Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) staff members rolled up their sleeves to paint classrooms at Realogile Secondary School in Alexandra on Friday, 17 July as part of the agency’s contribution to Nelson Mandela Day 2015.

JDA staffers roll up their sleeves for Mandela Day(Click on photo for larger version)Celebrated every year on 18 July, the late struggle icon’s birthday, Nelson Mandela Day is a call on everyone to give up 67 minutes of their lives – one minute for each of the 67 years Mandela spent fighting for peace and freedom – for the betterment of others.

The JDA’s staffers were joined by marketing and communications company Dentsu Aegis Network, which has adopted Realogile Secondary as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts.

The two organisations were welcomed by Principal Joe Mashitoa, who thanked them for giving up their time. “The painting of the school will help improve the quality of teaching and learning in the school,” he assured them.

JDA marketing manager Susan Monyai said the agency’s development work sought to make a difference to the lives of communities, and that Mandela Day gave its staff members an opportunity to do this in a hands-on way.

JDA staffers roll up their sleeves for Mandela Day(Click on photo for larger version)”We are really proud to be giving back to the community, and hope that this will inspire change in the community.”

The agency painted four classrooms on the day. The remaining 32 classrooms at the school will be painted next week by a small business based in Alexandra.

Dentsu Aegis Network staffers, meanwhile, focused on painting the school’s administration building block. Dentsu Aegis MD Craig Page-Lee said Realogile Secondaary “deserves attention because of the role it played during the 1976 protests, and we want to ensure that it retains its legacy and that it is looked after”.

Morris Dondolo, a local resident who took part in the painting, said he was happy with the efforts of the JDA and Dentsu Aegis staffers. “I hope that the school children will take care of the school and not write on the walls,” he said.