Do your bit on Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela International Day, on 18 July, is a couple of weeks away, and many people are still looking for ways and places to spend their 67 minutes of kindness. They can make donations of money or consumer goods to various charities, or spend some time with the elderly. The aim of the day is to embrace Mandela’s values through acts of charity and kindness for 67 minutes, marking the 67 years he devoted to fighting for freedom for all.

Play Your Part, a social networking campaign aimed at encouraging active citizenship, offers various options for volunteering, from working with animals and the environment, to children, youth and the elderly.

One option, the Hillbrow Theatre Project is a place where disadvantaged children can express themselves through art. Through their productions, the students learn valuable team work skills, mutual respect and tolerance. The centre is in need of food donations, lighting equipment and inspiring partnerships.

The Kensington Home for the Aged is a safe haven for 110 frail and often lonely aged residents. Dependent on generous donations and government subsidies, the home is in need of blankets, groceries, VCRs and films, and social visits from members of the public.

mandeladay-250The aim of the day is to embrace Mandela’s values through acts of charity and kindness for 67 minutes, marking the 67 years he devoted to fighting for freedom for all (Image: Mandela Day)In its 86 years of existence, the Athlone School for the Blind has encouraged determination and hope in its learners, following the example of Mandela himself. Situated in Bellville, in Cape Town, the school educates 450 blind and visually impaired students from pre-school to matric.

It is asking for charitable donations including toys for multi-disabled students (soft toys or audio and musical toys), blankets for the pupils in the hostels, the planting of a vegetable garden, and family fun interaction with the students.

20 HOURS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE

Taking the idea of volunteering further, Lead SA is encouraging South Africans to volunteer 20 hours to community service before the country celebrates its 20 years of freedom on 27 April 2014. People were urged to start their 20 hours on Mandela Day, said Yusuf Abramjee of Lead SA, at the launch of this year’s Mandela Day.

“We call on the nation to volunteer their talents, services and where possible resources in their communities in the lead up to Freedom Day, 27 April next year,” Abramjee explained.

Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa will be hosting its biggest volunteer effort to date, with 6 700 individuals packing meals in 67 minutes. The packing will be done at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, and Canal Walk Centre Court in Cape Town, where 67 companies will sponsor 67 people to pack meals in 67-minute shifts.

In the spirit of promoting healthy citizens, Kaya FM and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, are celebrating Madiba’s birthday by hosting a 67km relay race. In teams of 10, members from each team will run 6.7km each, totalling 67km. The family fun day will take place at the polo fields at Waterfall Estate in Midrand, on Sunday, 14 July, and will include live music form Kaya FM DJs and an exciting award ceremony.

Social networkers are encouraged to take part in the international day of kindness by tweeting or posting on Facebook and other social media platforms, raising the social awareness of any human rights issues.