CHILDREN from the Precious Pearl Home of Safety in Sunnyside celebrated Nelson Mandela’s birthday with the Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People Disabilities, Henrietta Bogopane-Zulu, at the weekend.

The deputy minister committed herself to spending 67 minutes at various homes for vulnerable children.

“Today we celebrate… there will be no hard labour. Today we celebrate Madiba,” she said.

Blankets, food, care packages, sweets and cake were given to the children in honour of Madiba’s birthday.

The children sang “happy birthday” and prepared a dance for the former president’s birthday and as a thank you to Bogopane-Zulu.

Some of the 2012 Mrs South Africa finalists also attended.

One of the finalists, Fikile Mekgoe, said they would support the home in future and introduced all the finalists as “additional mummies” to the children.

Precious Pearl is a home for orphans and vulnerable children.

Housemother Doris Mokhonto looks after 16 children, aged between eight and 18.

“This makes a huge difference in our lives.

“We would like to thank the deputy minister for being there for us. Please do not forget us,” she said.

Other homes visited on Saturday were the Malerato Centre for Hope in Mamelodi, the Luvuyo Orphanage Home in Soshanguve, the Kingdom Life Children’s Centre in Saulsville and the Leamogetswe Safety Home in Atteridgeville.

A total of 67 minutes were spent at each home in partnership with Mmabatho Foundation, M-Net Cares and Bidair.