July marks a very special month for us as South Africans, We celebrate the birthday of former President Nelson Mandela and everything he stood for. By contributing 67 minutes of your time to help those who are less fortunate and in need. The 18th of July may be declared as Nelson Mandela International Day by the United Nations (UN), however, dedicating more than 67 minutes will make a world of difference no matter how small the act.
Actions speak louder than words and this month, we can all take the opportunity to give back and follow in the same footsteps as Mr Mandela. From 2019 to 2029, the focus will be towards eradicating poverty by reaching these 10 goals in the Action Against Poverty Campaign:
- Provision of quality education for all children.
- All children in Early Childhood Development (ECD) to have access to learning resources for development.
- Reduce hunger in families throughout the provision of nutritious meals.
- Eliminate malnutrition and stunting in young children.
- Provide safe shelter for families to live and thrive in.
- Eliminate homelessness.
- Ensure sanitation that is safe in every school.
- Enable access to safe sanitation to all communities.
- Dedicate more resources to supporting poverty eradication projects.
- Increase resources allocated to the provision of ECD in disadvantaged communities.
This list may seem daunting, but if everyone does their bit, we can make a big difference in the lives of others.
What Can You Do?
Some of us are not in a position to start their own NGO or donate thousands of Rands, but there are so many small acts of kindness that you can do to leave your mark on the hearts of those in need.
Gather your staff, community, friends or family on the 18th of July and spend your 67 minutes taking action!
Here are a few ideas:
- Reach out to organizations, charities, animal shelters or hospices and ask them how you can help them out for the day. These incredible establishments are always in need of helping hands whether it’s washing the dogs, painting the fence or just helping out with cleaning up the premises. A little help always goes a long way.
- Donate your skills, time or old things to schools and orphanages. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure so don’t be too quick to throw out those old clothes or Encyclopaedias. Rather donate them to those in need.
- Take time to visit an old aged home or hospital. Many terminally ill and elderly people do not have friends or family to visit them. Keep them company for a while or take them out to do their chores and shopping. If you are visiting a children’s ward, bring along some of your old stuffed animals you have at home, or some balloons and a tasty treat.
- Offer a free course in excel, computer skills, baking, sewing or anything you are good at. Your time and skills may be the inspiration that changes a child’s future forever.
All it takes is a little time, love and compassion to make a difference in someone’s life. Make your mark this year!
If you are attending a fundraiser or event with your staff for Nelson Mandela Day this year, don’t forget to book your shuttle service to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to go.
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela