Nelson Mandela Day in Heidelberg, Gauteng

So in a months time it will be Nelson Mandela Day, 18 July. It is a day where we can all take inspiration from the legend that is Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela Day“Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s  birthday on 18 July, 2009 via unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly.

It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier, for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that “it is in your hands now”.

It is more than a celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy. It is a global movement to honour his life’s work and act to change the world for the better.”

Taken from the Nelson Mandela Day website.

I have learnt that is so often the small things we can do, and the small changes we can make in our lives, that actually make the big difference.  People all over the world will be giving back in various ways on the 18 July.

Create your action; awareness building, food security, literacy & education, service & volunteerism, or shelter & infrastructure, or search for actions to join in on in your area.

There are great toolkits on the website for educators, which include Mandela Day learner worksheet, Mandela Day posters, video, Nelson Mandela biography, timeline and family tree (for children), colouring book, Mandela Day library for children and a quiz.

The website lists tons of things you can do to make a difference. Here are just a few:

Make a blanket for someone in need
Read to someone who can’t
Spend time with the terminally ill
Volunteer at your local HIV organisaton
Give a food parcel to someone in need
Donate books to a school library
Offer to help out at your local school
Organise a bake sale, car wash or garage sale for charity and donate the proceeds.
Organise a litter cleanup day in your area, or clean up the streets around your neighbourhood on your own.
Start a community garden
Help someone to get their business off the ground
Take old newspapers to a recycling centre
Get tested for HIV, and encourage your partner to do so too
Help someone get a job
Paint or repair infrastructure at an orphanage or youth centre
Donate a bag of art supplies to a local school.

Lots of us are doing things like this every day anyway, but I think having a day where we all make an effort to do something really gets people talking and inspired.

We have really been noticing a litter problem, and so I have decided to do a litter pick in Heidelberg on the 18 July. So far it is just my husband and I doing it, but hopefully others will join in too! The recyclable items we will take to the Heidelberg SPCA, as they arrange for items to be recycled to raise funds. We are also going to put together some basic need packs for SANCA (South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) in Heidelberg. The packs contains;  tooth paste, roll-on deodorant (no spray please), soap, facecloth, body cream/Vaseline, notebook, pen, coffee mug, bathtub plug, lock with key and something to snack on.

If anyone would like to get involved with the litter pick, or even with donating items, or money for items for SANCA, do get in touch.

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