Ways to celebrate Mandela Day

ANGELIQUE ELLIS

Across the world, people and organisations are gearing up for this year’s Mandela Day festivities.

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 UN 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 founded 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.

Mandela Day themes focus on food security, shelter and infrastructure, environment, and education and literacy.

* Help build kennels

Mdzananda Animal Clinic, a registered animal clinic in Khayelitsha, treats more than 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 more than 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 emailing marcelle@mdzananda.co.za

* Mandela Day beach walk

Clean C invites 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, toothbrushes, 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 be handed out to poor children around Cape Town. The walk will last 67 minutes.

For more information, contact Gregory Player at 082 873 1962.

* Find a cause

Forgood is an organisation that connects people wanting to make a difference to needy causes.

People can volunteer their time and skills, donate goods, or create a charitable idea.

This platform will give people various ways to donate their 67 minutes.

“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 www.forgood.co.za and choose from the three categories.

* Clothes for Hospice

Butterfly Box in Woodstock is collecting unworn and second-hand clothing which will be donated to Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA).

HPCA addresses the needs of individual hospices and provincial associations to have a united national body to 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 at 082 425 3874.

* Collecting canned food

In the spirit of the event, Canal Walk shopping centre and LEAP science and Maths Schools, which provide education to poor communities, are partnering to create a massive canned food mosaic of the Mandela Day logo, using 6700kg of canned food.

Spanning 8mX16m, it 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.

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 have 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 learn more about the NGO, you can visit their website on www. leapschool.org.za

* Coats and wellies

The Community Chest will host a “spread the warmth campaign” to supply more than 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 at 021 487 1500 or email: winter@comchest.org.za