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Make a difference this Mandela Day

Source: Sviatlana Barchan

International Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated annually on the 18th of July. People from all walks of life are urged to dedicate 67 minutes of their time to helping those in need on this day. Nelson Mandela fought for justice, equality, and human rights for all for 67 years, and these 67 minutes are dedicated to him. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are, will serve as the theme this year as it draws attention to the problems of food security and climate change. Learn more about the year’s theme and how to participate here.

We’ve compiled a list of easy things you can do in your community to honour the legacy of one of our greatest heroes, as we understand that some people may not be able to participate in the events shared on

Make a monetary or food/groceries donation

You can donate food to a soup kitchen or food bank, or even just share some of what you have with someone. You may also choose to donate money to charities in your area that help those in need. There are also many shelters and schools who could benefit from your donation of household items such as clothing, toiletries, books and more!

Plant a tree

Planting a tree is one of the most beneficial things you can do for the planet, and it’s not just because you’re reducing your carbon footprint by taking care of something that wasn’t there before. Trees also help to:

  • Reduce the effects of climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide
  • Provide oxygen for us to breathe
  • Provide shade from the sun, cooling down areas that would otherwise be too hot
  • Reduce drought conditions by absorbing water through their roots (this also helps prevent flooding as well)

Visit an old age home

Volunteering at an old age home is a great way to give back to your community. You can help with gardening, cleaning and cooking activities, or just sit and talk with residents. It’s important to make sure that the home is a safe and welcoming environment for its residents by following the rules set by staff members there.

Donate stationery and books to schools

You can give back to your community by donating school supplies and books. Many schools are in need of stationery and books, especially those in disadvantaged communities. Find out if there’s a school in your area or a rural area that could benefit from your generosity. Some items to consider:

  • Pens, pencils, crayons, glue, scissors and other stationery
  • Notebooks
  • Story Books
  • School Bags
  • School Shoes

Volunteer or donate to animal shelters

Volunteering your time or even contributing a bag of cat or dog food will go a long way considering how many animals are kept in animal shelters. Spending 67 minutes with furry friends is a fantastic choice for animal lovers on this Mandela Day!

Mandela Day is a great opportunity for us to show our appreciation for all that Madiba has done for South Africa and the world. It’s also an opportunity for each of us to give back in our own way, whether it’s making a donation or volunteering at an organisation that helps people who are less fortunate than ourselves. So on this Mandela Day, why not spend 67 minutes doing something good?