As a buildup to the United Nations International Day of Peace, GNRC¬–South Africa together with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) and other civil society organizations launched the Zimbali Zonke Garden4Life project on 19th September 2020 during a children’s interfaith day camp.
“With the first week of September 2020 dedicated to Arbour Week in South Africa, the Heritage Month, and the 21st September being the UN International Peace Day, what better way to commemorate these occasions than for GNRC–South Africa to launch the Zimbali Zonke Garden4Life project.” – Ms. Saydoon Nisa Sayed, Country Coordinator, GNRC–South Africa.
The launch was coupled with several activities that engaged children and youth who attended the event. The pre-event to the peace day involved explaining to children what the UN day meant to the faith community, children and the entire world; and highlighting the role of children and youth in upholding peace. Dr. Shakira Cassim, a pediatrician based in South Africa, graced the event. Dr. Cassim discussed with children on positive values and abiding to the guidelines from elders/seniors. She also educated the children about the novel Coronavirus and the importance of hand washing, sanitizing and facemasks.
Mark Naicker from the Catholic Church, Vedhan Singh from the African Union’s Intercontinental Interfaith Youth Forum and Alton Sukdeo a Hindu representative of the GNRC Working Committee worked together with the GNRC Country Coordinator, Ms. Saydoon Nisa for the success of the event.
To climax the event, each child received a pot plant to take and care for at home as a gesture of their contribution to a greener and better environment. The children also received individualized colorful messages of hope hand painted on white fabric.
The event similarly featured in one of the country’s papers, “The Rising Sun.” The Zimbali Zonke Garden4Life Project will go a long way as a hub for promoting and fostering interfaith cooperation and peace in the country. It will also be a safe heaven for children and youth especially those facing cases of violence against them.