Get involved this Mandela Day

Jeden Tag tolle Tipps aus der
schönsten Stadt der Welt.

Get involved this Mandela Day

21+ 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 second 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).


Help Build Container Libraries for Schools around South Africa
Breadline Africa, an internationally recognised non-profit organisation, in association with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, is seeking to combat the country’s poor literacy rates by building container libraries in deserving primary schools. This year’s aim is to build 20 of these innovative, inexpensive structures and corporates are invited to join the cause by providing financial support, sponsoring books and other educational materials and encouraging employees to volunteer to help paint and furnish the libraries. This project is taking place the whole month of July so interested companies are encouraged to support even after Mandela Day. To find out more and get involved, contact Tim Smith, the director of Breadline Africa by mailing director@breadlineafrica.org.za or phoning +27 (0) 21 418 0322.

Help Create and Fill Care Packages with the Rape Crisis Trust
This Mandela Day, you can join the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust, a  South African organisation that supports the recovery of rape survivors and seeks to bring about change in communities, to help create care packages for survivors. Those eager to participate are encouraged to bring along items like underwear (any size for both children and adults; male and female), toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner, soap, body wash, face cloths, sanitary pads (not tampons) and nappies to fill the special care packs (please only donate new items). Volunteers will decorate and fill the care packages at the Mowbray Town Hall on Saturday, 18 July, and anyone is welcome to pop in any time between 10am and 3pm to assist. Those not able to attend on Mandela Day are more than welcome to still donate items (or cash) before the time – contact Shahida Rahman on +27 (0) 21 447 1467 to arrange delivery.
Mowbray Town Hall | Mowbray | Southern Suburbs | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 447 1467.

Take Part in One of Many Cape Town Beach Cleanup Events
This NPO, which goes all out in making sure that the Mother City’s beaches are kept beautiful and clean, is running an array of exciting events for those wanting to make a difference this Mandela Day. Firstly, philanthropists can take part in beach runs. The first one takes place at night (starting at 6:30pm) on Friday, 17 July at the Milnerton Lighthouse and runners can choose to partake in a 3-km or 7-km trek. Those who would rather run when the sun’s out can opt for the daytime beach run on Saturday, 18 July, which will take place at Small Bay Beach from 10am – participants can choose to do 3km, 7km or 13km. Entry to each run costs R100 for adults and R60 for kids (or R180 to participate in both runs as part of a staged challenge); all proceeds go towards a senior citizen beading project in Joe Slovo Park. Corporates looking to do something with their staff on Mandela Day (or any day between 11 and 27 July) can partake in CleanC’s beach clean-up and help clear a stretch of sand between Gordon’s Bay and Melkbosstrand (companies are asked to pay a sponsorship fee of R2000). Otherwise, your business can help out with a Youth Leadership Imbizo at Joe Slovo (18 July) or with the Bread Baking and Soup Kitchen initiative (13 – 24 July). For more information on these and other Mandela Day projects, email greg@cleanc.co.za. or phone +27 (0) 82 872 1962.

Jive and Spread Joy as Part of the Dance for Madiba Campaign
Our late Tata was known for many things, one of them being his iconic dance style, which is now named the Madiba Shuffle. And so, No Danger Diaries, a non-profit organisation that seeks to change the world in a fun-filled way, aims to keep Mandela’s memory alive by inviting Capetonians to create the world’s biggest Madiba jive tribute! Those interested can visit Madibajive.com and make a small donation to receive a 67-minute music mix. They can then upload a video of themselves doing the famous move to this backing track – the clip will be used as part of a huge global series of Madiba Shuffle videos and the money will go to the Nelson Mandela Foundation and No Danger Diaries’ causes. To take things up a notch, folk can dance in real life alongside others at various allocated dance stations around the city (the idea is to bop for 67 hours straight). For more information on how this all works and for details about the whereabouts of these stations, visit the Dance for Madiba site and Facebook page.

Join the Mandela Day City Walk with Cape Town Partnership
The Mother City’s CBD will be buzzing with activity on Mandela Day as Cape Town Partnership, a non-profit organisation that facilitates projects aimed at transforming the city, runs its regular City Walk, which will this time around incorporate a number of exciting activities for Madiba Day (these are arranged by other organisations and bodies in the Cape, but the City Walk will help people to connect with them). The walk, which is free and open to all, begins at 10am on Saturday, 18 July at the Taj Hotel lobby and invites participants to get involved in the following:

  • Knit-A-Thon at Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel: Bring along your needles to join in the fun at this CBD hotel and spend your 67 minutes either knitting or crocheting a 15 x 15cm square. Those not able to knit are encouraged to bring a fabric cut of the aforementioned size as well as blankets, toys, crayons or books. The event promises to be fun-filled as Cape Talk Radio will be broadcasting from the venue on the day and Motherland will be serving free chocolate brownies and cappuccino. People are invited to drop in any time between 11am and 4pm; all blankets made and collected will be donated to the Little Fighters Cancer Trust.
  • Free Walking Tour:  Hosted by Footsteps to Freedom, a company dedicated to organising historical walking tours, this two-hour excursion, which starts at 10am at the Taj Hotel lobby will serve as a trip back through history and will retrace part of Nelson Mandela’s walk from prison to president. Do note that there are only 20 spots available, and those wanting to participate can book directly with Footsteps to Freedom (footstepstofreedom.co.za).
  • Book Drive at the Iziko South African Museum: While trotting about in the city, visitors can make their way to the Iziko South African Museum, which will not only be featuring a Mandela-inspired exhibition titled Tata Madiba: Father of our Democracy, Father of our Nation, but will also be collecting old books to donate to an underprivileged community library. Novels can be dropped off at the museum’s reception desk. Those who have already visited the museum can gain free entry to explore the Iziko South African National Gallery on the day too.
  • Public Storytelling: Those captivated by the art of oral storytelling and its power for community building are invited to a free narration and open-mic session organised by Philippa Kabali-Kagwa, the co-founder of the Story Club Cape Town. She will be performing and will thereafter invite members of the audience to tell a story too.
  • Ubuntu Children’s Home Donation Drive at Ma Se Kinners Shop: The folk at Ma Se Kinners, a local kids’ clothing store on Church Street, are running a donation drive for Ubuntu House, a child care centre. Those who are interested in supporting the cause can do so by bringing along items such as nappies (newborn size 1 and medium size 3), baby pillows and pillow cases, fleece and bunny blankets, cotton wool, baby formula milk bottles and bottle teats in the week leading up to the Mandela Day. The items will then be donated to the children’s home on Saturday, 18 July. People wanting to contribute financially can email info@ubuntuhouse.co.za for more information. The store is open from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm and on Saturdays between 9am and 4pm.

And if you get hungry while exploring the city, it’s good to know that there are a few restaurants running specials on Mandela Day: you can buy two pizzas and get the cheaper one for free at Doppio Zero (the eatery is also calling for volunteers to help distribute soup to those in need for their 67 minutes of service), and you can also score half-price sushi at Food Lover’s Market at St George’s Mall.

Make HOPE Bracelets for the Chaeli Campaign
The Chaeli Campaign, a non-profit organisation that offers support to 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 Every Day) 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

Help Raise Funds for the Animal Rescue Organisation
This haven for our furry friends  is inviting the public (especially schools and organisations) to fill 67 black bags with old clothing, linen, curtains, pet accessories and other items for its Mandela Day project. Everything collected will then be sold to raise funds for the Mobile Animal Sterilisation Unit, which seeks to spay and neuter animals in rural communities. Bags can be dropped off at the organisation in Ottery anytime during the week (it is closed on weekends) for the whole month of July. The Animal Rescue Organisation aims to offer support and care to pets in Cape Town’s more impoverished areas by providing veterinary treatment at mobile clinics and by finding homes for abandoned cats, dogs, rabbits and other creatures.
5 Olieboom Road | Schaapkraal | Ottery | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 396 5511

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, 17 July (if you are coming as part of a corporate or work group) and on Saturday, 18 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, measuring tape, paint brushes and any additional materials, like wood and nails, to assist in the building. If you intend on participating, RSVP via email to marcelle@mdzananda.co.za or call +27 (0) 82 200 9962 by Wednesday, 15 July 2015. Volunteers are also welcome to bring along books, which will be sold to raise funds for the clinic’s projects.
21297 Govan Mbeki Road | Khayelitsha |+27 (0) 82 200 9962

build kennels for dogs nelson mandela day in cape town

Drop into the Douglas Murray Home for the Aged
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. Although walk-ins are welcome, volunteers can book for the specific time that they want to visit the home by emailing info@douglasmurray.co.za.
Gordon Searle Street | Retreat | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 712 2146

Join the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day Initiative at the V&A Waterfront
The folk behind the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day initiative are inviting the public to dedicate 67 minutes of their time to knit and crochet warm blankets for those in need at Den Anker restaurant during the week leading up to the internationally recognised day (13 to 17 July between 11am and 4pm daily). The eatery will also treat participants to complimentary soup while they’re stitching.
Den Anker Restaurant | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | info@67blankets.co.za

Join the Million Meal Challenge by Stop Hunger Now
Stop Hunger Now, an NGO that seeks to eradicate world hunger, is muscling up and gathering forces to pull off a daunting task on Friday, 17 July (the day before Mandela Day): packing 1 million meals for Early Childhood Development Facilities in under-resourced areas in South Africa in one day. If successful, this will be a world first! This initiative is nationwide, and in Cape Town, will take place at the Food Court in Canal Walk on Friday, 17 July. While volunteer spots have already been filled, there is still room for corporates to contribute to the challenge in the form of cash donations. For more information, visit Stophungernowsa.org or email the NGO’s CEO, Saira Khan, on sairak@stophungernowsa.org.
Canal Walk Shopping Mall | Century Boulevard | Century City | +27 (0) 21 705 6278

Collect Food and Other Goods for the Friends of the 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 running a Winter Food Stock Collection for Mandela Day and is calling for donations of non-perishable food items to be dropped off at the hospital on 18 July. In addition, the trust is looking for volunteers to coordinate collections of several other kinds of goods, including clothing, unwanted household items and DVDs. These goods will be sold in the hospital’s second-hand shop, and profits will go toward the hospital’s efforts. So, why not ask friends and folks in your neighbourhood, office or school to do a bit of food shopping and 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.
Valkenberg Hospital | Observatory Road | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 447 2092

nelson mandela

Volunteer at the Oranjezicht City Farm and Market
This urban agriculture initiative is inviting eco-warriors to volunteer their time on Mandela Day either at the city farm or at the market in Granger Bay (next to the V&A Waterfront). At the farm, participants can assist with weeding, planting and composting (between 10am and 1pm), and at the market, they can assist by pricing and selling the fruits and vegetables and organising activities for kids (between 6am and 4pm). The organisation, which hopes to develop a more sustainable food system in Cape Town, also welcomes help at any time of the year in the form of farming and overseeing operations, updating the website, newsletter and articles, taking photographs for the communications division or providing administrative support. The garden is situated next to the corner of Sidmouth Avenue and Upper Orange Street in Oranjezicht, whereas the market recently relocated to Granger Bay. If you’re keen to participate on Mandela Day, email cityfarm@ozcf.co.za; otherwise visit the initiative’s Facebook page for more information or contact Sheryl on +27 (0) 83 628 3426.
Upper Orange Street | Oranjezicht | Cape Town | +27 (0) 83 628 3426

Buy a Christmas in July Gift for a Child in Need with Newkidz on the Block
Join NewKidz on the Block, a non-profit organisation that links orphaned and vulnerable children with foster families and homes, this year at its Christmas in July event at the Tygervalley Shopping Centre any day between 17 and 19 July as part of its Mandela Day effort. The initiative invites locals to support kiddies in one of the 44 selected children’s homes by purchasing a ‘festive’ gift off the wish list, which can be found in the shopping mall’s Centre Court, and placing it in a collection box at the shopping centre. There will be a gift wrapping station on-site so you can pretty up your present. This effort seeks to solve the problem of children often having to share toys and clothing and is a way to give little ones new items in the middle of the year – something that is not common. There will also be NewKidz representatives present who will share more information about the homes and answer questions about the hosting, fostering and adopting processes. Note: participants are advised to go straight to the Centre Court for information before they go and do their shopping. For more information call +27 (0) 21 981 5425 or email info@newkidz.org.za.
Tygervalley Shopping Centre | Tygervalley | Northern Suburbs | +21 981 5425

Plant Food Gardens with Kidz2Kidz
Kidz2Kidz, a public benefit trust that seeks to spread the central message of the ‘joy of giving’, is inviting everyone to participate in its national Mandela Day initiative of planting vegetable gardens in various parts of the Mother City (mainly at schools in Khayelitsha, Delft, Lavender Hill, Hout Bay, Nyanga, Mitchell’s Plain and Kensington). Keen individuals and corporates can help out by donating R67 towards the project for soil and seedlings, sponsoring a small garden by donating R670 or getting involved with the planting any day between Thursday, 16 July and Monday, 20 July. For more information or to arrange for a particular day and time to go planting, email info@kidz2kidz.co.za

Contribute to Collect-a-Can’s National Book Drive
Join Collect-a-Can’s bid to assist in improving South Africa’s literacy rate this Mandela Month. The can recycling organisation is running a national Collect-a-Book drive that calls on the public to donate reading books throughout the month of July. The company has selected certain schools in Cape Town and elsewhere in the country to benefit from this project. The drive will also aim to increase environmental awareness by encouraging the recipient schools to collect cans for recycling, and these will then be exchanged for the books they receive. The Collect-a-Can office is located at 11A Fisher Avenue, Epping 1, Cape Town. If you have any reading books for donation, you can drop them off at this address. Alternatively, you can contact them on +27 (0)11 466 2939 and ask for someone to come and collect the books from your house. The official handover of the books to the schools will be on Friday, 24 July 2015. 
11A Fisher Avenue | Epping 1 | Cape Town | +27 (0) 11 466 2939

collect a can

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, 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.

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.

nelson mandela

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:

  • 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. The garments can be found in dedicated Earthchild stores in shopping centres around Cape Town.
  • 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 that 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.  


Feel inspired with these magical Madiba moments caught on tape.


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