Peace apostle, Mahatma Gandhi.
The Phoenix Community Centre has formed a committee to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the births of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2, 1869, and that of his wife Kasturba Gandhi on February 11, 1869.
The committee is the representative of partner organisations including the Gandhi Development Trust, the Phoenix Settlement Trust, and Be the Change. More organisations are expected to join.
The programme for the year is aimed at two broad themes; building a culture of non-violence through empowering communities and building social cohesion through building linguistic and culture knowledge and respect.
The Phoenix Community Centre will also observe the 71st anniversary of the day of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948 by promoting his notion of language as a carrier of culture and that the prominence of the languages of the colonised was suppressed by colonial oppression.
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Let’s learn and teach isiZulu!
The committee intends to launch a campaign to popularise the isiZulu language in KwaZulu-Natal and give it the respect and importance that it has not received thus far and is seeking the participation of all the people in this campaign.
This campaign will be launched at the Phoenix Community Centre in Whetstone, Phoenix on Wednesday, January 30, from 12 noon to 2pm with the participation of schools, communities, faith-based organisations, CBOs and NGOs.
The centre is calling on all the organisations that are involved in teaching isiZulu to come and partner with us to broaden the reach; on newspapers to print regular learning materials in their publications and likewise with radio stations and TV channels.
The committee also encourages scholars worldwide to write up Gandhian thoughts from the vantage points of these disciplines.
In September 2019, these scholars will be invited to come to Durban to present their papers which would be discussed at a colloquium and could then become course materials for study of the relevant disciplines.
Holistically these thoughts together will help towards the promotion of a culture of non-violence.
The committee also intends to popularise the Phoenix Settlement as an important tourist destination.
They are assisted in this by the National Association of African American and associates Studies (NAAAS) who have given hours of their time to research and write up numerous documents in order to nominate Phoenix Settlement as a World Heritage Site.
The centre is also intending to introduce programmes of training and support for members of the local community to begin entrepreneurship training to promote the Gandhian notion of self-sufficiency.
This programme will be launched in February at an open day to attract residents of Durban to come to Phoenix and learn about the ideas that were promoted at the settlement and support the opening of a cafeteria and curio shop at the settlement.
More highlights will be announced during the course of the year.