On his 90th birthday, in London’s Hyde Park, former President Nelson Mandela said: “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens.” In November 2009, the United Nations officially declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day.
It is a day to acknowledge Mandela’s values, and his dedication to the service of humanity and the struggle for international democracy and peace throughout the world. It is also a reminder that everyone has the ability to make an impact and do something in their own way to change the world and the world of those around them.
By dedicating 67 minutes of your time - one for every year of Mandela’s service - you can give back to the people around you and make a contribution to global humanitarianism.
Here are a few ideas on how to spend your 67 minutes on Madiba Day:
● Put together stationery packs (pens, stickers, coloured paper, scissors, etc.) for teachers at an under-resourced school.
● Volunteer at a night shelter.
● Make “care kits” (including a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap or facecloth) for patients at a nearby government hospital.
● Offer to mow the lawn and fix up the garden at a nursing home or hospice.
● Offer to read stories to children at a children’s home.
● Donate blood. Find your nearest fixed donor site.
● Become an organ donor.
● Volunteer at an animal shelter.
● Donate books to your local library.
● Collect and distribute children’s books to under-resourced schools.
● Hold a teddy bear or book drive for a children’s home.
● Donate magazines and books to an under-resourced home for the elderly.
● Trim the lawn or clean the windows for a senior citizen.
● Pick up groceries or medicine for an elderly person.
● Teach someone how to use a computer, the Internet, or a smartphone.
● Knit a blanket for someone in need.
● Bake cookies and take them to a police station or fire station for the officers on duty.
● Look around your house for good quality items you no longer use and donate them to a charity shop.
● During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can also do your part digitally. This means you can volunteer safely from your home or office – by using your skills and interests to help a cause – online. There is so much good that can be done virtually – coaching, mentoring, financial advice, tech support, or marketing assistance. You can also purchase much-needed items online and arrange to have them delivered to the cause of your choice.
Issued by: Communication and Marketing, Drakenstein Municipality