Mandela Day celebrated in the Union of Comoros

12 August 2020

South African Embassy Mandela Day Celebration – 18 July 2020 Inané, Mbadjini – Grande Comore (Ngazidja), Union of the Comoros

Everyone in the world should dedicate 67 minutes of service to humanity that commemorates this great African Patriot and Global Icon. The 67 minutes derives from the 67 years of his life that Tata Mandela devoted to the service of humanity - South African Embassy, Moroni

Photo: Picture at the school are the Governor of the Island of Ngazidja Ms Farouata Mhoudine and the Director of Cabinet of the President of the Union of Comoros in charge of Defense, Mr Youssoufa Mohamed Ali with school and embassy staff

This year the South African Embassy to the Union of Comoros commemorated Nelson Mandela International Day under the challenging circumstances of a global pandemic that has seriously constrained the freedom and movement of people, the Covid-19.

The Embassy identified an event that would encompass the spirit of the day, honour the legacy of Madiba and also recognize his tireless work to improve the lives of children all around the world.  We also made a conscious decision to take into account the need for social awareness around the COVID-19 pandemic and support efforts at fighting its spread in vulnerable communities.

In this vein, we chose to adopt and uplift a primary school in a rural area on the Island of Ngazidja. The school identified was the Inané Public Primary School located in the Village of Inané, Mbadjini which forms part of the Pimba Municipality.

On 18 July 2020, with the participation of the Governor of the Island of Ngazidja Ms Farouata Mhoudine, the Director of Cabinet of the President of the Union of Comoros in charge of Defense, Mr Youssoufa Mohamed Ali, as well as the community of Pimba, the embassy staff cleaned the school grounds and sanitized and cleaned all the classrooms. The Regional Red Crescent assisted in decontamination of school with material supplied by the embassy staff, ensuring that it is ready to support the reopening of the schools in the country.

The celebration started with a traditional prayer, followed by welcoming remarks from the chief of the village of Inané. A message about the commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day on behalf of the people of South Africa was delivered by the South African Ambassador Anesh Maistry, and this was followed by speeches from the Director of Cabinet and the Governor of the Island of Ngazidja.

We utilized voluntary donations from all embassy staff members to purchase reusable cloth face masks, sanitizing gel, retrofitted sanitizing bucket dispensers, and antibacterial cleaning material to clean and sanitize the school. Additional cleaning material including spray bottles and brooms were donated to the school to make sure that this sanitizing process was ongoing for the rest of the year.

The staff of the South African Embassy in Moroni with this joint effort to honour the legacy and values of Nelson Mandela through volunteering and community service, has made a small yet telling impact on people’s lives in one of the poorest areas of the Island.
The adoption of the school by the Embassy is a key element of our people to people engagement and in this spirit a needs assessment was conducted to support the improvement of the learning conditions of these young children. The school will be supported by voluntary contributions by the Head of Mission and prospective partners to finance the painting of the classrooms, waterproofing of the roof, and installing doors for the school.

The event, due in part to the presence of senior political figures and the iconic status of Nelson Mandela, drew a great deal of press coverage, including the national broadcaster ORTC, which had a national news feature and interview with Ambassador Anesh Maistry that evening on the school outreach event.

South African Embassy in Comoros