Honour Tata Madiba and help fight poverty

To honour the life and legacy of Tata Madiba, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said this year’s Mandela Day on 18 July  is dedicated to fighting poverty.

Mandela Day which was launched on Madiba’s birthday (18 July) in 2009  calls on us all to make the world a better place.

What can you do this Mandela Day?

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Mandela Day is a call to action for all South Africans to spend 67 minutes doing good for their community and the country at large. Why 67 minutes? Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of service to South Africa, and the time you give commemorates this commitment in a way that can bring about change. This year’s Mandela Day is dedicated to putting an end to poverty. If you want to join the campaign and do your bit, here are some ideas:

Volunteer
Find a local soup kitchen and offer your time, or spend 67 mintues reading to children or, even better, teaching them how to read. Why not help with skills development? As a company you could teach computer or interview skills to those looking for work. You could also volunteer to plant a vegetable garden at a rural school, teaching the children how to grow their own fresh produce.

Donate
Donate clothes – winter clothes for children, work attire for people looking for jobs but who can’t afford suits, or baby clothes for new moms. Go through your cupboards and dig out kitchen items you no longer use, or donate that old computer that just sits there to a school in need of resources. Have a look in your garage – you might not ever need that leftover paint or bag of concrete, but there is someone else who can make use of it. Non-perishable foods, toys, games and books are all items that can be donated.

Use your skills
67 Blankets is an initiative that asks people to knit or crochet blankets to donate to those in need. Other skills that you can put to good use are cooking (bake cakes for the elderly), offering to help a cash-strapped NPO with their advertising or design, or taking an exercise class in a township community.

Looking for ideas?
The possibilities to add real value in the fight against poverty this Mandela Day are endless. If you want to do something great on Mandela Day, but don’t know where to start, have a look at Forgood, an online platform that connects passionate people with accredited causes. The site has over 1 400 different opportunities to choose from. You can also brainstorm Mandela Day ideas with Forgood on Facebook.com/forgoodSA or @forgoodSA on Twitter.

More initiatives
You can make a donation of R67 to help change the life of one or more abused and misunderstood dogs. Visit www.barkingmad.co.za.

  AUTHOR
Earl Baillache
Journalist

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