A global movement for positive change – Nelson Mandela Day
By Karabo Siyoko
In July South Africa celebrates former president Nelson Mandela’s birthday. 18 July has been declared Nelson Mandela Day and as South Africans we embrace the chance to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life for the whole July and remembering Mandela’s achievements towards conflict resolution, reconciliation and democracy.
The Nelson Mandela month provides an opportunity for people to recognize their abilities to have a positive effect on others around them.
During this month many people and organizations around the world take part in activities to promote Nelson Mandela Day. These activities include volunteering, sports, arts, education, music and culture and donations of clothing, money or any other types of necessities that the disadvantaged are in need of.
Various events were held around July 18 to honor Nelson Mandela’s work and to promote the different projects that were inspired by Mandela’s achievements.
The Galeshewe Chaplains did their part in Number 2 by painting a house of an elderly women, Keneilwe Mamputa. As gentlemen who frequently help around the community, they decided to do no different by assisting the elderly lady, “I am very happy about this as they came by surprise to help me out,” said Mamputa.
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries along with Nedbank visited St Peters Primary School and donated equipment for gardening, seeds for planting, sanitary pads, bar soaps and bottles.
“The department works on such programs once a year identifying different school or centers, St Peter Primary School was identified and given equipment and seeds for the garden,” explained Boipelo Mashobao from the department.
“It is a good initiative in a sense that it is going to benefit the learners in reviving the school garden, it is also going to help with feeding the learners and teaching them about greenery. This initiative will just need to be followed up by the school and the department. It will be maintained jointly by the expended public workers program (EPWP), commercial processing workload (CPW) as well as the non teaching staff in the school. Depending on the output of the garden and if it is enough to sustain the learners, the school will look into an elderly home or an NGO, to supply there too” commented Principal Leeuw.
The school was approached by a worker at the department of agriculture together with the councilor to inform the school that it was chosen as one of the recipients for the initiative.
“As principle it will be my responsibility to see that programs that are initiated in the school are carried out and maintained , As there is another project lined up for the food garden, the school will have two gardens as the NGO providing will also bring their own resources and fencing for the garden. The idea for this is to create a large scale food garden so it is sustainable and learners benefit from it. The criteria regarding sanitary pads will be handled by the wellness committee in the school,” Leeuw concluded.
Eyethu pop-up library organization by Sol Plaatjie University students along with 100KidsToVarsity did their part by donating books at the Kimberley correctional center to encourage reading to those in prison.
The Nelson Mandela foundation was established in 1999 when its founder Mandela stepped down as the president. It provided the base for his charitable work covering a wide range of endeavors, from building schools, to HIV/AIDS. Five years later the foundation began its transition into an organization focused on memory, dialogue and legacy work with its vision that a society remembers its past, listens to all its voices and pursues social justice.