The world is always in need of some kindness, now more than ever. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to practice active citizenship and do our part in making our city a better place. Mandela Day is this week, making it the perfect time to give back.

Mandela Day is on Saturday, July 18. This internationally recognised day was created to honour the legacy of former president Nelson Mandela through volunteering and community service across various means like education and literacy, food and nutrition, sanitation, shelter as well as active citizenship.

Mandela Day is all about making the world a better place, and showing that each individual has the power to make an impact, no matter how big or small. Positive change can come in a number of ways, from creating food packs for hungry citizens to cleaning up a local park. The point is to encourage citizens to think of others, and hopefully commit to bringing positivity to the world in their everyday life.

If you’re wondering how to put your 67 minutes to good use, here are some ways to get involved:

– make sandwiches for the hungry and break a world record with Ladles of Love

– Build a kennel with Mdzananda Animcal Clinic

– knit blankets with 67 Blankets for Mandela Day

– do a neighbourhood clean-up armed with plastic gloves and black bags

– make ‘care kits’ (including a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, face cloth, etc. ) for patients at a nearby government hospital

– buy vouchers for The Night Haven Shelter and hand them out to homeless people on the street

– donate money to worthy charities or organisations doing good, like the NSRI, the SPCA, Habitat for Humanity and Each One Feed One

– offer to fix things at a local school or organisation

– learn First Aid

– register to become a bone marrow donor
– give blood

– create care packs for the elderly at TAFTA

– educate yourself on social issues like racism, classism, homophobia and transphobia, and share your knowledge with friends and family

– clean up your local park

– hand out face masks and mini hand sanitiser bottles to the homeless

– make soup and sandwiches to hand out to the homeless in your area

– offer to neaten up the garden of your elderly neighbours

– make soup with Woodstock Breweries

– donate toys, books and educational materials to your local orphanage

– put together stationary packs for teachers at under-resourced schools

– sort through your clothes and donate to local shelters, or organisations like U-Turn

– remove crude or unsightly grafitti

-join the SA Chef’s Association’s Cook-a-thon

– set up a recycling system for your home

– volunteer at an animal shelter
– do a grocery run for elderly people or COVID-19 people in your area currently isolating
– learn sign language
– offer tutoring to someone in need of help in a field of your expertise

Picture: Pexels

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