The United Nations General Assembly declared 18 July, (Nelson Mandela’s birthday), Mandela Day in 2010. This initiative is a global call for action for people to contribute in whichever way possible to make the world a better place.
Give 67 minutes of your time, one minute for every year of Mandela’s public service, by helping a community or charitable cause. You can make a difference – just as this legendary man did!
Have a look below at some of the projects you can spend your 67 minutes to make a difference on the Garden Route.
Research statistics show that although 75% of the population in the Western Cape might require blood transfusions in their lifetime, a mere 1.5% are blood donors. By donating blood, you can ultimately help save someone’s life! Donation usually takes 30 minutes. There is a mobile clinic that does monthly rounds to all the main towns on the Garden Route. For more information and to find out where the next blood drive will take place in your area, click HERE.
Volunteer at an animal sanctuary or the SPCA
Mahatma Gandhi said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.” You can make a difference by helping animals in need as well. The Knysna Animal Welfare Society & The Garden Route SPCA have various projects you can get involved in. Contact them to volunteer your time, or drop off pet food or a blanket. Even just taking dogs for a walk at your closest animal shelter over weekends will make a world of difference and surely have tails wagging.
Knysna Animal Welfare Society: https://www.knysnaaws.com/
Garden Route SPCA: http://www.grspca.co.za/
White Shark Africa, situated in Mossel Bay, runs various paid volunteer & internship programs that are centered around ocean conservation. They also have twice weekly, (weather depending), beach clean ups and ocean conservation awareness initiatives where they educate locals on how to keep our oceans clean by, for instance, not making use of single use plastic items that pollute our oceans. If you would like to get involved, you can contact Valerie on 044 691 3796. Read more HERE about other projects they have initiated.
Volunteer as a firefighter
In 2017 a raging fire caused havoc and destruction from the east of Knysna to farms and houses in Plettenberg Bay and the greater Bitou District. The Bitou Fire Department, together with local volunteers, fought tirelessly to extinguish the fires. If you would like to find out how to get involved with one of the Volunteer Wildfire Strike Units in the area, contact the Bitou Fire Association on 082 929 7283, email or via their Facebook page.
Volunteer at Hospice
Hospice offers palliative care for the terminally ill, elderly and children. We have two fantastic Hospice centers in our area. By supporting staff, volunteers extend the range and quality of services that Hospice is able to offer. As a volunteer you would assist from fundraising to driving carers to the patients. Contact them today to hear how you can get involved and lighten their load.
Knysna Sedgefield Hospice: https://www.hospiceknysna.org.za
PlettAid Foundation: http://plettaid.org/
These are just a few suggestions on how you can make our world a better place for all humans and creatures…great and small for Mandela Day. But it does not have to stop there. We can all make a difference each day of our lives. Keep fresh fruit in your car and hand it out to the homeless at traffic lights,visit a lonely granny at an old age home, or even just show kindness to a stranger. We never know what battle each of us are fighting on a daily basis and sometimes just a smile or a helping hand can make a world of difference to someone else.
In the words of Nelson Mandela: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
Make everyday a Mandela Day!