(PRLEAP.COM) Dana Point, CA May 23, 2014: The inaugural Satyagraha Tour of South Africa enjoys organic synchronicity of critical historical dates of both Mohandas Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Highlights include following the path of Gandhi's travels, initially arriving in Durban, and ultimately departing from Cape Town for his return to India to begin the next phase of his legacy:
Gandhi first arrived in South Africa as a fledgling lawyer in May 1893.
Our arrival to Gandhi's first ashram, the Phoenix Settlement, occurs on the 97th anniversary of Gandhi's family move there.
We will board the sleeper train on the 121st anniversary of Gandhi's removal from that train, which changed the course of history.
We visit Robben Island, the prison that held Mandela for over two decades, on the 50th anniversary of Mandela's life sentence for sabotage against the Apartheid of South Africa.
We depart Cape Town on the eve of Gandhi's 100th anniversary of his very own departure from Cape Town back to India
Also scheduled are special meetings with historic figures that played a significant role in the fight for freedom during Apartheid, like Ahmed Kathrada and Ela Gandhi, Gandhi's granddaughter who spent years under house arrest for her South African activism.
In an era of increasing awareness of world issues and global humanitarian needs, there has been a recent surge in philanthropic travel, using travel as a means to give back. "There's something in all of us that hungers after the good and true, and when we glimpse it in people, we applaud them for it. Through them we let the world's pain into our hearts, and we find compassion. When things go wrong or have been terribly wrong for some time, their inspiration reminds us of the tenderness for life that we can all feel." -Archbishop Desmond Tutu
As a part of the first Satyagraha Legacy Tour of South Africa, there are several projects we visit that are aligned to Gandhi's principals and are geared toward giving back, including:
The Phoenix Settlement established by Mahatma Gandhi is on the north western edge of Inanda about 25km from central Durban. It is comprised of 100 acres of land with several main buildings clustered together on a small hill known as the Apex area. Throughout its long history, the Settlement played an important role both from the spiritual and political of view, in promoting justice, peace and equality. The Settlement was also an early experiment in communal living, a way to eliminate one's needless possessions and to live in a society with full equality.
The Aryan Benevolent Home Council, a registered non-profit organization that takes care of children, elderly and physically or mentally disabled people who have no one else to provide for their needs regardless of race or religion. Aryan Benevolent Home Council provides holistic care by meeting the physical, social, medical, educational, spiritual and other needs of those who turn to the organization.
International Center of Nonviolence. There is a Memorandum of Agreement that commits both ICON and DUT to collaborative work to mainstream nonviolence into the curricula of DUT. ICON seeks ways of developing a culture of nonviolence. Such a culture is much more than the avoidance of violence. It challenges imbalances of power, based on race, gender and other identities. It requires and contributes to a context of sustainable development. The role of education in schools and universities is central in building such a society. Bantu Stephen Biko, better known as "Steve Biko" attended school at the co-located Durban University of Technology.
Phoenix Child & Family Welfare Society is committed to providing services and resources for the protection of children and preservation of families through developmental programs in the communities of Phoenix and Inanda. The society is affiliated to Child Welfare South Africa and is a member of Ubuntu Community Chest.
Mariannhill Monastery: According to Ela Gandhi, her grandfather's first inspirations were kindled here: "When he visited the Mariannhill Monastery in 1895 I think he found an eternal message, and it became his own message of love, compassion, truth and of living a simple life and not accumulating, not being a consumerist. It is an eternal message because it's only when people begin to realize that accumulation of too much wealth is actually causing many of the problems of the world today that fundamental change can occur." Bantu Stephen Biko, ("Steve Biko") Founder of the Black Consciousness Movement attended secondary school at Mariannhill Monastery. In 1964, Biko was admitted to St. Francis College, a missionary school situated in Mariannhill Montastery, and this is where he became focused on exploring the contradictions between Christian liberal teachings and the experience of black people.
The Valley Trust is a Center for Health Promotion founded in 1953 in the Valley of Thousand Hills in KwaZulu Natal, but now working throughout the province. Its vision is to build communities in which people take responsibility for improving their own health and quality of life within a democratic society.
Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital. In Mandela's words, the hospital will be a "… credible demonstration of the commitment of African leaders to place the rights of children at the forefront." No child will be turned away due to inability to pay. The hospital will be a living memorial to Nelson Mandela's unique contribution to Africa's miraculous transformation, and the legacy he wishes to leave behind for Africa's children. It will be a center of excellence and a specialist referral hospital catering for children in need of long-term care for complex illnesses.
Utnhado is the Zulu word for LOVE. Uthando South Africa is a unique and innovative Non Profit and Fair Trade in Tourism accredited company. The aim of Uthando is to facilitate assistance for community development projects in South Africa.
These projects need your support: We are all in this together! All children around the world are in need of love, care, attention and support.
About Gandhi Legacy Tours
The Gandhi Legacy Tours are unusual in that they do not focus on places of tourist interest but places of human interest. The tours are designed to educate participants in the essence of Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence, and how individuals can apply it in their own lives to bring about socio-economic change. For the past 15 years Dr. Gandhi has brought his grandfather's philosophy of nonviolence to westerners. The focus is on studying institutions that apply the philosophy of nonviolence in their attempt to transform communities, in both urban and rural areas. Gandhi believed in creating a "Sarvodaya" society - a society where everyone would enjoy a reasonable standard of living with attendant rights and privileges, and the Tours demonstrate that humble "change-makers" are "being the change", and making it a reality.
About Arun Gandhi (Leader of the tours)
Born in 1934 in Durban, South Africa, Arun Gandhi is the fifth grandson of Mohandas K. "Mahatma" Gandhi. Growing up under the discriminatory apartheid laws of South Africa, he was beaten by "white" South Africans for being too black, and "black" South Africans for being too white. However, he learned from his parents and grandparents that justice does not mean revenge, it means transforming the opponent through love and suffering. Having spent nearly two years with his Grandfather Arun learned to understand nonviolence through understanding violence. "If we know how much passive violence we perpetrate against one another we will understand why there is so much physical violence plaguing societies and the world today," the Mahatma told Arun. For the past decade, Arun has participated in the Renaissance Weekend deliberations with President Clinton and other well-respected Rhodes Scholars. Arun shares the lessons he learned from the Mahatma with audiences all over the world.
About Tushar Gandhi (Co-Leader of the tours)
In 1996 Tushar Gandhi was appointed President of the Lok Seva Trust, a voluntary organization working for the economically weaker sections of Mumbai. He established the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation to make Gandhi's message available globally on the Internet. Tushar was also invited to join the Advisory Committee on Cyber Crime. He was appointed by the Prime Minister of India to the subcommittee of the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti (Gandhi National Museum). Tushar is involved with the US based peace organization 'Seeds for Peace' which works with children from troubled areas of the world. In 2005, to mark the 75th Anniversary of the 1930 Salt March, Tushar organized a 241-mile walk for Peace, Justice and Freedom along with 600 marchers from India, Pakistan, the US, UK and other parts of the world. The Mahatma Gandhi Foundation was awarded the 1st 'Mahatma Mahaveer Award' for promoting the ideals of Gandhi. Tushar is the author of Let's Kill Gandhi: A definitive study of the Hindu Fundamentalist plot to assassinate Gandhi.
For interviews with Dr. Arun Gandhi or Tushar Gandhi, press inquiries, please contact Gandhi Legacy Tour Managing Director Lynnea Bylund