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Mandela Day: How we are taking action and ways you can too, despite being in a pandemic.

Written by: Tahlea

16 July 2021

Culture

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Mandela Day: How we are taking action and ways you can too, despite being in a pandemic.

As we draw closer to Mandela Day and celebrate a remarkable man and leader, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, we want to shed light on why we believe this is such a significant day, how we’re taking action this year despite being in a pandemic and how you can too. 

 

It’s no secret that Nelson Mandela has made a global imprint and served our country and her people with integrity, love and passion. To honour the 67 years he fought for social justice, we’re challenged every year on 18 July to dedicate 67 minutes to doing something good that might inspire change. 

 

This year, we’re proud to play our part by making a donation to One Bag Full.

 

One Bag Full is an initiative that was born out of COVID-19 by four friends who sought to alleviate the hunger problem in Langa, Western Cape by delivering nutritionally balanced food packs. These food packs are carefully packed and packaged to comply with COVID-19 regulations.  

Bag Full has another avenue that doesn’t require money to partake called Bags of Love. The idea is to fill a bag/s with 14 different (prescribed) items that you might have at home that aren’t in use anymore. These bags are then delivered to those in need with the purpose of bringing hope and love. Please check out their website here

 

We’ve interviewed a few of our employees to share their thoughts on Mandela Day. 

 

Question 1: Why is Mandela Day significant to you? 

 

Karin: It asks each and every person to just put some time aside in their day and life to help someone else. We so often get caught up in our own world and own issues, that we don't see the need around us. And this day, and initiative, is a great way to bring us back to the realisation that there is a great need out there and we can't go through life blind. 

 

Lindo: It is a day about hope. Hope that one small good deed can give hope to someone in need and make the world slightly a better place.

 

Adrian:  It reminds me of the freedom and equality of human rights that are shared in South Africa today.

 

Elzabé: It reminds me of humanity, peace and giving to the less fortunate.

 

Question 2: How do you plan on spending your 67 minutes to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela?  

 

Karin: Honestly, I try to make a difference whenever I get the chance, not just on Mandela Day itself. I realise every day how much I have to be grateful for and how God provides for me, that it would be utterly selfish to keep that to myself, and then one day a year share that with others. I have, however, bought a couple of fleece blankets from PEP Home, and I want to hand it out to people at the robots. 

 

Lindo: The impact of COVID-19 has restricted movement, however, I will still be able to drop off a donation to the needy through an organisation near me.

 

Adrian: I think the best thing we could do is to pray for our country in the state that's in, wisdom for our leaders, protection against the vulnerable, rest, and restoration for those who are tired and hungry. I hope that justice and peace will prevail in our country. Prayer is the answer for me.

 

Elzabé: I personally believe that a day like this, should not only be celebrated on Mandela Day, we need to consistently help people who are less fortunate than us with special focus on our youth of today as they are the future of our country. For my 67 minutes I will be cooking and making food parcels to take to our church. We feed the homeless people once a week. We will also be sharing food parcels at our local street corners and other community projects. #Ubuntu “I am what I am because of who we all are.”

 

No matter how small your action, Mandela Day is about changing the world for the better, just as Nelson Mandela did everyday.

 

Here are ways you can take action and inspire change, despite being in a pandemic: 

 

  1. Donate to an organisation or initiative that aims to make a difference in their communities. Each1Feed1, Ladles of Love, Breadline Africa, Gift of the Givers and One Bag Full to name a few. By donating to an organisation, you’re financially allowing them to take action and inspire change. Why not share the organisation or initiative you’re donating to on your social media to encourage others and bring about awareness?
  2. Purchase U-turn vouchers to give to people living on the street. U-turn vouchers are a responsible way to help those in need. A U-turn voucher can provide an individual with pre-owned clothing or one meal. Find out more here.
  3. Give blood. Locate a blood donation clinic near you, volunteer your time and help save up to 3 lives.
  4. Set up a recycling system for your home. Recycling can help protect the environment by preventing pollution, reducing the waste that ends up in landfills and saving energy. Start small by allocating different bins for different waste types.
  5. Donate books to your local library. You can play a part in bringing joy to many children and adults who might not otherwise have access to books as well as supporting education awareness.
  6. Donate some of your warm clothing items with those in need. Why not look through your wardrobe and pick out winter items that are in mint condition that you no longer need? You are welcome to donate it at your nearest charity shop or hand it out to those in need. 
  7. Have a conversation with the elderly or a friend online. Many people feel isolated and lonely especially in the midst of the global pandemic. Carving out time to encourage, uplift or catch up with someone will mean the world to them. 
  8. Tutor someone online who needs help learning your mother tongue or subject. Knowledge is power so if you have the ability to tutor or teach someone your language or a subject you’re eloquent in, you’re making a difference by empowering someone.   

 

With so many ways to get involved, no matter what you do with your 67 minutes on Mandela Day, big or small, your action is a part of a global movement to take Nelson Mandela’s life’s work into a new era and help change our world for the better. From Nelson Mandela himself, “It’s in your hands to make the world a better place”. Let’s #TakeAction and #InspireChange.