18 July 2019

By Leanne Gersun Mendelow
Nelson Mandela International Day, 18th July, is an annual call-to-action that aims to motivate individuals to help transform the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. 

Mandela famously said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Inspired by this idea, CADENA South Africa planned a Mandela Day initiative of prevention and education at Mikateka Primary School, Ivory Park in Johannesburg. Ivory Park is a South African township whose population is made up of a close-knit and multicultural community. The area is distinguished by corrugated iron shacks, RDP (state-subsidised) structures and middle income houses juxtaposing one another. 

Mikateka Primary is a typical township school consisting of over 2000 learners and only 50 teachers. Due to the little funding and support they receive from the government, the school has not been able to provide any necessary fire prevention and first aid training for its teaching staff nor any fire safety guidelines for its learners. 

CADENA SA, in partnership with the Fire Protection Association of South Africa (FPASA), ran a comprehensive fire safety workshop for the school staff and learners. Additionally, 20 teachers received the ultimate education – How to save a life! Through Medi-Response the teachers completed a certified CPR training course and are now equipped with the knowledge to act quickly and confidently in an emergency. 

On this school day the learners of Mikateka Primary were given only one piece of homework – to share with their friends, neighbours, parents, siblings and community a single fire safety fact they had learnt that day.