There are few better feelings in life than being able to make a difference to someone else. Whether it is large or small, the impact that we can have in another’s life is sometimes immeasurable to us, but can mean the world to others. For Nelson Mandela Day 2022, RGB Gaming, Nexus Media and Bedford Centre teamed up to create a day of spoils, treats and excitement for the children of Abraham Kriel Bambanani, a facility that caters to children and youth in need.
“Abraham Kriel Bambanani is a registered NPO providing care and skills development for traumatised children and youth in need, in the greater Johannesburg area. We provide shelter, physical care, rehabilitation and skills development for beneficiaries that have been subjected to trauma, abuse, molestation, poverty, neglect and unemployment. This is done via residential care, community services and educational programmes.”
We started out the morning with all the children receiving their care packages for the day filled with snacks and drinks sponsored by the Pick n Pay at the Centre. Everyone was sent into one of the cinemas at Nu Metro to be welcomed and have an inspiring talk from Sheldon Tatchell, the founder of Legends Barbershop, who shared his story of working hard to make your dreams come true and believing in yourself and your hard work despite your circumstances.
The children were treated to a movie sponsored by Nu Metro Cinemas, including popcorn and cooldrinks courtesy of Bedford Centre. From there, they were moved through to be spoiled by the salons in the Centre – Gary Rom Hair, Beauty Express, Sorbet and Legends Barbershop (who set up their impressive Legends bus outside their storefront to accommodate more children). It’s quite something to watch the difference in confidence levels and the bigger smiles as they made their way out of the salons, especially as it was back to school the next day to show off their looks as they start the new school term!
Lunches were sponsored by some of the restaurants in the Centre – delicious wraps at Mythos Authentic Greek Restaurant and yummy burgers at Wimpy and Spur Steakhouse at Bedford Centre. The staff at the restaurants were super friendly and helpful, with big smiles for the children and volunteers.
All the children got to spend some time in the RGB Gaming pop up centre, playing on MSI notebooks and builds as well as getting some play time on consoles. There was a lot of competitive play on the racing rig that was set up by Matrix Warehouse for the event! Inside the RGB Gaming pop up centre, the children were also treated to some Cricut fun where the team was personalising their hoodies and shirts, making small items and stickers for the children to take back to the houses and all around showing what amazing machines they have!
The children were also gifted scarves and beanies from 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day. The volunteers from 67 Blankets have been working for a while to make sure there were enough sets for all the children on the day to take home to keep them cozy – their hard work paid off in a big way as the children were choosing their favourite colours for their very own sets.
Comic Con Africa supported the children’s creative sides, asking them to “draw a superhero” to be displayed at this year’s CCA (22-25 September at JHB Convention Centre). The children were also asked to paint a tile in a pattern that has a personal meaning for them, something that will also be displayed at this year’s Comic Con Africa.
As a final take home gift, each child was given a gift from PNA Stationers, including stationery for the new school term and some personal gifts. Microsoft donated some more stationery items and Pick n Pay had some delicious cupcakes waiting for a last treat. It’s a really heartfelt moment to watch even the most hardened volunteers start to choke up when a little person says thank you to them with tears in their eyes. I think everyone at the event was feeling the effects of just what a huge impact the smallest consideration can make to someone’s life and it won’t be a day easily forgotten by either the children of Abraham Kriel or any of the volunteers who were there to help out.
As you can imagine, hosting nearly 100 children from various Abraham Kriel campuses takes a lot of planning and the unsurpassed generosity of the businesses and individuals between RGB Gaming and Bedford Centre. Jaco Sauer, General Manager of RGB Gaming, said:
“Without all of the supporters, sponsors and volunteers, none of this would be possible. We definitely wouldn’t be able to take on something like this without all the support, so our heartfelt thanks go out to everyone that was there on the day and the people behind the scenes that made this possible.”
Besides the donations of goods and time, there were also cash donations made toward the Nelson Mandela Day event. Mention has to be made of V. Ladner, L. Scott, J. & L. Labuschagne, Hidden Away Guest House in Hogsback and the Ashkan Foundation for their generosity in making the day so successful.
“The Management and Staff at Abraham Kriel Bambanani (AKB) were so thankful for the recent event hosted by Nexus Media, RGB Gaming, Microsoft, Bedford Centre and their tenants.
It was heart-breaking for the children not being able to go on outings over the last two years and it had really taken a toll on them. The event on Mandela Day 18 July was the first major outing for many of the children. Nearly 100 of our children and their child care workers were blessed with an amazing day of fun and excitement.
Colette Ramjathan, Social Funding Developer – Marketing Department, commented:
“The children have not stopped raving about their fun day out, sitting in luxurious chairs in the theatre watching the movie with popcorn and cold drinks… Being pampered at the salons… Thoroughly enjoying treats and games at Esports… Enjoying delicious lunches… Relaxingly painting on canvases, thereafter gifted with a beanie and scarf… Not forgetting the treats given to them just before they left in the afternoon.”
If you would like to find out more about Abraham Kriel Bamabanani and how you can contribute, check them out here.
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela
Article written by Sheree Buchholz