Mandela Day with Mhani Gingi

In the words of Nelson Mandela, “ There can be no keener revelation of a 
society’s soul than the way it treats its children. Children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.”

Early Childhood Development has been globally recognised as a key factor in promoting successful, sustainable cognitive development, assisting each child to reach their highest potential.


Pinelands-based Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network Organisation recognises the importance of this and takes a holistic approach to Early Childhood Development, where all values, behaviours and skills become entrenched.

 As a result, Mhani Gingi’s social responsibility initiatives and projects support four early learning centres, which they have adopted in Nyanga and Philipp East.  Mhani Gingi’s adoption model includes supporting the centres with fund-raising, income-generation and compliance, providing training, and also offering guidance on gardening and good nutrition, an important contributing factor, to successful early development. 

Thanks to a generous donation from Old Mutual’s Green Hands, Mhani Gingi , in partnership with Renee Lighton of LightOn Education, offered a series of 4 training workshops to, not only Mhani Gingi’s adopted Early Learning centres, but also to  all the educators at Early Learning Centres in the Nyanga and Philippi East surround. 25 lovely ladies attended the workshops, representing 15 ECD’s from the area. These workshops were held at Beautiful Gate, where the magnificent facilities were kindly offered by director Vaughan Stannard, also a Pinelands resident.

Renee Lighton’s unique approach of using recyclable items to provide effective, quality early learning, embraces Mhani Gingi’s mantra, “Use what you have to attract what you need.”

What an inspiration these fun-filled workshops were and how ingenious the LightOn Education approach is, in cleverly using what one would usually recycle, to provide wonderful early learning equipment. We invite all Pinelands residents to consider collecting ice cream tubs, insides of toilet rolls, egg boxes, polystyrene containers, lids, left over wool, beer box lids and A4 paper ready for recycling, that is printed only on one side, for use in our early learning centres, where effective equipment is not easily afforded. Please do contact us if you would like to make a difference and contribute in this way.

At the conclusion of series of workshops, Mhani Gingi committed to assist the Early Learning Centres with their own vegetable garden, providing the seedlings from its Nursery behind TSiBA, in Pinelands, and what better day, than Mandela Day, to begin this initiative?  

We look forward to sharing that first pot of soup with the educators and children of Ivy Nyovane in Nyanga and whilst the vegetables are growing, the children can enjoy the layout of the garden, which has been designed in different shapes and colours, per veggie type.

For more information regarding Mhani Gingi’s initiatives, or if you would like to assist in collecting recyclable items, or visit the nursery, please visit our website – or call 021 5318577. For more information on fun ways to learn through play with Renee Lighton, please visit


Written by Joan Wright

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