Mandela Day: 3 worthy causes to inspire you to take action

With Mandela Day looming, various organisations and individuals across South Africa are rolling up their sleeves and getting ready to get their hands dirty all in the name of charity. Take action, inspire change and make every day a Mandela day with these 3 worthy causes

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South African news

OBSERVED annually on July 18, International Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to make an impact. It was officially declared as a day to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first Mandela Day held on July 18, 2010. Building on the legacy of Madiba, we look at 3 worthy causes to inspire you to take action and “make every day a Mandela Day”.

Clothes Line for Care

If you are one of the people with plenty of items in your closet that you have long outgrown, Steyn City is giving you the chance to hand them over, through its ‘Clothes Line for Care’ initiative to the needy. One of South Africa’s largest residential developments is hosting the Clothes Line for Care in time for Mandela Day on July 18. “This is a great opportunity to go through your cupboard, haul out the items you no longer need, and deliver them to our Cedar Road gatehouse, where they’ll be collected and hung up by our volunteer staff members,” the company said in a statement.

Steyn City Clothes Line For Care

The drop off points will be open between 7am and 5pm on the day (Mandela Day). Upon collection, the clothes will be distributed by the Steyn City community liaison officers to registered NPOs, homes and creches in need. In line with the stated aims of the Steyn City Foundation, the campaign is targeting entities in the neighbouring community of Diepsloot.

FoodFoward SA Mandela Day Food Drive

Pick n Pay and FoodForward SA have joined hands to launch their third annual Mandela Day Food Drive. The initiative will see multitudes of South Africans coming together with one thing in mind; to assist collect 500 tonnes of food – enough to produce two million meals. Priding itself as one of the largest national food drives in South Africa, last year a total of 151 tonnes of food was collected – from 130 tonnes in its inaugural 2017 campaign. Put together, this amounts to more than 1.1 million total meals donated to those in need.

According to Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, director of transformation at Pick n Pay, the drive will be rolled out at all Pick n Pay stores across South Africa. From July 14 to 16, volunteers will be out and about in selected stores handing out branded bags with a suggested list of items customers can purchase and donate. Customers can fill the bags with their choice of non perishable items and put them in specially marked containers in any of the participating 550 stores countrywide. Participating stores will be listed on the Pick n Pay’s Facebook page closer to the date.

Members of the public wanting to volunteer on the day (July 18) by sorting and packing the food donated can book their slots for free via Webticket. There are four shifts, starting from 9am and running at six venues across the country. Confirmed packing event venues include the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, Greyville Convention Centre in Durban, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, 12 Dunlop Street, Hamilton in Bloemfontein and Karlienpark Primary School in Rustenburg.

Sun International Rise Against Hunger

Sun International joins hands with the Rise Against Hunger to pack meals for hungry children in disadvantaged communities on Mandela Day. Teams of volunteers will avail themselves to pack food parcels at eight Sun International units across the country. The 8 participating units are as follows:  Time Square in Pretoria; GrandWest in Cape Town; Carnival City in Brakpan; The Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth; Sibaya in Durban; Meropa in Polokwane; the Wild Coast Sun in the Eastern Cape and Windmill in Bloemfontein. Employees from Golden Valley in Worcester and The Table Bay in Cape Town will join the packing lines at GrandWest.

With over 5-million meals packed since inception, the goal is to pack 418 000 meals to feed over 59 000 pre-school children for a year this time around (fourth year). The meals are highly nutritious and comprise of rice, soya, dehydrated vegetable mix and a fortification pack of 23 essential minerals and vitamins specifically formulated to combat malnutrition.
The theme for this year’s meal packing drive is “This is Possible”. Rise Against Hunger International recently completed a Guiness World Record food packing campaign in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’ Zero Hunger by the year 2030. The initiative resulted in a total of 4,992 meals collectively packaged to benefit various NGO around the world.

Highlighting the urgent need for effective hunger relief efforts, and most importantly how effective collaboration can be sought, a recent Child Gauge report indicates that in South Africa over 6 millions of children live below poverty line.

“We call on representatives from local businesses, government representatives and other likeminded stakeholders to join us for 67 minutes on Mandela Day when we will join hands to pack food parcels for the most vulnerable in our society, needy young children,” says Sun International’s group social economic development specialist, Heidi Edson, adding: “School feeding programmes can help prevent hunger, increase school enrollment, reduce absenteeism and improve learning outcomes.”

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