On the 18th of July 2016 Africa Unite in partnership with the Marikina Township local leadership in Cape Town hosted a community cleanup campaign to commemorate Mandela Day. Marikana is a growing township between Nyanga, Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha and Philippi.
It has over 10 00 shacks but there is a serious challenge of water and proper sanitation as people still use portable toilets, environmental hygiene, housing, youth leadership etc. The event began with opening remarks by the community leaders who welcomed Africa Unite to Marikana and also spoke briefly about the purpose and importance of Mandela Day. The large group then walked through the settlement and picked up trash that was scattered around. The group attracted the attention of many community members including children
who then joined in to help collect trash.
After picking up the trash, everyone returned to the church for concluding remarks and reflections. One of Africa Unite’s peer educators living in Marikina then expressed his gratitude for Africa Unite. He also challenged the youth of Marikana to step up just like other youth in many townships that are initiating and implementing positive change in their own community. One of the community leaders also spoke and thanked Africa Unite for organizing the event and acknowledged that the youth must take initiative in order to continue developing the community. Finally, Africa Unite staff gave the community a word of encouragement urging them to be active and not only to wait for Mandela Day in order to do something good for their community or fight for their rights. We expressed our willingness to develop the relationship with the community of
Marikana, however they also were encouraged to challenge service delivery institutions especially on water and sanitation because the people are living in dire conditions.
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