Ways to celebrate Mandela Day

ANGELIQUE ELLIS

Across the world, people and organisations are gearing up for this year’s Mandela Day festivities, in which people will devote at least 67 minutes to giving back to those in need.

There are many ways in which people can “pay it forward”, without having to reach too deep into their pockets. Simple acts of kindness and generosity can go a long way.

Nelson Mandela International Day was launched by the United Nations General Assembly on July 18 in 2009 – the international icon’s birthday.

This day was launched to celebrate Madiba’s legacy and the 67 years he fought for social justice. In honouring his humanitarian contribution, people from around the world take 67 minutes out of their day to help those in need through volunteering and community service. The campaign is centred on the idea that one individual has the power to change the world. The main purpose of this day is not only to pay homage to Madiba, but to take action and inspire change. The idea is to make every day a Mandela Day

The special day celebrates his values and dedication to his services to humanity, conflict resolution, race equality, reconciliation, the promotion and protection of human rights, the rights of children and other vulnerable groups and the upliftment of the poor and underdeveloped communities.

The themes on which Mandela Day is centred are food security, shelter and infrastructure, environment, and education and literacy.

* Help out at Brackenfell NGO

On Mandela Day, Monday July 18, the NGO feeding organisation, Shiloh, which has its head offices and main kitchen in Brackenfell, is offering individuals who wish to give 67 minutes of their time in honour of Madiba a “Journey Through Shiloh” in which people can experience the NGO’s different projects.

The “journey” will take place between 9am and 12.30pm and teams consisting of between three to five members can opt to meet at various venues, saidCEO Estelle Vledman.

Each team’s entry fee (which goes back into Shiloh’s projects) is R450 and each team must bring one ball of wool, which goes towards the blankets for the “Klippies drive” in Klipheuwel, and one loaf of bread that will be served at the lunch there.

To join and for more information call Estelle Veldman on 021 981 8241 or 084 373 7482 or email estelle@shiloh.org.za or admin@shiloh.org.za

* Mandela Day full moon beach walk

Clean C would like to invite everyone to take part in the Full Moon Beach Walk on Mandela Day July 18, at Big Bay. The walk and clean-up will start at 6.30pm and entry is free. Optional donations of soap, face cloths, toothpaste, toothbrush, colouring-in pencils or crayons and reading or colouring-in books are welcome.

These items will go into a DOT Box (Do One Thing) and handed out to underprivileged children around Cape Town. The walk will last 67 minutes. For more information, contact Gregory Player on 082 873 1962.

* Help build kennels

Mdzananda Animal Clinic, a registered animal clinic in Khayelitsha, treats over 1 000 pets a month through consultations, surgery, hospitalisation, mobile clinics, owner education and other animal welfare services. The animal clinic will be spending their 67 minutes building kennels for the pets in Khayelitsha.

This year marks the third annual kennel-building day. Last year’s Mandela Day celebration saw over 150 visitors helping to build kennels. The organisation will host corporate groups on Saturday July 16 and will be open to the public to participate on Monday July 18. To attend the event, RSVP by today, Wednesday July 13, by emailing marcelle@mdzananda.co.za

* Find a cause

Forgood is an organisation which connects people who would like to make a difference to causes that are in need. People can volunteer their time and skills, donate goods, or create a charitable idea.

This platform will give people various ways in which they can donate their 67 minutes towards Mandela Day.

“There are some fantastic causes doing great work across the country, all of them need help in one way or another,” said Andy Hadfield, CEO of forgood. To get involved with forgood, visit their website at www.forgood.co.za and choose from the three categories.

* Clothes for Hospice

Butterfly Box is collecting unworn and second-hand clothing which will be donated to Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) located in Woodstock. HPCA is an organisation which addresses the needs of individual hospices and provincial associations to have a united national body who would advocate for palliative care.

It also aims to build on hospice resources and skills to provide effective and supportive care to communities in need.

For more information, contact Grace on 082 425 3874.

* Collecting canned food

In the spirit of the event, Canal Walk Shopping Centre and LEAP science and Maths Schools, which provides education to underprivileged communities, are partnering up to create a massive canned food mosaic of the Mandela Day logo. 6 700kg of canned food will be used to create the massive mosaic, spanning 8X16 metres which will become Africa’s largest mosaic.

The event will comprise of four 67- minute sessions, in which volunteer teams will assemble the donated canned goods. During these sessions, the LEAP choir will entertain and motivate the crowd through song and dance in honour of Nelson Mandela.

Canal Walk marketing manager Vanessa Herbst said, “Many companies wish to get involved on Mandela Day and add their contribution to building our nation but are stuck for what to do.

“The #MandelaMosaic project is an ideal way to celebrate the memory of our former leader and contribute to making a meaningful difference in education development while supporting food security. After the mosaic build all the cans will be redistributed to community outreach projects that LEAP schools support”.

The redistribution of canned goods will take place in Langa, Gugulethu, Crossroads and Delft. Unfortunately applications to volunteer for #MandelaMosaic has closed, but to see the volunteers in action, head to Canal Walk Shopping Centre on July 18. The four sessions will take place at 9.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm or 3.30pm.

If you would like to donate to LEAP Science and Maths Schools or receive further information about the NGO, you can visit their website on www.leapschool.org.za

* Coats and wellies

The Community Chest will be hosting a “spread the warmth campaign” to supply over 2 000 pre-schoolers with rain coats and wellington boots.

The organisation aims to raise R750 000 to supply these winter survival kits to children on the Cape Flats.

This is in an effort to reduce absenteeism in schools due to the poor weather conditions.

Community Chest CEO, Lorenzo Davids, said, “Winter is the year’s harshest season and thousands of children from Cape Town’s disadvantaged communities don’t attend school because of a lack of basic necessities to keep them dry, warm and fed for the severe winter months”.

For more information, contact Bev du Plooy on 021 487 1500 or email: winter@comchest.org.za

* Food parcel packing

GrandWest and Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa, an international organisation that co-ordinates the distribution of food aid and other essentials, will be packing food parcels.

The packed meals will be donated to early childhood development centres.

The event will take place at GrandWest’s Market Hall, which will be transformed into a streamlined packing facility.

A total of 600 volunteers are expected which will consist of 150 three-member teams working four shifts in which 12 500 meals will be boxed between 30 production lines, consisting of 20 volunteers.

The event will take place today, July 13 from 8am to 3.30pm. To register fill the online application at www.stophungernow.org/south-africas-million-meal-challenge-for-mandela-day or email events@stophungernowsa.org