Written by a 16 year old South African woman

My South Africa is the family who took a refugee into their home as he had no place to stay. The black children who put change into a poor white man’s tin. It is the teachers who teach us every day to build a better future for us. It is the student who takes on three jobs, during the evenings and on weekends, to find ways of paying for his university studies.

My South Africa is the man who went to prison for 27 years and forgave all his captives.  The possibility that ‘one’ can make a difference and influence others. The place where children have to walk many kilometres to get to school every day and they pass well enough to go to university.

My South Africa is the man who has nothing, but he donates over R200 to the Habitat for Humanity fundraiser to help others in need. It is the girl who donated all her birthday presents to an orphanage for others to enjoy. The boy who got paralysed in a rugby match and the community raises money for him to get a wheel chair.

My South Africa is fun-runs that are held to raise money for breast cancer. It is the women who have HIV/AIDS who make bracelets to raise money to buy mosquito nets for children in Africa to prevent Malaria.

My South Africa is the people that live in it. We might see them as normal or insignificant. But these people are remarkable. The things they do might be small, but these small things make South Africa what it is.

So my South Africa is not horrible, violent, corrupt or full of crime like it is portrayed in the media. My South Africa is beautiful, unique and special. It is the place where I grew up and the place that I shall grow up in. My South Africa is my home and my future. I am proudly South African!