Mandela Day is just around the corner, and it’s a big one this year – celebrating what would have been Madiba’s 100th birthday! The theme for Mandela Day 2018 is ‘Be the legacy’ – encouraging people to honour Mandela’s life, struggles and philosophy to continue giving back to the South African community, not just for 67 minutes on Mandela Day but every day of their lives.
Of course it’s not always easy to serve your community every single day (no matter how much we want to!) so Mandela Day on 18 July is a great opportunity to do some good. The official Mandela Day hashtag is #ActionAgainstPoverty but you can do anything – big or small – that is selfless and helps anyone in need.
We’ve found some great happenings on Mandela Day activities in Joburg this year, as well as a couple of other ideas that you can do with your friends.
Food Forward SA Mandela Day food drive
Organised in partnership with Pick ‘n Pay; the Food Forward SA food drive gives you 3 different ways to give back. You can volunteer to spread awareness and encourage shoppers to donate in Pick ‘n Pay stores, or you can help pack food parcels on Mandela Day. If time is really a problem, you can buy non-perishable food items and donate in-store. Find out more about this awesome initiative and sign up to volunteer on the Food Forward SA website.
Help the animals at Woodrock Animal Rescue
Are you the type who loves animals more than people? Then this one’s for you! Not all Mandela Day events in Joburg are about human beings. Sometimes animals are in even more need, because they can’t give voice to their pain and fear.
Take a trip to Woodrock Animal Rescue near Pretoria on July 18 for the Lock In Your Heart At Woodrock event. Buy a padlock for R67 and lock it to the shelter’s fence to show your commitment to animals. All proceeds will go towards maintaining the shelter and its many financial needs.
Just give of yourself, quietly and selflessly
The most important aspect of Mandela Day is selfless giving without expecting anything in return. Helping can be in the form of money, but it can also just be your time. There is probably a lot that you can do in your local community or even for a fellow student. Here are a few ideas that will cost you little more than your time.
- Go to your local church and find out if they run a food kitchen you can volunteer at
- Collect old (but not worn to shreds) clothes from your friends and other students in your digs or res, and donate them to a local charity shop
- That homeless person sitting outside KFC? Buy them a meal
- Make 67 peanut butter or jam sandwiches and hand them out to the homeless on your way to varsity
- Read to someone who can’t
- Make a new friend – spend time getting to know someone from a different cultural background to yourself
- Fix a pothole
- Organise a 67 minutes’ litter clean-up in your neighbourhood
Usually our lives are focused on getting not giving. This Mandela Day – and every day – try to turn that around, and give more than you expect to get.