D-Day – A Different Kind of Hero

Children from Langa, Mowbray, Rondebosch and from 5 Hout Bay schools – all potential future leaders and representative of all sections of South Africa’s diverse communities – gathered at the Hout Bay Community Centre on Saturday 20 October to celebrate “Diversity Day” and to continue their journey of discovery, learning and experiencing cultural diversity and what it means to be an ethical leader.
The day included a full day of activities including the building of a “dream wall” with each child decorating a brick to portray their hopes for a safer future South Africa.   This dream wall was presented to the Hout Bay Police Station on 30th October to commemorate the lives of the 2 young police officers killed on 12th October in Imizamo Yethu and to lift the morale of all the other officers who risk their lives.


Children from Umthombo Wesizwe (which means “Spring of the Nation”) build a wall of encouragement at Hout Bay Police Station

At 10h45 the children from Kronendal Primary School with their teacher Jerome Daries, gathered outside the Hout Bay police station proudly holding their boxes and representing all the other Umthombo Wesizwe children, unable to attend (Sentinel, International, Ambleside and Oranjekloof Schools). Warrant Officer Tanya Lesch led the children upstairs to the corridor where the boxes were placed in their final position for all to see and be inspired by.


Jessica Stephens, a learner from Kronendal said the following: “On behalf of all of us, we would like to present you with this wall to show our appreciation of all the things you do in our community and for always keeping us safe and letting us know that we have someone to turn to in times of need”. This was followed by Onele Dlilanga who said “we would like to say that we feel great sympathy for your loss of the 2 police officers and to let you know that we support you and are thinking of you all”. Warrant Officer Tanya Lesch thanked everyone and said how she looked forward to reading all the messages and how this will be appreciated by all the staff of Hout Bay SAPS.


The picture below left shows Jessica Stephens and Onele Dlilanga with their Kronendal classmates behind them and one the right is of Jessica Stephens, Warrant Officer Tanya Lesch, Onele Dlilanga and Umthombo Wesizwe CEO Ruth Friedmann.


Umthombo Wesizwe (which means “Spring of the Nation”) is a Non-Profit and Public Benefit organisation, whose purpose is to equip children between the ages of 11-15 years with skills to become  ethical leaders, be proud of who they are while respecting and valuing the diversity of others around them.


The programme is spread over a 3 year period and is designed to enhance experiential learning through camp-based workshops, monitoring of their individual progress and community projects. Via their participation in these community projects the children become role models to many around them thus leveraging the impact of the programme.

The programme culminates in the 3rd and final year where the graduates confront the challenges of living and leading in a diverse South Africa, bringing to the fore “the Ethical leader within”.

See more about the activities of Umthombo Wesizwe …



Marion Wagner


COO Umthombo Wesizwe Childrens Project


+27 (0) 21 465 5655


+27 (0) 81 425 0685


Fax +27 (0) 21 465 5656