On the day before South Africa’s Youth Day public holiday on 16 June, Vision AfriKa’s staff and volunteers got together to remember the young people involved in the Soweto Uprising of 1976.
An estimated 20,000 students from numerous schools in the township near Johannesburg took to the streets to protest against Afrikaans, the official language of the then apartheid regime, being imposed on them as the sole medium of instruction. Some 176 people died in the clashes with police that ensued.
To commemorate the event, which brought the Struggle to the attention of millions of people around the world, Vision AfriKa’s staff and volunteers dressed up in either school uniforms or in black and white clothes for those unable to get hold of uniforms.
The social gathering, which took place at the educational development NGO’s Ikhaya Trust Centre in the Kayamandi township, started off with an icebreaker exercise to help everyone relax. It was then followed by a short speech by head of marketing and Grade 9 coordinator Samkela Mhlakaza, who explained that the aim of the two-hour-long occasion was to help everyone forget about work for a while and concentrate on socialising and getting to know each other better.
The rest of the lunchtime was spent eating a delicious meal of beef stew and stamp followed by cakes for desert, and the team-building activity was deemed an all-round success.