10 things to do on Nelson Mandela Day

Posted on 10 July 2024 By Savanna Douglas

Every year, on the anniversary of Madiba’s birthday, we come together as a global community to commemorate and honour his legacy by doing work to better our communities and neighbourhoods. 

This year, it is still in your hands to help combat poverty and inequity! Here’s a list of 10 things you can do this Mandela Day to honour our beloved Nelson Mandela.

Volunteer, collaborate, come together

Get involved on Mandela day through volunteering to do something impactful:

Street clean up

Take part in a street clean-up in your neighbourhood. Cleaning the environment benefits the entire community in different ways. It provides a sense of dignity and safety.

Visit an orphanage or old age home

Spend time with the children or elderly people at an orphanage or old age home. Your presence playing games, reading to them, or just having a conversation could really brighten their day. This is about remembering everybody in your community, and reminding marginalised people that they belong.

Paint school walls

Collaborate with a school to paint the walls. Many schools in South Africa are in a poor state and students have to learn in uninspiring, undignifying environments. Painting the walls is a great way of contributing the the student’s success.

Collect dignity packs for women who need them

Collect Sanitary Towels for disadvantaged women and girls in your community. You can even just join a sanitary towel drive through your local Dischem.

Image: Pexels / RDNE

Donate, give, share

Sharing is caring. Here are three ways to share with those who need it, on Nelson Mandela Day:

Hand out food

Donate food to homeless people. The homeless crisis in South Africa is worrying, keeping homeless people fed gives them a chance to escape their situation. A simple egg sandwich or a jar of soup can make a big difference.

Donate warm things to an orphanage

Give old bedding, clothes and toys to an orphanage. Many orphanages are underfunded and are in dire need of resources. Donating resources could meaningfully contribute to the well-being of the people staying there.

Plant a community garden

Plant a community garden with your neighbours, or donate trees to a needy area. Having access to good food and clean air significantly improves the lives of people living in your community.

Image: Pexels / Cottonbro

Other kinds of support

If you’re looking for other ways to give back on Mandela Day, try these:

Do your part online

Spread awareness of the campaign by boosting posts online through engagement. Use the hashtags, share people’s work, and be a cheerleader, even if you can’t contribute yourself.

Do a community day walk / run

Join the Mandela Day Walk and Run on the 20th of July at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg with your family. Being a part of a community activity is an excellent way of honouring the values that Tata Madiba stood for – ubuntu, community, and giving back.

Fund an NGO

Help fund social justice organisations. NGOs in South Africa are severely underfunded and the work they do for people in South Africa is life-changing. Consider donating funds to your favourite NGO.

Image: Unsplash / Volkan Olmez

Whatever you do this Mandela Day, whether you contribute to your community with your friends, through an office campaign, or just on your own, remember that serving your community is about serving people, not yourself. So be unselfish and go out and make a difference.

It’s still in your hands. Visit mandeladay.org to register your activity.

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