Mandela Day is a day marked every year on Nelson Mandela’s birthday, 18 July. It is a day to remember Mandela’s life and legacy of wanting to instil positive change and to spread social justice and freedom for all. We are all invited to celebrate Madiba by making a difference in our communities – big or small – to inspire change for the better. According to the Mandela Foundation “The genesis of our mandate as the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and our work, stems from Mandela’s passing on the torch of public service to everyone. “It is in your hands to make our world a better one for all,” he said.”
Faced with the pandemic of COVID-19 across the world, we are challenged to adapt to these difficult times with new social and economical changes. This may be the case, but it should not be the reason why we cannot make a positive change. Now more than ever many people need any form of help and support during these times. It is the best time for us all to be active citizens in our communities, no matter how small your action, Mandela Day is about changing the world for the better.
So, why not kick off the week and get ready to help and support as many people as we can during these difficult times. We’ve put together some ideas for what you can do in your community to help make a change, which goes according to the Mandela Day website’s goals, which we’ve listed below:
Education & Literacy
The goal is to have quality education for all children and for all children in early childhood development to have access to learning resources for development. We may not have the power to change the education system, but we can assist in the smallest of ways by:
- Putting together stationery kits and deliver it to an under-resourced school in your community.
- Providing sanitary pads to young women in schools or community centres as menstruation cycles lead to a high rate of absenteeism within schools.
- Collecting and distributing textbooks or reading books at an under-resourced school.
- Printing out school worksheets and material for school children who are not able to attend school due to the virus and cannot afford to do so.
Food & Nutrition
The hunger in families need to be reduced, and malnutrition and stunting in young children need to be eliminated through the provision of nutritious meals.
- Donate food parcels to a community in need.
- Donate U-turn vouchers to the homeless
- Purchase Yebo Fresh food parcels, from SweepSouth Shop, and have it delivered to someone in need of food items
- Start a soup kitchen with your family and friends and make nutritious meals such as sandwiches or soup that you can hand out.
- Volunteer your time during lockdown at Ladles of Love or you can join their sandwich drive and help make sandwiches in the comfort of your own home.
Homelessness among families needs to be eliminated through safe shelters. You don’t have to build a shelter from scratch but what you can do is:
- Donate clothing and blankets lying around your house, especially during the winter months.
- Donate building materials to organisations such as, Habitat for Humanity, who assist in the development of communities.
- Provide care packages that include toiletries and much needed day-to-day necessities to orphanages, shelters, old-age homes.
- Donate materials, such as mattresses, bedding, furniture, paint, etc., to shelters, orphanages, old-age homes or communities centres in need.
Safe sanitation is of utmost importance in schools, especially during times like these. The goal is to enable access to safe sanitation to all schools and communities. As with the education system, we cannot change the current infrastructure in a blink of an eye, however, we can:
- Shop sanitisers and disinfectant products from SweepSouth Shop and donate it to schools and communities in need.
The goal is to encourage more public participation and activist voices towards the eradication of poverty and inequality and to dedicate more resources towards these projects. You don’t have to leave your home to make a difference.
- Write a blog about organisations within your community that is in need of support
- Donate funds to a charity or organisation close to your heart
- Research an issue you’d like to find out more about and then share your findings with friends on social media.
- Donate pet food that you can order from SweepSouth Shop to an animal shelter, such as Tears Animal Rescue. If you have old newspapers around the house, you can donate this too, as it is a necessity for the animal shelters.
What have you done SweepSouth?
(Photographed from left-right: Naz Louw, Rishka Matthews, Carmen de le Ray, Caroline Jones, Insaaf Williams, Luke India Ramos, Tshepo Makhanda)
In 2019 members of the SweepSouth team donated ingredients, bread, fruit and money towards our own little soup kitchen. Homemade soup, sandwiches and fruit were distributed to members of the Zonnebloem community. This year members of our team will be going through their closets in search of unworn clothing items and shoes, which they will be donating to shelters and to the homeless in and around their communities.