Youth and elders celebrate Mandela Day together

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Thembalami Care Centre’s and SANCA Wedge Gardens’ occupational therapy departments joined forces and went all out on Mandela Day to ensure that residents from the care centre and clients from substance use treatment centre got to spend some quality time together.

Preparations started on 17 July, when a number of SANCA Wedge Gardens’ clients started baking cakes and biscuits for Thembalami’s residents. Thembalami also took cake to Wedge Gardens, in celebration.

“On the morning of Mandela Day, our clients were up bright and early, cleaning, tidying and setting up beautiful, artistically decorated tables to host our guests,” says Caryn Berman, SANCA Wedge Gardens’ occupational therapist.

Everyone enjoyed tea and coffee while enjoying their time and interaction with each other.

As it was a lovely sunny day, the tables were moved outside where some people played board games, including the fiercely competitive Rummikub.

Thembalami resident Joanne Weyerman Noble, a talented fabric painter, took her paints and brushes and inspired some of the residents and clients to paint and develop their talents.

“She also surprised them with her sense of humour and Zulu skills! This activity will become a regular part of our occupational therapy programme,” says Caryn.

Thembalami’s occupational therapist Tshakani Shihlomule, who initiated the event, says it was wonderful to build relationships between the care centre and SANCA Wedge Gardens.

To give back to the community, in honour of Madiba, everyone also packed small gift packs which included soap, shampoo and body cream.

“There were 134 packets which were sealed with a picture of Madiba. When we ran out of packets, the packers simply wrapped the items with tape, to ensure that more people could benefit. The packets are being handed out to people on the street and others in need,” says Caryn.

“For us, Mandela Day will be remembered as a day when younger people connected with and learnt from their elders, and giving back to others,” she adds.

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