Take Action! Inspire Change!
The whole world celebrates the spirit of Mandela next week on Mandela Day, Wednesday the 18th July 2018.
This year Nelson Mandela would be 100 years old #100to100.
Mandela Day, celebrated on his birthday, is an annual UN International Day inspired by Nelson Mandela’s vision to make the world a better place.
The day asks everyone to reflect on how to take action and inspire change.
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela
The good news is that no-one is asking you to start a movement, solve world poverty or slay a dragon. There are small ways (see our ‘ACT’ section below) in which you can make a difference to those directly around you…
Just a change of the inner attitude you bring to the world will have an effect.
The understanding for Mandela Day is that each of us gives 67 minutes of our time to do something ‘good’ – time to serve those around you in some way.
Something ‘good’ for Mandela Day could look like this …
- donate food or money to charity
- make food parcels to hand out to those in need
- give clothing and blankets to charities that help those in need
- offer your time to upliftment projects
There are numerous events for Mandela Day around South Africa in which you can get involved.
Here are some of the highlights …
J o i n
The non-profit organisation, 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day, has already completed their campaign to create the largest portrait blanket in the world, of Nelson Mandela’s face!
The gigantic 7 000㎡ blanket, made up of around 6 000 blankets (you could apparently see it from outer space when it was laid out) was ‘revealed’ at the Zonderwater Maximum Correctional Centre (the inmates produced over 1600 of the blankets themselves) in Cullinan on 24 April 2018.
The blankets have been distributed to church groups, old age homes and the Society for the Blind. Are you inspired? It’s not too late to join the crochet a 27 km scarf campaign (a Guiness world of records for the longest scarf in the world!).
When & where: 29 July 2018, Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick.
What: 20cm x 150cm or 20cm x 200cm scarves (hooks no bigger than 6.5mm)
Join: email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further details
Stay: Quickly find a place to stay in Howick whilst there’s still time!
It is in your hands now!
Food Forward SA
Food Forward is intent on raising one million meals in July 2018 in a national food drive (FoodForward has partnered with Pick n Pay) to send to 600 beneficiary organisations who feed as many as 250 000 people a day between them.
When & where: 13 – 15 July 2018: an instore food drive at any Pick n Pay store in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Rustenberg or Bloemfontein. Contribute your time by handing out shopping bags and encouraging shoppers to buy selected food items to donate, or buy food items yourself instore.
18 July 2018: spend 67 minutes packing in one of the Pick n Pay warehouses
Do a Google search for Mandela Day activities in your area – there are many local events near you like Bikers for Mandela Day Mass Ride (all motorbike types and scooters welcome), organised by Zelda la Grange in Johannesburg. (Stay in Johannesburg near the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton).
A c t
Make a new friend, preferably someone from a different cultural background to you
Read to someone who cannot (local homes for the blind or old age homes will welcome you)
Help at a local animal shelter – dogs need a walk, and a cuddle
Help someone find a job – put their CV together for them, or beef up their interview skills
Visit someone lonely – your local hospice has terminally ill people who would love a visit
Get tested for HIV (get your partner to as well)
Take someone you know to get their eyes tested or their teeth checked
Donate a wheelchair, or guide dog, to someone who needs them
Buy a few blankets and give them to someone in need
(These suggestions are adapted from the un.org website)
V i s i t
Join people around South Africa to celebrate Mandela next Wednesday.
Take your children, or visitors, to one of these Mandela-infused sites (and see below) and remember what Mandela stood for:
Freedom can never be taken for granted, everyone can rise above their circumstances if they’re dedicated, and as long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest…
Mandela spent two weeks at Constitution Hill in the Awaiting Trial Block, in 1956. It’s the seat of the country’s Constitutional Court, on the same site as the Old Fort Prison.
Stay at: Parktown because the rooms are beautiful and you’re only 15 minutes’ walk away from Constitution Hill, and other attractions like Brenthurst Gardens.
There’s a 9m-high bronze statue of Mandela in front of the Union Buildings, a National Heritage Site, in Pretoria. The statue was unveiled the day after Mandela’s funeral.
Stay at: Hotel 224 for affordable, comfortable and newly upgraded with all that you need, plus it’s five minutes’ from the Union Buildings and round the corner from the Pretoria Art Museum.
The last 14 months of his 27-year service saw Mandela in a house in these grounds, whilst the country prepared for his release. There’s a statue of him at the prison gates.
Stay at: Sandstone House because OMG, why wouldn’t you? OrLa Cotte Orchard because it’s as pretty as a picture. Or Franschhoek Boutique Hotel because it’s so difficult to refuse, and each of these is only 14 km away from the prison.
The Donkin Reserve lies at the heart of PE. It’s peppered with art works that include this sculpture representing the thousands of South Africans who took part in the country’s first democratic elections – Nelson Mandela at the fore, his fist in the air.
Stay at: 23 on Glen Guest House because its rooms are airy and beautiful and the guest house is only 1.5 km from the Donkin Reserve.
A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of. ~ Nelson Mandela