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This year marks the tenth anniversary of Mandela Day, which occurs each year on 18 July and calls on organisations around the country to contribute in some way or form to enhance the lives of others and make an impact. To mark the decade milestone, this year the Nelson Mandela Foundation launched a new strategy, entitled “Mandela Day: The Next Chapter”.

The Bravura team visited the Alcardo Andrews Foundation (AAF) in Cape Town’s Hanover Park. The AAF was established in 2015 in honour of a young man who lost his life to gang violence but who, before he died, had hoped to bring about change by engaging with gangsters and young people in the community to encourage them away from gangsterism.

Gang activity and excessive levels of violent crime are rife in Hanover Park, which is home to over 34 000 people and less than half an hour’s drive from Cape Town’s city Centre. A climate of fear pervades the community who must regularly endure hails of bullets that penetrate houses, and dangerous street conditions that make it difficult to make use of public facilities or visit amenities. Crime levels in Hanover Park are comparable to some war zones around the world.

Coupled with this are extensive social problems such as a high school drop-out rate, drug and alcohol abuse, prostitution, drug trafficking and robberies. Unemployment is high whereas income and education levels are low. Moreover, Hanover Park has limited work opportunities, shopping facilities, and cultural or social amenities. The youth have little exposure to the outside world with as many as 80% of children under the age of 14 reportedly never having left Hanover Park.

Bravura was one of two donors who assisted The Alcardo Andrews Foundation this year, which marks the very first time that donations that been received by the foundation in its four years of operation. Bravura provided donations that included a large Wendy house for the children, and the Bravura team lent their services on the day by serving meals to the community.

Chrishenda Brukman from Bravura recounts the day’s events: “We were excited and a bit fearful too, given the safety issues when visiting Hanover Park. It was devastating to witness so many hungry and helpless people queuing for both food and counselling. But it was incredibly rewarding to see the foundation’s leader (known in the community as “Aunty Avril”) and her team’s exuberant reaction to the newly-built Wendy house and the rest of our donations.”

Bravura’s donation to the AAF included:

• A Wendy house,
• Groceries and electricity,
• A Dell laptop to assist kids with school projects,
• Second-hand tables and chairs, filing cabinets, bookshelves, bookcases and Optiplan drawers,
• Cash of R15 or R25 was given to each of the 62 child and youth members of the AAF, and placed in an envelope. The AAF staff was asked to educate the children on money by giving them the freedom to make a financial decision guided by their leaders. The AAF staff have also received vouchers to the value of R100 each
• The collection and fitting of the Foundation’s first signage donated by AJ Signs

Chrishenda concludes, “I was fortunate to have had the added privilege of staying and helping at AAF for the entire day. I am ecstatic knowing that our Bravura team has helped change the lives of Hanover Park’s community by providing some warmth and comfort. As part of Mandela’s legacy, our aim has been to give the Hanover Park residents some hope and optimism for embarking on their next chapter!”