Mandela Day in Monwabisi Park

A revamped bus rolled into the informal settlement of Monwabisi Park to educate and entertain the area's underprivileged children.

Part of the Project

Design Indaba commemorated Mandela Day in Monwabisi Park, Khayelitsha, where it joined the Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) and Sikhula Sonke teams to launch a new bus that aims to make a difference to residents' lives.

The bus will be a communication and activation vehicle for social, learning and recreational programmes in the informal settlements of Monwabisi Park, Lotus Park in Gugulethu and the Heights in Lavender Hill. It was provided to VPUU by the Library and Information Services Department of the City of Cape Town, which previously used it as a mobile library. VPUU has upgraded the bus to become a dynamic icon that can move between the different areas as an extension of its “active boxes” concept (multifunctional spaces that act as a community centre, information point, safe point and service point for the provision of social, economic and institutional services).

Social enterprise See-Saw-Do decorated the exterior with a brightly coloured illustration that will enable the bus to stand out from a far distance as a marketing tool within the community. The interior was revamped with a lick of paint, new furniture, posters and flooring. Design Indaba donated books, games and equipment for early childhood development. 

The VPUU bus made various stops in Monwabisi Park, whose residents live in shacks with no plumbing, built on sand dunes. The VPUU and Design Indaba staff worked with early childhood development facilitators from Sikhula Sonke, who read the children stories about Nelson Mandela and ran informal learning activities. Cricket kits and soccer balls were distributed for the children to play with and sandwiches were handed out.

Look through our gallery of images above to see how the day unfolded.