On July 18, SNC-Lavalin employees celebrated Nelson Mandela International Day by building and painting a small schoolhouse at Constitution Hill Precinct in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Constitution Hill is the site of Johannesburg's notorious Old Fort prison complex where many of South Africa's political activists, including Nelson Mandela, were detained.
It was one of five schoolhouses built by sponsors that will be used as classrooms and will provide much-needed storage for educational supplies. SNC-Lavalin delivered its schoolhouse to Mother Touch Academy, a non-profit organization that provides preschool and educational services to children in the impoverished Diepsloot community outside Johannesburg.
"Today is about giving back to the less fortunate and instilling hope in future generations," said Dirk Botha, Manager, Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE), South Africa. "I am so proud of the team and what they accomplished today, and know that our hard work will benefit many children for years to come."
About Nelson Mandela International Day
In November 2009, the United Nations' General Assembly declared July 18-the day Nelson Mandela was born-Nelson Mandela International Day. The day celebrates the former South African President's life and his contribution to peace and freedom in the country.
As a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela devoted 67 years of his life to serving humanity. So every year on July 18, the United Nations, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, calls on the international community to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others.
To see a YouTube video of the event: