Kindness celebrated

As the school year comes to an end, students at 120 schools across Gauteng and the Western Cape are being celebrated for being kind as part of a campaign to offer more than just academics for the education of our children.

Through this campaign, children are taught that kind behaviour brings positive results: building a generation of hard-working, passionate and dedicated individuals who understand the importance of doing good.

This is the second year that the Manhattan Sweets and Pick n Pay School Club Kindness Awards took place, and more than 43 000 learners participated this year.

The aim is to promote kindness by rewarding the top Kindness Heroes at each school. To ensure their kindness journeys are carried out throughout the year, the learners are awarded floating kindness badges weekly. At the end of the year, a learner from each grade is awarded the Top Kindness Hero Award.

“The more we practise kindness, the easier it becomes,” explains Monique Spandeel at Manhattan Sweets. “Studies have shown that a kind act has the same effect on the person doing the kind deed as it has on the person receiving it: Just one kind act reduces stress, anxiety and depression, and produces the hormones that make both people calmer, healthier and happier,” she adds.

Learners have eagerly embraced the Kindness Awards. Two of the 120 winners, Kefilwe Matlhakoana from Asteri Primary in Gauteng, and Sumayya Parker from Boston Primary in the Western Cape – in Grade 3 and Grade 1, respectively – have been nominated by their teachers for their exceptional thoughtfulness toward others and their kind deeds.

Kefilwe is described as a gentle soul by her teacher, Ms Musenwa Fhatuwani. “She has the biggest of hearts, is very bubbly and outspoken, and willing to step up and lend a helping hand to her classmates. Kefilwe is truly deserving of this award.”

A photo of a student in her school uniform. The event is hosted by Manhattan Sweets and Pick n Pay. the awards name is the kindness award.
Kefilwe Matlhakoana from Asteri Primary in Gauteng received her Kindness Award for always being willing to help her fellow classmates

Sumayya received her Kindness Award because she is friendly and kind to all her friends and classmates, and brings great joy to the class. “Sumayya was extremely grateful for the award – it brought her so much joy, and she could not stop smiling,” Pick n Pay School Club Liaison for the Western Cape, Ameer Natha, explains.

A photo of a student in her school uniform. The event is hosted by Manhattan Sweets and Pick n Pay. the awards name is the kindness award.
Sumayya Parker from Boston Primary in the Western Cape happily accepts her Kindness Award

“We’ve seen a positive influence on our students since the introduction of the Kindness Awards last year. By encouraging, recognising and rewarding kindness more often, our learners are more eager to share kind words and do kind deeds throughout the year,” says Ms Fhatuwani. “We especially love the Manhattan Kindness Alphabet posters, with ideas such as ‘accept others’ and ‘be nice’ educating and encouraging the children to do kind deeds,” she adds.

By offering rewards and recognition for more conscious kind behaviour, Manhattan aims to inspire kindness not only for this month but for years to come.

“We believe that good citizenship begins in childhood. It’s not just about the reward. It’s about creating a culture of kindness so that we can build a sweeter Mzansi and world,” says Spandeel. “Kindness doubles when you share it. It starts with a decision and is followed by an action that creates a little ripple of goodness, which travels outward as those we’ve been kind to are then kind to others, transforming our community into a happier place. To help inspire children and adults alike, we have also created a content-rich website with tips and ideas on how to be kind in your daily life,” she explains.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Manhattan Sweets for another year to inspire young learners to lead with kindness and be the spark that ignites a happier, kinder South Africa – now and in the future,” adds Catherine Bothma, Pick n Pay School Club Manager.

For more information on the Pick n Pay School Club and Manhattan Sweets Kindness Heroes Awards, go to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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