Mandela Day is today, and it might be more important than ever before.
More and more people, businesses, and organisations have already been struggling due to the pandemic. And after this week’s devastating violence and activities, the country is in desperate need of hope and healing.
HOW AND WHY DID MANDELA DAY START
The first Mandela Day was introduced in 2009. It is celebrated each year on the 18th of July in honour of Nelson Mandela’s birthday. The idea behind the Mandela Day campaign is to make the public more aware of charitable activities and to get people involved through community service and volunteering. The reason why the campaign focuses on 67 minutes from each person, is because Nelson Mandela fought for 67 years for justice and peace.
The official Mandela Day campaign message reads: “Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes.”.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP
Reach out to your communities to make sure you put your 67 minutes to good work. If possible, volunteer and/or donate to communities who have been affected by the KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng lootings, as well as by the Cape Town taxi violence.
A Facebook group, “RebuildSA”, was created on Tuesday by a Soweto resident. Already more than 27 000 volunteers are willing to help by cleaning up, sending food, or donating money. There is a concerning shortage of food and petrol in KZN and Gauteng, and residents are unable to leave the areas. These areas are also barricaded so that looters cannot return. The founders of the Facebook group have luckily managed to get the help of an airline company that is willing to drop off all donations to KZN from Johannesburg. This Facebook page is a symbol of hope and unity that South Africans need.
Visit the Facebook group, RebuildSA for more information on how to help.
To those who are not able to donate food or money, remember that volunteering is just as important. Let us come together as one nation this Mandela Day, and honour our beautiful country through hope and love.