Vision, Mission,Aims and Programmes
To encouraging the creation of an egalitarian peaceful nonviolent world order.
To promote Gandhian and other philosophies of nonviolence, sarvodaya (general upliftment of all), satyagraha ( nonviolent truth force to overcome adversity) and swadeshi ( build an egalitarian society through the participation, at local level, of all) and swaraj ( self government/control)
Aims and objects:
Gandhi Development Trust was launched on the 19th August, 2002.
The Trust was created in memory of Mahatma Gandhi and has as its main short term objectives working in South Africa:
- To build a spirit of Reconciliation among its diverse population in collaboration with other organisations
- To help create a common nationhood
- To create a culture of Peace and Non-violence through effective and appropriate programmes
- To assist with the work of Development and Empowerment in collaboration with other organisations
- To promote a deeper understanding of Democracy through outreach programmes
- To promote Human Values
- To promote learning from and about our History
- To help to mobilise the community into a nonviolent movement to work for change
To achieve these objectives the Trust works in collaboration with a range of other organisations. GDT invested a financial grant received from the Community of Christ Church, Missouri. From this amount:
In 2002, financial awards were presented to community organisations which had a history of opposing apartheid repression in South Africa, and were continuing to work in the community towards the development of a better society. Further grants have been made to deserving students and other people who the Trust believes would contribute towards the aims and objectives stated above. In the same year the inaugural annual Mahatma Gandhi Lecture was presented by Dr Vandana Shiva.
In 2003, in celebrating the centenary of the Indian Opinion -a newspaper established by Mahatma Gandhi, GDT organised a conference on alternate media, honoured some of the journalists who walked the extra mile against apartheid policies and in the same year established the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace (MAGI Awards) which was presented to President Thabo Mbeki.
In 2004 GDT celebrated the centenary of the Phoenix Settlement , the first Ashram set up by Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa in 1904. The first residents of the Ashtram were honoured at a colourful ceremoney where The MAGI award was presented to the former President Ketumile Masire of Botswana.
In 2005 GDT set up a committee to organise a salt march to commemorate the 75 anniversary of the 1930 Salt March in India and to commemorate the 50 anniversary of the Freedom Charter. This is now an annual event.
In 2006 GDT set up a committee to organise an annual speech contest. and organised a majopr inmternational conference on the theme A Pro Peace Agenda.
In 2007 with the assistance of the Consul General of India and sponsorship from Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs the annual speech contest also included a sector for an essay contest. The speech contest is aimed at the Grade 10 learners and the Essay contest is aimed at the grade 7 learners.
In addition to the annual Awards, Speech Contest, Salt March, an annual memorial lecture on the 30th January and a Day of nonviolence on the 2nd October is held. Since 2010 Mandela Day voluntary work is also organised involving hundreds of volunteers. Crtical discussions are held on a regular basis and outreach programmes on HIV and AIDS and nonviolence are carried out in schools in rural areas.
GDT has reached thousands of children and community members through these initiatives. But more needs to be done.