Couple committed to build country of dreams

Mr Vis and his wife Advocate Mona Naidoo with Mr Sello Hatang and Mr Richard Mabaso.

Although they will not be summiting Mount Kilimanjaro come Nelson Mandela Day, Mr Vis and Adv Mona Naidoo are hard at work for young girls.

The Bedfordview residents make up a husband and wife team who have vowed to heed the call by late former president, Mr Nelson Mandela, to build the South Africa of our dreams.

In support of the Caring4Girls initiative, the couple joined a group of South Africans in 2016 on the Trek4Madela expedition.

The group summited Kili on July 18, International Nelson Mandela Day.

Mr Naidoo said the focus is on Vision 20/20, a youth leadership programme, as well as raising awareness of Caring4Girls.

He said, should they get sponsors, they would climb Kili again.

The Trek4Madela Caring4Girls initiative is the brainchild of Nelspruit-born Mr Richard Mabaso.

All proceeds raised from the climb go towards providing sanitary pads for young girls in rural areas.

In 2017, the couple also plans to raise more awareness of the Caring4Girls initiative as well as Vision 20/20 Youth Leadership Programme.

From the Kili climb in 2016, the couple was able to raise enough sanitary pads for 1 000 girls, 750 of whom were from Winile Secondary School in Katlehong’s Zonkizizwe township.

“Two hundred and fifty of the benefiting girls were from our former high school, Westcliff Secondary School, in Chatsworth. We wanted to do something for the children in the area that we grew up in. We have chosen to support our alma mater, where we both matriculated. Each of the 250 girls will get a year’s supply of sanitary pads to ensure they stay in school for the full year, not letting periods disrupt their education,” said Mr Naidoo.

Adv Naidoo said to go beyond Caring4Girls, Mr Mabaso launched Vision 20/20 to empower the youth to be more.

Trek4Mandela dinner a success

“We are blessed to be custodians of the programme – creating a legacy one child at a time. The aim of the programme is to create change agents who will have a ripple effect on their schools and communities to become legacy makers for a better South Africa,” she said.

The couple recently travelled to Mpumalanga for the commencement of the Vision 20/20 Youth Leadership Programme for the year.

“There were 40 children from four villages around Nelspruit’s Bongani Mountain Lodge with four educators who attended the programme to learn about Inspired Leadership. Together with other guest speakers, we shared information on career perspectives, how to open up to one’s potential, success principles and leading with compassion rather than authority. Mr Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, was one of the guest speakers who inspired the children with his talk on leadership,” said Adv Naidoo.

The couple said residents wanting to support the work it is doing with Caring4Girls, can send an SMS to 42513 with either Vis or Mona in the text to donate R30 once off.

“It costs R30 to support a girl for a month and R360 for a year. Help us keep a girl child in school,” said Adv Naidoo.

Naidoos reach new heights

Duenna Mambana

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