Nelson Mandela International Day takes place every year on 18th July, the birthday of the late South African president, philanthropist and social activist, and is observed in honour of the 67 years he spent fighting for equality and social justice in our country.

Recognized as a global icon, this day has spread beyond South African borders and is observed by people the world over. Individuals, communities and organizations are encouraged to spend at least 67 minutes taking part in positive and uplifting initiatives, working towards the greater good of society.

Here are nine meaningful ways for you to get involved in Cape Town this Mandela Day.

1.  Kennel Building with Mdzananda Animal Clinic

Mandela Day

Mdzananda Animal Clinic, the only permanent veterinary service in Khayelitsha, is calling the public to help build kennels for stray animals and pets in the area. Volunteers can spend their 67 minutes reconstructing wooden pallets into shelter for our furry friends.

Don’t forget to bring along a hammer, measuring tape and paintbrush as well as other materials like additional nails and wood. A donation of R67 or R167 is kindly requested to cover the costs of the doggie houses.
Since Mandela Day falls on a weekday this year, there will be a public kennel building day on Saturday 15th July from 10 am to 2 pm, and a corporate event for work groups on Tuesday 18th July 2017.

Visit for more information or RSVP to [email protected] if you’d like to attend.


2. Forgood online pop-up store

Mandela Day

Forgood is an online platform that connects individuals and businesses to accredited social causes that match up with their skills and interests. They can choose to donate goods, volunteer or even offer their skilled services to an initiative of their choice. With over over 1300 opportunities available on the site, visitors are able to find a cause close to their home or work, making it easy to follow through on the good deed.

In the spirit of giving that comes with Mandela Day, Forgood has launched South Africa’s first cause-based online pop-up store for the month of July. The store offers hand-crafted goods from toys and clothing to jewellery and art. Every sale generates income for a cause, helping to build long-term sustainability, create jobs and empower communities.

Visit to make a purchase or find a cause that suits your passions.


3. 67 minutes with The President Hotel

Mandela Day

Join the luxury President Hotel in their action against poverty by assisting in a sandwich drive this Mandela Day. The sandwich-making will take place in the Conference Room at the hotel between 10 am and 11 am on the day. Undamaged blankets and clothing are also in need, which can be dropped off at the hotel from 12th July. All goods, along with the sandwiches and soup, will be donated to The Haven Night Shelter in the CBD.

Guests and volunteers can also enjoy a delicious lunch time special at the Botany Cafe for only R85. Contact +27 (0) 21 434 8111 for more information.


4. HOPE bracelets for the Chaeli Campaign

Mandela Day

Join the Chaeli Campaign at Blue Route Mall this Mandela Day from 10 am to 5 pm to make stunning bracelets that will be sold for R67. You get to keep one of the bracelets while the other one will be sold by the organization for profits.

The campaign will also be collecting stationary for children in need. An already-assembled kit can be sponsored for the cost of R150, which includes a colouring book, bean bag, stickers and more. If you can’t afford R150, pop in to a Checkers Hyper where you can purchase any of the items needed.

For more information contact the Chaeli Campaign on +27 (0) 21 762 3835 or email [email protected]


5. Care packages with the Rape Crisis Trust

Mandela Day

Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust is a local organisation that supports the recovery of rape survivors and aims to bring about reformation in communities.

This Mandela Day, you can join them to help create care packages for survivors and volunteers are urged to bring along sanitary items including toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner, soap, body wash, facial cloths, nappies and sanitary towels. Volunteers will decorate and fill the packages at Observatory Community Centre on Saturday, 15th July. Anyone is welcome to pop in anytime between 11 am and 3 pm to assist. You can also donate items or cash before the time.

Contact Shahida Rahman on +27 (0) 21 447 1467 to arrange a delivery.


6. Make Hay with Farm Sanctuary SA

Mandela Day

Spend your 67 minutes (or more) with Farm Sanctuary SA for a fun-filled day on the farm. Help feed the animals, clean the barn and participate in an interesting donkey-training exercise. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided and don’t forget to make a donation for the long-term preservation of these loving creatures. The program will run from 9 am to 2 pm on the day.

Visit or contact +27 (0) 21 499 5006 for more information.


7. Help fight poverty with Friends of the Valkenberg Trust

Mandela Day

Valkenberg Hospital is need of your generosity this Mandela Day. What better way to a have meaningful 67 minutes than by spending it with those recovering from mental illness? There are three avenues through which help can be provided:

Non-perishable goods such as tea, sugar, instant noodles, soup mix, pasta or jam etc can be donated; or a donation of men’s clothing can be made and dropped off at the offices in Observatory. You can also use your 67 minutes to spring-clean your cupboards at home and bring unwanted household goods to the Friendly Shop at Valkenberg Hospital.

For further information or to sign up, contact the office at [email protected]


8.  Donation Drive at V&A Waterfront

Mandela Day

The V&A Waterfront is hosting a donation drive this Mandela Day. Visit the Watershed Workshop 17 between 10 am and 5 pm on the day to drop off unwanted clothing and accessories. Email [email protected] for further details.


9. Donate a book to a children’s library

Mandela Day

John Nicholson, a big-hearted father in the Cape Flats, has been hailed a local hero for opening a children’s library in his Hillview home.

Assisted by his son John, he transformed his garage into a library that now houses over 5000 books. This project has become a haven for children who love reading and need a quiet place to learn. John relies on donations to keep his project going so if you’d like to donate books or money to assist in running the library, you can contact him on +27 (0) 74 695 4191 or email [email protected]


Photography Courtesy/AFP

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