Embassy staff volunteered for a house building project with Philippines Habitat for Humanity in Quezon City (QC), Manila on 28 July 2012 to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day. Manila Congressman Irwin Tieng as well as the Vice Mayor of QC, Joy Belmonte graced the event and welcomed the Mission’s effort.
The Embassy galvanized the support of 94 volunteers to honour former President Mandela’s 94th birthday during the belated Nelson Mandela Day. The day also included storytelling to kids in the community and feeding packs distributed to 29 families already living on site by partner companies. The volunteering partners included the South African (SA) community and students, SA companies i.e. Gold Fields Philippines Corporation and Aspen Philippines Inc. and other companies doing business with SA like Federated Distributors Inc. (FDI) [Ceres juice], Aerotel (Agent of South African Airways), Star Alliance as well as a number of United Nations agencies, namely, UNICEF, UN Habitat for Humanity and the ILO.
Ambassador Nyamande – Pitso welcomed the participants and cited the role of South Africa’s first democratically elected President Nelson Mandela in his never ending quest to uplift human dignity in South Africa and also the world at large. The CEO of Habitat for Humanity, Mr. Charlie Ayco emphasized that this project is a symbol of the Philippines fight against economic discrimination by forming similar partnerships. Vice Mayor Belmonte said that 40 percent of the people in QC live in informal settlements, thus the provision of housing has been a priority of the local government. She applauded the Mandela Day effort and welcomed Nelson Mandela’s “special call to give back to society”.
The Mission will also be screening a number of South African films free to the public at the Rizal Park Auditorium, Manila during July and August on the occasion of Nelson Mandela Day and Women’s Day and Month.
SA Embassy Manila, Philippines