About 200 000 children from disadvantaged communities in 36 areas in all nine provinces of the country received an early Christmas cheer when the Motsepe Foundation distributed toys through its annual Christmas With Our People drive. The Christmas with Our People drive has been the result of a recognition that millions of children from disadvantaged communities do not share in the joy of Christmas because their parents could not afford to buy them toys because of poverty.
It is against this background that the Chairman and Foundeer of the Motsepe Foundation and his wife Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe decided to help bring cheer and joy to these children and to give them hope. Over the years, thousands of toys have been distributed. “Our purpose is to give back and to make life better for those who are not as fortunate as us,” said Patrice Motsepe. The aim of the Christmas With Our People is to ensure that these children, who often do not even know that its Christmas, receive at least a toy, something which they would not otherwise have had. The Motsepe Foundation teamed up with various district and metro municipalities through their social development departments to ensure that the most vulnerable and needy of children are identified in their areas.
The spirit of Christmas giving and sharing and celebration has brought hope where there has been despair, and given meaning to Christmas. More than 200 000 children, in 120 townships in 36 municipalities throughout the nine provinces of South Africa were given toys in a marathon sweep across the country. Parents and other residents cheered as the children left with toys.
Mr Patrice Motsepe, and Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe joined in the distribution in some areas, as did players from Mamelodi Sundowns who took time off their PSL schedule to help bring cheer to the children. In Limpopo, the Christmas With Our People drive swept through the various municipalities to various distribution points, with the final destination at Moletji Moshate. Similar drives were made in other provinces.
In the Buffalo City Metro Municipality, toys were handed out to 5 000 needy children in various townships across Buffalo City.
Mr Motsepe was accompanied during this distribution by Buffalo CityMmayor Zukiswa Ncitha.
The truck carrying the toys drove all the way from making stops at Dimbaza, Mdantsane, Nompumelelo, Gompo townships, and East London, where Motsepe met and shook hands with about a thousand children and their parents.
Motsepe said the toy distribution was about bringing joy to those less fortunate, but also about reminding himself about the purpose of life. His message to the children gathered at Mdantsane’s Indoor Sports Centre was that they are the future, and he urged them to be responsible children.
“We are so privileged to bring a little bit of joy … To see that smile (on the children’s faces) makes us understand what our purpose is in this world. Our purpose is to give back, (and) to make life better for those who are not as fortunate as us.
“As long as they can be responsible citizens, who will contribute towards the betterment of the country, that’s what we want,” he said.
The Motsepe family has pledged to donate half of the income generated by their businesses by signing thee Giving Pledge initiated by Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffet.