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SA needs 'the Madiba compassion' more than ever now, says Afrika Tikkun CEO

5 August 2020 8:54 PM

Marc Lubner on the NGO's programmes for young South Africans and how working with Nelson Mandela inspired his life's work.

Afrika Tikkun is the same age as our young democracy.

It was founded in 1994 to help develop and uplift young people in the country's numerous under-privileged communities.

Afrika Tikkun is an organisation that seeks to build sustainable communities by investing in education, healthcare and social services for children. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

Through its projects the NGO addresses the personal development as well as physical and social needs of South Africa's young people.

RELATED: Dis-Chem Foundation's R450k donation to Afrika Tikkun will see thousands fed

It also runs work readiness programmes designed to lead to job placements.

Bruce Whitfield interviews Afrika Tikkun CEO Marc Lubner, who comes from an entrepreneurial family.

The Lubners started both Lubners Furnishers and PG Glass.

Marc Lubner recalls how his father branched also out into community work, partnering closely with Nelson Mandela on community upliftment campaigns.

Afrika Tikkun is one of the initiatives he had started with the late Chief Rabbi Harris, some 25 years ago.

Marc Lubner, CEO - Afrika Tikkun

Lubner continued this tradition of working with Madiba and has a special memory of the great statesman offering his young daughter a respite from boredom during these visits.

I used to present, formally, my business plan, my budget etcetera and he would stop me and call his secretary and say 'please give this young girl a pencil and a piece of paper'.

Marc Lubner, CEO - Afrika Tikkun

He would look at her, quite sternly, and say 'young girl, I want you to take minutes of the meeting between your father and I, because nobody should be sitting doing nothing in this country. We've all got work to do.'

Marc Lubner, CEO - Afrika Tikkun

Working together on projects for The Smile Foundation, Madiba wasn't interested so much in facts and figures, as the background of each child.

He had deep, deep compassion for individuals and that's something that I certainly carry with me.

Marc Lubner, CEO - Afrika Tikkun

This compassion is what South Africa needs, now more than ever says Lubner.

This Covid scenario has necessarily frightened us and at the same time has inspired us.

Marc Lubner, CEO - Afrika Tikkun

We really do have an opportunity to consolidate our efforts together if we are genuinely about caring, particularly for those that are a lot more challenged and impoverished than we necessarily are.

Marc Lubner, CEO - Afrika Tikkun

For the majority of South Africans who cannot actually socially isolate, who don't have running water and electricity, to stock up their fridges... they can't necessarily conform to all the rules that we try to impose...

Marc Lubner, CEO - Afrika Tikkun

There aren't enough supports, as much as government is trying... We have to start off with a sense of consciousness and a sense of what I call the Madiba compassion.

Marc Lubner, CEO - Afrika Tikkun

Find out more about Afrika Tikkun on their website and listen to the inspirational interview on The Money Show:

5 August 2020 8:54 PM

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