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Children say Mandela a hero

Kimmo Matthews

Friday, July 20, 2012    

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A cheerful smile beamed on the face of 12-year-old Keniesha Henry Wednesday morning as she toured Secret Gardens, a monument built in honour of children who died under violent circumstances near the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation headquarters on Church Street in downtown Kingston.

The smile reflects her joy for having been chosen to share in the celebration of the life of one world's most renowned freedom fighters, Nelson Mandela

"I think of Nelson Mandela as a hero because he fought for freedom in Africa and that is why I admire him," said Henry.

Devon Patterson, her neighbor from Seaview Gardens, interjected: "I think Mandella is a very important person and I am proud of what he did."

Patterson and Henry were among 67 students who participated benefited from a charity initiative organised by J Wray and Nephew (JWN) to commemorate Nelson Mandela International Day on Wednesday.

Observance of the day was conceived by the Nelson Mandela Foundation in July 2009 and officially adopted by the United Nations in November that year.

The day is recognised globally and this year the initiative was dedicated to giving back to children and their communities.

Jamaica's theme for the celebration was 'Take action, inspire and make every day a Mandela Day'.

A number of activities were held by different companies and groups across the island to recognise the former South African president contributions.

"As part of efforts to mark the day, JWN has organised a number of initiative part of this includes treating 67 children from the communities of Seaview Gardens for the day," said Clement Lawrence, chief operating officer for J Wray and Nephew Limited

Apart from the Secret Gardens tour, the children were taken to see a movie at the Palace Cineplex at Sovereign in Liguanea.

Lawrence said the 67 students were selected to mark the number of years Mandela spent fighting for the rights of humanity.

On Mandela Day, individuals were asked to give 67 minutes of their time to serving others, whether supporting a charity or serving their local community.

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