden afforded her the opportunity to learn more about horticulture which is offered at DUT. “This has also encouraged me to do more for our society and help in whatever way I can,” she said.

Another project which took place at the school was the establishment of the Social Entrepreneurship Club, one of the many that have been created by DUT’s International Centre of Non-violence (ICON) in different high schools around Durban in a bid to groom future leaders and change makers.

DUT mentor Raymond Padya, who forms part of the Sastri Enterprise Club, said it seeks to achieve social value and social change by initiating different fundraising projects that would in-turn generate funds. “The proceeds from these fundraising activities will be used to solve a common social issue which in this case the Sastri Enterprise members decided to build a museum to preserve the history of their high school and they also assisting two orphanages around Durban,” he said.

Padya further added that Sastri College is a school with rich history and it has produced notable leaders in Durban and South Africa. He said the club discovered that there was a crucial need to document and archive the historical and present achievements at the school thus a Documents Centre was proposed.

“Two interior designing students from City Campus, Mduduzi Mdlolo and Mthokozisi Radebe, assisted in setting up a theme and the designs for the museum. Donations were also collected from around the school for the orphanages that the team are helping on creating play areas for the children there,” he said.

Overport Secondary High School also had a hive of activities with DUT students volunteering their 67 minutes along with their pupils, to cleaning up the storeroom and school ground, and assisting in making the school environment cleaner for both teaching and learning.

Grade 10 pupil Crystal Ganesh, one of the volunteer participants on Nelson Mandela Day, said she was happy to make her small contribution to cleaning her school and making it a healthier environment not only for her, but for future pupils.

All in all, the day was a huge success, as it also forms part of the ongoing school engagement projects that DUT has embarked on.

Pictured: DUT mentors, Sastri College pupils and staff, at the Nelson Mandela peace garden.

Waheeda Peters

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