Service and outreach to Philippines communities on Mandela Day
“Take action. Inspire change” are the two slogans that inspired the South African mission's two projects commemorating Nelson Mandela International Day in the Philippines. The first project was a children’s feeding scheme held in Mabitac, Laguna on 16 July. The second project, held on 18 July, was a film-screening in collaboration with the University of the Philippines (UP). The UP links with South Africa (SA) dates back to 1997, when the University conferred an Honorary Doctorate to Nelson Mandela during his visit to Manila.  The events further strengthened links with UP and the top media network, GMA.  Both opportunities enabled the Mission to further co-operate with South African companies (Goldfields) and importers of South African products (Ceres juice and wines).

Service to the community
The Embassy teamed up with Kapuso Foundation in  Mabitac, Luguna to kick-off a 120 day feeding scheme for 300 malnourished children (aged 3 – 7 years) in this flood prone area. This effort fed three times more the number of kids that the mission fed in 2010. Hundreds of locals took part in a half-day programme of games, storytelling, face-painting and jingles which focused on child nutrition. The Mayor of Mabitac, Hon. Gerardo Fader praised the Embassy’s outreach efforts,while Kapuso’s Executive Director, Henry Perez referred to the great partnership with the mission and South Africa.

The Mission solicited support from fellow South Africans and companies doing business with South Africa. The Mission was pleased with the spirit of Ubuntu as South Africans donated a container load of rice, milk, noodles, bottled water, vitamins and soup.  These activities set a platform for even stronger future link with the private sector and South African companies benefitting from doing business in the Philippines and media.  GMA televised the feeding scheme events on 18 July 2011 on Oras-24 programme.

Student film-screening (UP)
Two films namely “The Life on Nelson Mandela – A tribute to Madiba” and “Invictus” were screened.  The main purpose was to inspire the Filipino youth to take action and inspire change in service to others, especially as they are the future leaders. The event was attended by about 200 people including the President of the University of the Philippines, Hon.Alfredo Pascual, the United Nations Resident Co-ordinator, Dr Jackie Badcock, other Ambassadors, diplomats, academics,businessmen, students and South Africans as well as the African Diaspora.  The screening was preceded by a reception with Ceres Juice and wines being sponsored by importers of SA products.

text and images from the The Foreign Exchange Diplomatic Society