Renew, revive and revitalise Africa

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

More than 50000 people, including about 10000 South Africans, are to take part in a massive, one-day clean-up campaign throughout Africa on October 27.

Organised by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, the clean-up motto is Renew, Revive and Revitalise. The campaign seeks to encourage people to take greater pride in their surroundings.

It will be launched in Johannesburg tomorrow. Related projects include rubbish clearing, painting, planting trees and grass, beautifying parks and playgrounds.

Clean-up sites will include homes or centres for the disabled, prisons, hospices and hospitals. Top of the list is Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town.

Surpassing South Africa's 10000 participants in about 75 projects nationwide, is Nigeria, with 12000 volunteers in about 30 projects, followed by Ghana with 5000 people in 12 projects.

Other participating countries include Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Botswana, Namibia, Liberia and Ivory Coast.

Adesina Olukanni, the church's international director for public affairs, said the clean-up exercise was a pilot. "We want to run it annually because most of the people in Africa want what is good and desire greater unity with like-minded people.

"Also, most of our people have a strong religious will and want to demonstrate some equal and opposite good to the ills that are so often focused on in society."

Khumbulani Mdletshe of the Latter Day Saints in Soweto, said: "Our aim is to renew, revive and revitalise, to unify people and to encourage the cleaning-up of the environment, while also changing people's souls on the inside."

In South Africa, the organising country, there are 75 projects with over 10000 volunteers, while Nigeria has over 12000.

lSowetan and the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation are the initiative's media and participatory partners.