The Miss Earth South Africa organisation, in conjunction with Fourways Farmers Market, Reliance Compost, Consol, UTI and Garnier South Africa, planted 95 trees at Solwazi Primary School in Orange Farm ahead of Mandela Day. The organisation decided to honour the former statesman by planting one tree for every year of his life.
The project was hosted ahead of International Mandela Day, to coincide with the National Semi-Finalists’ Johannesburg trip, which saw all of the recently announced Green Glamazons in Gauteng, with just six weeks to go to the Gala Event.
Solwazi Primary School was founded just three years ago, and is nestled deep within Gauteng’s “forgotten township”, Orange Farm. The school, which has been formally adopted by the Miss Earth South Africa organisation, is without electricity and, until recently, was without running water as well, which made it impossible to sustain any trees. That, however, has all changed, largely thanks to the efforts of the Miss Earth South Africa organisation.
“One of the incredible teachers at Solwazi, Mrs Magwaza, has worked with us for years in Orange Farm and when she brought Solwazi Primary onto our radar there was no way we couldn’t help,” said Miss Earth South Africa’s educational officer, Ella Bella. “There wasn’t a single tree for the children to sit under, not so much as a blade of grass, and now they have 95 trees to choose from and soon they’ll have their very own sustainable food garden as well.”
Inspiration: pay it forward
Nelson Mandela has, throughout his life, inspired greatness in those with whom he comes into contact, and when Miss Earth South Africa’s national director, Catherine Constantinides, met him, the affect was no less profound. “Meeting Tata inspired me in ways I cannot begin to explain; his life and his legacy motivate me each and every day, to be a better person, to touch people’s lives, to change the world,” explains Constantinides.
Since being named Miss Earth South Africa in 2003, Constantinides has made humanitarian work a priority in her life, through her work in rural Cambodia, to her work in the townships of South Africa. Over the past decade, the organisation that was born of Constantinides’s dream to change the world has touched hundreds of thousands of lives and created sustainable change across South Africa.
With the assistance of Earth Outdoor Living Nursery and the Fourways Farmers Market, the Miss Earth South Africa will, over the course of the coming months, complete a full “green make over” at Solwazi Primary School. In addition, the ladies and winners of the 2013 leadership programme will return to Orange Farm to assist with classroom refurbishment at Solwazi.
The 2013 Miss Earth South Africa winners will be announced at a gala function on Saturday, 17 August at Tsogo Sun’s Montecasino ballroom. If one would like to volunteer one’s time or services to the organisation and be a part of this initiative, email the Miss Earth South Africa organisation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ella Bella plants the first tree at Solwazi Primary School in Orange Farm ahead of Mandela Day where national finalists of the Miss Earth South Africa 2013 planted 95 trees symbolic of Tata Madiba’s 95th birthday.
- MTN Lions join Miss Earth South Africa finalists as they green Solwazi Primary School in Orange Farm with 95 trees ahead of Mandela Day 2013.
- The gorgeous former KZN resident Nombuso Mnikathi is a 2013 Miss Earth South Africa finalist seen here in Orange Farm where fellow finalists planted 95 trees earlier this month.