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Mandela Day Projects for the Whole Family

13 July 2023

Mandela Day has become an iconic observance all over the world, as people honour the late Nelson Mandela’s passion for helping those in need. Set on his birthday, 18 July, the day was first observed as a celebration of his life’s work and has only evolved from there.

Getting your family involved in this momentous day not only teaches them a little bit of South Africa’s history, but it nurtures the values that every family cherishes: kindness and a giving heart.

Here are a few ideas on how you and your family can observe Nelson Mandela Day:


Collect Used Items for Charity

We all need to do a regular sweep of our cupboards both in the kitchen and in our bedrooms. From clothes to household items, there is always something that can be passed on. You can donate directly to a charity of choice, or even a charity shop whose sales benefit the charity’s cause. Get the children involved by asking them to take a day in their school holidays to separate any toys, clothing or stationery items that they don’t use anymore from those they do.


Get Cooking

It’s no secret that the largest concern amongst the less fortunate is food security. Many people live on the staples of maize and bread. Cook them up a meal as a treat. Whether it’s a big pot of soup or sandwiches with delicious fillings, a meal can do wonders for the spirit. Many soup kitchens and charity organisations will be prepping for the 18th of July, so pick a cause and find out how you can assist. Getting the children involved in the meal prep, or even assisting with serving is a great way to involve them in Mandela Day.



Many charity organisations have an extreme shortage of money. These organisations are usually large entities that need to pay bills, wages and care for those in need on fundraising alone. To add to this dilemma is the fact that many of these organisations do not have the man power to host regular fundraisers. This is where the public can step in and hold fundraising events for the benefit of the chosen charity. No amount is too big or too small. Bake a few cupcakes and sell them to your local community, or host a party for friends and family who can all contribute to your fundraiser. Tally up the proceeds and take them directly to the charity’s premises. This allows your children to raise money in a fun way and also affords them the opportunity to experience the charity organization when you deliver the proceeds.



There are a variety of projects taking place across the country for Mandela Day. Registered and accredited non-profit organisations often have an itinerary for the needs that can be covered during July. Volunteering your time can be anything from having a cup of tea with the elderly, to assisting with maintenance or renovation projects at a charity’s premises. Something as simple as planting a small garden in the front entrance of the building can do wonders for the look and feel of an organization, and it’s as easy as buying a few flowers or seedlings and placing them in the ground.



We might not all have the capacity to be physically involved in Mandela Day projects but, as parents, colleagues and members of society, we can share awareness of the causes that mean the most to us. Whether it’s teaching your children to care for those who cannot care for themselves, or encouraging a colleague to support your local charity shop, you are sharing awareness of the cause and those who are affected.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made in the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Nelson Mandela



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