This post originally appeared on the Cape Town Big 6 blog.

This year Cape Point in conjunction with the other Cape Town Big 6 members (Table Mountain Cableway; V&A Waterfront; Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens; Groot Constantia and Robben Island Museum) decided to celebrate Mandela Day with the children from Homes for Kids in South Africa (HOKISA). Despite some last minute weather-induced changes, everyone had a great day in true Madiba style.

HOKISA is a remarkable home that is close to everyone at the Cape Town Big 6’s heart, and for a number of years now Cape Town Big 6 members and HOKISA have worked together to bring some joy to the lives of the children housed there.

HOKISA is located in the heart of the Masiphumelele township, and they currently care for twenty two children affected by HIV and AIDs on a fulltime basis. And so for Mandela Day 2014, it made perfect sense to treat the children to a day out in a way that would’ve made Nelson Mandela proud.

Mandela Day was established to honour the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, and each year on the late statesman’s birthday, people around the world are encouraged to give one minute of service for each year that Mandela dedicated to the fight for social justice. With children being particularly close to Mandela’s heart, the team from Cape Town Big 6 decided to partner with Robben Island who were giving free entry to previously disadvantaged individuals for Mandela day and treat the HOKISA kids to a slightly more than 67 minutes of reflection on Robben Island itself.

Unfortunately bad weather rolled in just hours before the departure time, and all boats to Robben Island were cancelled. But a quick change of itinerary and some generous assistance meant no smiles were lost. Hylton Ross stepped in to provide transport to the V&A Waterfront, where children were all also able to experience the Robben Island museum situated at the V&A Waterfront. They also received an amazing talk from ex-political prisoners and an ex-prison guard, and the underlying theme was an inspiring one, as the young children were able to witness two former enemies come together as friends and share their stories.

From there, the Springbok Museum kindly welcomed all the HOKISA kids with open arms as they walked through the fascinating history of one of South Africa’s most popular sports.

With lunch packs and a full day of activities, and a bit of play time in the V&A Waterfront play area, all just a few kilometres away from Robben Island, the feedback from all the children and staff was amazingly positive, everyone left feeling truly inspired.

Staff at HOKISA commented that “Even though our trip to Robben Island was cancelled due to the weather, it was wonderful to enjoy the activities going on and the museums we were treated to….”.

Cape Point and the rest of the Cape Town Big 6 would like to thank everyone involved for assisting so generously to make the day particularly special for all the children from HOKISA.

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