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Get involved this Mandela Day

31 Ways you can contribute 67 minutes of your time towards the global movement for good 

On Mandela Day (18 July), people around the world are encouraged to spend at least 67 minutes doing something positive for their communities in honour of the 67 years that the late South African president Nelson Mandela spent fighting for social justice and a free, democratic country.

The unofficial international day of philanthropy was inspired by Mandela’s speech on 27 June 2008 (his 90th birthday celebration) in London’s Hyde Park. In his address, Madiba called on leaders of all nations to help change the world for the better. “It’s in your hands now,” he urged.

Celebrated each year on the late statesman’s birthday, International Nelson Mandela Day aims to inspire a ripple of good deeds throughout the world, and looks to encourage individuals, communities, governments and non-profit organisations to take one small step towards the larger leap of making a positive imprint.

This is the first Mandela Day since the global icon passed, and since he’s no longer around to anchor the occasion, it’s more important than ever to uphold the values for which he struggled and to share his message for peace and humanity with future generations.

Take a look at how you can get involved with Mandela Day in Cape Town this year with our handy guide to ways to make a difference for 67 minutes (and beyond).

IDEAS FOR MANDELA DAY 2014

Donate educational materials to Breadline Africa at the V&A Waterfront. Breadline Africa, an internationally registered charity based in South Africa, aims to better the lives of the less fortunate by converting old shipping containers into essential community structures, like schools, libraries and health clinics. The organisation has teamed up with The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy for the Mandela Month Container Activation, a drive hosted at Clock Tower Square at the V&A Waterfront that calls on citizens to donate educational and developmental materials, including books and toys, for children up to six years old. Folks can drop by at any time of day to leave their donation (blankets are also welcome) from Tuesday, 1 to Friday, 18 July 2014. Visit Breadlineafrica.org to find out more about the container programme.
Clock Tower Square | V&A Waterfront | Dock Road | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 418 0322

Volunteer your time for the Operation Smile awareness campaign at local malls. This year, the folks at Operation Smile, an organisation that provides free surgeries to children and adults born with cleft lips and palates, will be setting up camp at various malls in the Western Cape to create awareness for the work that they do. Volunteers are needed to hand out flyers, assist people in signing-up to help at Operation Smile, decorate dolls and just spread the good word. There will also be a collection drive for mirrors, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, stationary and adult patient gowns. And, as if doing good wasn’t incentive enough, those who give their time will get a T-shirt for their services. Go to Southafrica.operationsmile.org for more information.
Operation Smile will be set up at Blue Route Mall in Tokai and in Stellenbosch and George.

Spend time at the Animal Rescue Organisation. This haven for creatures great and small is in need of a little facelift, and for Mandela Day, human friends are invited to do 67 minutes of painting, gardening and rabbit and pony tending. The Animal Rescue Organisation aims to provide support and care for animals in Cape Town’s more impoverished areas by providing veterinary treatment at mobile clinics and finding homes for abandoned cats and dogs. The centre could also do with paint, plant and pet care goods, so perhaps if you can’t volunteer your time, you can still help out by dropping off a few necessary items.
5 Olieboom Road |Schaapkraal |Ottery|Cape Town| +27 (0) 21 396 5511

Drop off books for Prestwich Primary School at the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village. The Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village in De Waterkant has teamed up with a few partners to host a Mandela Day book drive on its premises. Bring along an old book or buy a new one at the Bay Bookshop (and get 20% off) to put in the box that will go to the young readers at Prestwich Primary School in Green Point . The collection closes at 5pm on Wednesday, 16 July, and all the donated books will be handed over to the school the following week.
27 Somerset Road | De Waterkant | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 421 1111

Help out at the Athlone School for the Blind. Located in Bellville-South, the Athlone School for the Blind provides education and skills training to students, from pre-school-age all the way up to grade 12, who are blind or visually impaired. A number of the pupils live in the school’s hostel, and many others come from families that cannot afford to pay for their children’s education and well-being. Therefore, the centre is asking members of the public to either donate their time by painting a mural in one of the classrooms and helping in the planting of a vegetable garden, or to donate several much-needed items. These include storybooks, toys, blankets, clothing, toiletries and treats for the kids. Contact the Athlone School for the Blind to find out what else they need. The school will be celebrating Mandela Day on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 due to the holidays.
Athlone Street | Glenhaven | Bellville | +27 (0) 72 509 7667

Run, walk or ride for orphans. Spend a fun-filled afternoon on Mooiplaas Wine Estate (in Stellenbosch) where Newkidz on the Block, a non-profit organisation that links orphaned and vulnerable children with foster families and homes, is hosting a Mandela Day 6.7-km run, walk and trail cycle on Saturday, 19 July 2014. Dubbed Endorphins for Orphans, the event calls on members of the public to join in a bit of exercise around the scenic estate and then enjoy some live music and cheese, wine and olive tasting, all for a great cause. There are different time slots for the various races, and each slot will accommodate 67 participants, who will all get medals for their efforts. Folks don’t have to participate in the strenuous activities and are more than welcome to join in the festivities – there’ll even be a jumping castle for the little ones – as all proceeds will be going back to the organisation. Go to Newkidz.org.za for registration, which costs R195p/p for a single event, R250p/p for the run and cycle and R30p/p for non-participants over the age of 12.
Bottelary Road | Stellenbosch | +27 (0) 21 981 5425 | +27 (0) 83 283 0576

Help Stop Hunger Now SA package meals for children. More than 4000 volunteers are needed at Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Cape Town to help assemble meal packages for children at unregistered crèches around the country. Stop Hunger SA invites organisations, corporate companies and individuals to donate 67 minutes of their time on Mandela Day to put together packs containing soy, rice, mixed vegetables and a vitamin-rich supplement. These food boxes will be enough to provide three meals a week for one pupil throughout the school year. Philanthropists can register to volunteer in an assembly line, and those who are able to make a large contribution can sponsor one or more packaging lines for R9000 and a team of up to 25 members to assemble the meals. Get more information and register online at Stophungernowsa.org.
Century Boulevard | Century City | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 705 6278

Spend time with the elderly at Laingsburg public library. Spend your 67 minutes for Mandela Day with the old and wise residents of Laingsburg, a small town in the Great Karoo. Members of the community and anyone with time to spare are invited to come have tea and cake and to have quality conversation with the elderly who are usually too busy taking care of their grandchildren to take time off for themselves. Email fjansen@laingsburg.gov.za for details.

Collect much-needed goods for the Friends of Valkenberg Trust. This non-profit organisation works with staff at the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital in Observatory to help comfort patients during their stay at the facility and support them on the road to recovery after they are discharged. The trust is looking for volunteers to coordinate collections of several different kinds of goods, including non-perishable food, clothing, unwanted household items and DVDs, that can be dropped off at the hospital on Mandela Day. These goods will be sold in the hospital’s second-hand shop, and profits will go toward the hospital’s efforts. Why not ask friends and folks in your neighbourhood, office or school to do a bit of spring cleaning and see what they have – then organise a quick excursion to deliver the items?  Go to Friendsofvalkenberg.co.za for more information and email events@friendsofvalkenberg.co.za for specifics.

Help out at the Domestic Animal Rescue Group (DARG) in Hout Bay. DARG is a shelter that looks out for abandoned and abused domestic animals, and the facility needs a little bit of a makeover to make it more accessible and hygienic for the four-legged charges. Volunteers can come paint, clean and help with maintenance and repairs to the building; otherwise, the doggies and kitties could do with some exercise, grooming and extra love.
Main Road | Hout Bay | pds@servco.co.za | +27 (0) 21 790 0383

Donate your time and talent. You don’t need to be a Rockefeller to donate something valuable. Your time and talent can even rival the purchasing power of cold, hard cash. So either volunteer to help with the day-to-day tasks undertaken by local charities, or offer a specialised service based on your own unique skill set: cook someone a delicious meal, design a pamphlet, offer some website tips or write a press release that could help a start-up business, or visit an elderly member of your community and help them out with repairs around the house. Baffled about where to start? Take a look at our overview of charities in Cape Town.

Save the world, one sandwich at a time. Buy a loaf of bread, a chunk of cheese, and a few tomatoes, then make a couple of sandwiches and hand them out to those in need on your way to work. You could make this venture even simpler: buy a big bag of whichever fruit is in season (it’s normally cheaper, and more delicious), and do the same. Rather give food than money to those in need; though, if you would like to donate money, there are plenty of Cape Town NGOs adept at allocating funds to the proper channels.

Buy the Big Issue. Just do it; don’t pretend you have a copy stowed away somewhere in your secret garden when a vendor comes past. Forking out the cash is a small thing, but it’ll make a big difference; as the proverbial saying goes, “the change is in your pocket”. Or, for that matter, spare R2 for the folks selling the ‘Funny Money’ pamphlets – you may even get a chuckle out of it.

Neighbourly love. Live next door to a single parent? See if you can babysit for an evening. Otherwise, visit a lonely elderly pensioner for a cup of tea, and while you’re there, change blown light bulbs, or give them a hand with another household chore that needs attention. The trick here is to keep your eyes open, and to notice the people around you.

Say thank you. Make someone else’s day by simply saying ‘thank you’. It can be as easy as taking a security guard a cup of coffee, or helping your kids draw a thank you card for their teacher or librarian. Similarly, random acts of kindness never go unnoticed: give way to another car in traffic, offer your seat to someone when travelling on public transport, encourage a colleague at work – be kind in any way you can. These gestures may seem small, but the ripple has to start somewhere.

Go local. Instead of employing a commercial company, support people in your community by hiring them to do jobs in your home or for your business. Additionally, consider buying foodstuffs or clothing tied to non-profit partnerships:

  • Khayelitsha Cookies: Devoted to making the best biscuits in South Africa, Khayelitsha Cookies is just as committed to their responsible, equal-opportunity hiring policy. The company only employs previously unemployed women from Khayelitsha, and then endows them with an invaluable, long-lasting skill set. The cookies can be found in the biscuit aisles of Pick n Pay and Spar grocery stores in the Western Cape.
  • Earthchild Clothing: The original donors responsible for financing the Earthchild Project, a non-profit organisation focused on the holistic development of children, teachers, schools and communities, this clothing line still gives a portion of their proceeds to this innovative initiative.
  • Cape Craft and Design Institute: This not-for-profit company is a joint initiative of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology which supports craft producers, many of whom are poor people looking to enter the mainstream economy, and helps connect all involved in the product-to-market chain. Look out for CCDI handmade crafts at exhibitions, collective shops and festivals.   

Help your community in crisis and disaster situations. Cape Town can be unpredictable when it comes to natural events like storms and fires, which is why it’s a good idea to have as many hands on deck as possible when these acts occur.  The city’s Disaster Management volunteers have helped during infernos on Table Mountain, flooding in informal settlements and oil spills along the coastline, and anyone can join the regular meetings for training and information sessions. Call +27 (0)21 794 2493 (ext 228 or 221) to find out how you can get involved.

Spend 67 minutes at Living Hope in Fish Hoek. This non-profit Christian organisation is calling on individuals to help make its Capri campus on Kommetjie Road a little bit better for the community members who rely on its service. Bring along some tools and some friends to assist with maintenance tasks, like gardening, painting and cleaning, or lend a hand at the healthcare centre by serving tea and lunch to patients, cleaning up wheelchairs or sanding and varnishing furniture. Living Hope offers educational, health and social programmes for people living with HIV/AIDS in communities in the Cape Peninsula, including Overcome Heights, Masiphumelele and Red Hill. Volunteers are welcome to help in Capri from 10am to 3pm.
931 Kommetjie Road |Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 784 2800

Help #ExposeRapeCulture with the Rape Crisis Centre. There are several ways that men and women can help the Rape Crisis Centre with its Mandela Day campaign to challenge the myths and stereotypes that perpetuate sexual abuse and rape: firstly, individuals can post a picture of themselves on Facebook or Twitter holding up a statement that exposes or questions rape culture; use the tag #ExposeRapeCulture and include @RapeCrisis or RC Cape Town Trust in the post. Alternatively, activists can join the workshop on Monday, 14 July 2014 that’s aimed at helping individuals plan their own Mandela Day action in support of exposing rape, whether it’s a talk at a school, a T-shirt for colleagues or a letter to a member of Parliament. These actions will be filmed or photographed when they take place on Friday, 18 July 2014 for the Rape Crisis social media pages. The workshop takes place at the Rylands Public Library in Gatesville from 11:30am to 3:30pm. Finally, those who can’t give their time can make donations to the Rape Crisis Centre so the organisation can continue with the training programmes, law reform work and campaigns it does. Visit Rapecrisisblog.wordpress.com for more information.
Boulevard Balu Parker | Gatesville | rifqah@rapecrisis.org.za

Help Cape Town Beach Cleanup achieve its goals for Mandela YEAR. The folks atCape Town Beach Cleanup have decided to take their 67 minutes efforts to the next level and transform Mandela Day into  Mandela Year by tackling several long-term projects. The organisation, which does community upliftment work in Joe Slovo Park, aims to give facelifts to three parks, paint a crèche wall, stock the primary school’s library with good-quality reference books, put together a one-year feeding plan for 50 little ones at the crèche and do a home makeover for a family of orphaned children. Volunteers can drop by on Friday, 18 July between 10am and 5pm to do some painting or work in the parks; donations of materials – from brushes and rollers to paint and thinners – will be more than appreciated. Folks can also make donations towards the library and feeding projects, and bigger organisations can even opt to sponsor groceries for a month or more. Email events@cleanc.co.za to confirm your visit on Mandela Day or to get involved on a long-term basis.

Join Mandela Day efforts at the V&A Waterfront. The V&A Waterfront is set to be a hub of activity on Mandela Day. For starters, a shipping container, which has been made over into a childcare centre to be donated to Breadline Africa, has been erected at the Clock Tower Square, and visitors can drop off blankets, books and toys for kids up to six years old every day from 9am to 5pm until Friday, 18 July. On that day, Archbishop Desmond Tutu will speak, host painting and reading activities with children and officially hand over the container. To mark the occasion, the entire area will be a carnival of fun, with buskers, balloon sculpting, face painting and more. Additionally, kids of all ages can spend their 67 minutes creating Mandela-inspired artworks for the little patients at Somerset Hospital at the Artjamming studio between 9am and 4pm. The activity costs R67, which will go towards improving the children’s wing at the hospital. Booking is advised and can be made by emailing breakingnews@artjamming.co.za.
V&A Waterfront| Breakwater Boulevard |+27 (0) 21 408 7500

Build kennels for dogs in Khayelitsha. Join Mdzananda Animal Clinic, the only permanent veterinary service offered in Khayelitsha, for 67 minutes of reconstructing wooden pallets into dog kennels for their four-legged charges on Friday, 18 July (if you are coming as part of a corporate or work group) and on Saturday, 19 July (if you are coming as an individual). Volunteers are asked to donate either R67 or R167 (whichever they can afford) to cover the cost of the doggie houses and to bring a hammer, paintbrushes and any additional materials, like wood and nails, to assist in the building. The not-so-handy can help paint the clinic, plant some greens or arrange items in the charity shop, and everyone is also encouraged to bring old clothes, bric-a-brac and books for the store. Folks can also get lunch catered by Learn for Earn for an additional R50. If you intend on participating, RSVP via email to marcelle@mdzananda.co.za.
21297 Govan Mbeki Road | Khayelitsha |+27 (0) 21 433 1942  

Join the knit-a-thon at the Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel and Spa. Spend your 67 minutes knitting, crocheting or sewing at the Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel’s knit-a-thon for the Little Fighters Cancer Trust, which offers assistance and support to families affected by childhood cancer. Visitors are invited to bring their knitting needles to the hotel’s atrium to make blocks that will be sewn into blankets or quilts, or they can also drop off some fabric, blankets and activity books and crayons if they don’t have much time. Volunteers will get yoghurt, chocolate mousse and coffee while they knit, and they also have chance to win several great prizes, including a stay at the city hotel. Drop by anytime between 11am and 4pm on Mandela Day.
Wale Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 556 8200

Help Habitat for Humanity build 67 houses in one week. Individuals and organisations are asked to donate their time or money to help Habitat for Humanity and the Nelson Mandela Foundation build 67 houses for people living in Pelican Park from Monday, 14 July to Friday, 18 July. Volunteers don’t have to be experts and can expect to get involved with tasks like cement mixing, brick passing and plastering and bagging walls. On the fourth day, the teams of helpers will work around the clock in a 24-hour blitz-build to try to hit – and even exceed – the target, and then on Mandela Day, the houses will be officially handed over to their new owners.  Contact Adrienne Burke at adrienneb@habitat.org.za for more information.

Join the knit-a-thon at Noordhoek Farm Village. While you’re hanging out at the Noordhoek Farm Village you can pop by the bandstand and knit a square, or even just a section of a square, that will go towards making blankets for Madisencane Crèche in Masiphumelele. The area was recently devastated by a fire, and the little ones need to keep warm during winter. People can also donate wool or funds to buy wool, and if they have more time, they can even knit scarves, socks or gloves to give to the children. The box of yarn with knitting goods will be at the bandstand between 9am and 4pm every day from Friday, 11 July until Mandela Day, and completed squares can be dropped off at the Noordhoek Tourism Office.  Email info@noordhoekvillage.co.za for more information.
Village Lane | Noordhoek | +27 (0) 21 789 2812

Become a bookworm. Donate new or used books to The Bookery at its new location on Plein Street, or pop by before Mandela Day to spend an early 67 minutes covering books in protective plastic before they go on the shelves. The centre, which sets up and supports libraries in needy areas, is also looking for fiction and non-fiction reading material for school-aged children (from 6 to 18 years). Those looking to make a longer-term contribution can donate funds or a certain specialised skill that could help The Bookery serve the communities it supports.
79 Plein Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 461 4189

The gift of life. Donate blood at your local hospital, and you’ll feel dizzy with the knowledge that you’ve potentially saved someone’s life; a single donation could aid up to three people in need and only takes about 30 minutes. To find a blood drive in your area on Mandela Day, visit the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service site or call +27 (0)21 507 6300. Alternatively, there are currently thousands of South African citizens waiting for life-saving organ donations, so take the time to register with the Organ Donor Foundation (+27 (0)800 22 66 11).  

Minimise your negative impact on the environment. Start by spending your 67 minutes implementing a recycling system for your rubbish: separate your food waste from your solid waste, create a container for the recyclable items and consider making a worm farm to compost your biodegradable left-overs. Look into installing solar panels so your geyser can run on renewable energy, and buy a geyser blanket to reduce the amount of power needed to heat the water. Find ways to limit the amount of water you use, such as installing eco-friendly taps and shower heads that minimise flow. Interested in sowing more serious seeds?

  • Plant a tree with Greenpop. This Cape Town-born social enterprise is devoted to raising environmental awareness, planting in under-greened communities and combating climate change. You can donate a tree (R120 – R140) or donate your time: every Wednesday they call for volunteers to help plant at schools, crèches, orphanages or similar institutions. Contact info@greenpop.org.Greenpop will be planting 67 trees with Personal Trust International (Pty) Ltd for Mandela Day. 
  • Recycle: A large portion of household and office waste can be recycled; it’s just a matter of knowing what and how. Take a look at this extensive guide on recycling in Cape Town and start doing your part for the environment. 

Drop into the Douglas Murray Home. Donate your time or some much-needed goods to the Douglas Murray Home, which is located in the suburb of Retreat in the Cape Flats and provides care for 80 elderly and frail men and women.  People can donate dry and perishable goods, personal products or money, and they can also spend some time with the residents. The folks at the home could also use some assistance with grooming and cleaning the residents, meal preparation and maintenance around the home and in the garden. Volunteers need to book for a specific time when they want to visit the home by emailing info@douglasmurray.co.za.

52 Gordon Searle Street | Retreat | +27 (0) 21 712 2146

Make HOPE bracelets for the Chaeli Campaign. The Chaeli Campaign, a non-profit organisation that offers support for children living with disabilities, will be at the Blue Route Mall in Tokai from 10am to 5pm for their Mandela Day challenge. For R67, shoppers can make and purchase HOPE (Helping Other People Everyday) bracelets – all the charms, beads and twine will be provided. Volunteers will get to make three pieces of jewellery: one to keep for themselves, one to pay-it-forward to someone else who might appreciate the gesture and the third to go back to the Chaeli Campaign. Email debbie@chaelicampaign.co.za for more information.
16 Tokai Road | Tokai | +27 (0) 861 242 354

Volunteer at Oranjezicht City Farm. You can help this urban agriculture initiative, which aims to provide hands-on community gardening education in order to create access to fresh organic vegetables, in a number of different ways: work directly in the garden farming and operations; share your knowledge with youth and adults by giving talks and demonstrations; update the website, newsletter and articles; take photographs for the communications division; or provide administrative services, which involve volunteer coordination, legal, fundraising, accounting and auditing. The garden is situated next to the corner of Sidmouth Avenue and Upper Orange Street in Oranjezicht, and urban farming takes place on Saturday mornings from 7am onwards. Go to Ozcf.co.za for more information or contact Sheryl at +27 (0)83 628 3426 or Kurt at +27 (0)83 508 1066.

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Feel inspired with these magical Madiba moments caught on tape.

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