This month we’ll once again celebrate Mandela Day, a day where people around the world are encouraged to spend at least 67 minutes doing something positive for their communities.
Don’t fret if you’ve left it to the last minute and haven’t got anything planned for the day, that’s what we’re here for! Here are just a few easy ways that you can give back on Mandela Day (July 18), and on every day from here on out.
1. The easiest way to volunteer, donate or offer your services from anywhere
Forgood.co.za is a GENIUS portal that connects charities with people who have time, money or specific services to offer. It’s basically designed for those of us who want to help charities and causes all over South Africa, but really have no idea where to start.
From Pretoria to Pofadder, here’s how ForGood makes it easy for you to spend your 67 minutes on Mandela Day. You can:
- Browse the range of volunteer opportunities listed on the site to find a cause close to your heart AND your home.
- Find the perfect home for those unwanted goods you’ve cleared out your cupboard by checking out charity wishlists.
- List the services, skills or stuff you’d like to give to a worthy cause and wait for a charity to approach you! How cool!
2. Help keep children warm this winter
This Mandela Day you can support Community Chest, a non-profit organisation that’s trying to raise funds to provide pre-schoolers with rain coats and wellington boots to help prevent high rates of absenteeism from school during winter.
It’s a simple initiative that won’t take up any of your time, but one that will make a big difference in these children’s lives. You can contribute to the cause by buying children’s winter survival kits that include drimacs, raincoats and wellies. These nifty kits will set you back R350 and you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your home! Or drop off any warm clothing at their offices in Bree Street, Cape Town.
For more info visit comchest.org.za.
3. Dance for charity
By now we’re quite familiar with the Secret Sunrise events where you’re equipped with dance instructors, silent headphones and some sick beats so you can dancercise at a secret location.
Jozi’s Move for Madiba will be taking place in Sandton’s Nelson Mandela Square while an amazing array of local DJ’s will keep you grooving non-stop throughout the day. All tickets are R100 and you can join at any time during the day. All proceeds will go to The Home of Hope and the Children’s Memorial Institute. Click here for more info.
Cape Town will bring you a sunset dance session to celebrate the life of Madiba. Their mission; to create The World’s Greatest Madiba Jive! The entry fee is R67 but an additional R100 donation will buy an Education Kit for a child in need. All proceeds and donations will go to the Rainbow Youth Academy. Click here for more info.
4. Cape Town beach clean-up
CleanC help keep Cape Town’s beaches clean and free of litter. Beach clean-ups run on the first Saturday of every month starting at 10am and Capetonians are encouraged to give of their time to help clean up the beaches. Gloves and bags are provided and it’s a great way to soak up the sun while doing some good in the world.
On Mandela Day, the NGO is holding a Full Moon Beach Walk at Eden on the Bay on Monday 18 July at 6.15pm where adults, children and even four-legged friends are invited to help clean up the beach. There’s no entry fee but they do ask that you bring along any of the following: a bar of soap, facecloth, toothpaste, toothbrush, and box of crayons or a reading book.
Visit Clean C on Facebook and get your clean on!
5. Help our four-legged friends
This Mandela Day, the Cape of Good Hope SPCA has two initiatives for you to get involved in. The first is the Madiba Magic Challenge where people are encouraged to volunteer their time to build more natural enclosures for the animals staying at the SPCA — to create a space for them to feel safe and secure.
The SPCA Cape of Good Hope is also asking for people to donate 6.7kg of dog food (or as much as you can) to help them reach their 6.7 ton target. You can either purchase 6.7kg of dog food or buy a R167 hamper at their SPCA Vet Shops in Plumstead or Grassy Park to donate towards the challenge. For more info on how you can get involved visit capespca.co.za.
If you’re not in Cape Town, and want to help the SPCA in your area, here are some more details about what SPCAs around the countries are doing. Click on each link to find out more.
- SPCA Randburg — From the 16th to the 18th the Randburg SPCA has activities and treats on offer for little humans, while the big humans help with all sorts on the premises. Free kids entertainment and doing your 67 minutes for Mandela day — winning!
- National SPCA — If you’re near Sandton City, join 5FM and the SPCA as they lock the Roger Goode show team in a cage to raise money for the SPCA.
- SPCA Garden Route — Help the George SPCA make their facilities better for the animals they help, or pitch in at the Mossel Bay SPCA to rebuild their kennels.
- SPCA Tshwane — Give 67 minutes of your time to helping animals in need or donate food and equipment to furry friends.
Read more: Animals who think they’re human
6. Keep a girl in school
The Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Trek4Mandela is a fundraising initiative that will see 46 South Africans summiting Kilimanjaro. Don’t worry — we’re not expecting you to climb a giant mountain — the initiative is a fundraising one that hopes to raise enough money to provide 400 schoolgirls at the Iphutheng Primary School in Alexandra Township with sanitary protection so that they don’t miss another day of school.
All you need to do to get involved is to pledge R30 to support the girls by sms’ing GIRLCHILDNMS and your name to 42513. Donations can also be made online at trek4mandela.com.
7. Help save sick kids
The Children’s Hospital Trust is a non-profit organisation that looks after sick kids at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital — most of whom come from exceptionally poor communities. They do amazing work and the donations received are used towards the projects and programs that the hospital funds. Spend some time reading the stories about the children, parents and families that they help and you can’t help but feel a lump in your throat.
They are celebrating Mandela’s legacy and his love for children by encouraging people to donate R67 to the Children’s Hospital Trust. All you need is an internet connection and you can make this small donation via their website; childrenshospitaltrust.org.
8. Help create and fill care packages for rape survivors
Join the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust this Mandela Day by helping them create care packages for survivors of rape. The packages contain toiletries and other personal items that are given to victims who come in to report rape offenses.
Volunteers will come together on Saturday 16 July from 11am and will assist with assembling the packages. There will also be an opportunity to write a personal message to the recipient and you’ll be given the chance to create something special as a gift, from you to them.
Visit rapecrisis.org.za to find out more or to make a monetary donation.
9. Paint homes in Khayelitsha
The Khusela Ikhaya Project is an NGO whose primary goal is using a specially formulated intumescent paint that deters the rapid spread of fires in informal settlements. The paint protects exterior surfaces from fire and adds colour to homes.
This Mandela Day, the NGO is looking for volunteers to pledge their time on Saturday 16 July by painting homes in Khayelitsha with fire-retardant paint. For information on how you can get involved take a look at Khusela Ikhaya Project’s Facebook page or visit khuselaikhaya.org.
10. Get your yoga on
E.L.E (Everybody Love Everybody) is doing their bit for Mandela Day by hosting a 67-minute yoga session underneath the trees in Bryanston. R67 buys you entrance to this glorious occasion which includes yoga, drinks, snacks and an all-round good time! All proceeds will go to a selection of different charities.
Donations are also welcome on the day in the form of anything from blankets and food to school supplies and clothes. It’s all taking place at The Active Zone in Bryanston and with paint stations available, kiddies are welcome, too! Find E.L.E and further info on the event on Facebook.
11. Donate to animal rescue
Woodrock Animal Rescue is a non-profit, rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing facility in Gauteng. The organisation is a safe haven for homeless, abused, stray, injured, sick, geriatric and unwanted animals.
This Mandela Day they’re encouraging people to buy a lock, with a personalised message written on it, for R67 that they will hang on their fence at Woodrock. All proceeds will go to towards bettering the lives of the animals they take care of. It’s all happening on 17 and 18 July from 9am to 2pm. Visit woodrockanimalrescue.com for more. If you can’t get there, you can also donate money or food or, even better, adopt a rescue dog — click here to find out more.
Read more: 10 reasons to be proudly South African