Eight years after the first international celebration of Mandela Day on July 18 on the former president’s 91st birthday, the 67 minutes campaign has become a symbol of his enduring legacy of kindness and sacrifice.
While some see their 67 minutes of helping others as an opportunity to take do-gooder selfies to boost their social media status, for the most part Tuesday will be a celebration of people making time to serve others in whatever heartfelt way they can.
At ELMI College, lecturers have decided that transferring their skills to charities who help others was the most appropriate way to give back on Mandela Day.
They will present 67-minute courses to the Salem Baby Care Centre, Greensleeves place of safety, Loaves and Fishes and Masithethe Counselling Services in skills like computers, budgeting, art and DIY.
“Education is what we stand for so it is important for us to help people who are not in a position to do certain types of training that are useful in everyday life.
“It’s all about self-development,” said ELMI computer lecturer Michelle Victor.
The African Angels independent school in Chintsa East is calling for volunteers to spend between 9am and 2pm at the school to help with activities which include hostel painting, sorting books and donations, computer maintenance and tiling shower floors.
They are also looking for help on Tuesday to set up the exciting Chintsa East TechnoHub and book exchange, a community-located, container-based facility that will enable more than 10000 people to access the internet and gain computer literacy skills.
The community has already collected 2000 books which need to be sorted and put on shelves. Help is also needed between 7am and 2pm on Tuesday to clear up around the containers and plant succulents, construct a roof over the facility, install electrical wiring, donated solar panels and batteries into the computer lab container and fit a gate.
Contact Lou Billett on 076-555-4711 or e-mail email@example.com for more information.
In Mzamomhle, Gonubie, Lathitha Development Centre manager Pauline Michell said she was “so excited” a busload of 80 volunteers from the IQ Academy distance learning centre would descend on the NGO for 67 minutes on Mandela Day.
The centre does skills training and also has a creche for children of domestic workers. “They will be helping to do repairs and have also paid R7300 towards materials and some of the tools. They will be varnishing a cupboard, painting ceilings, putting in a light fitting and levelling the playground,” she said.