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What to do on this Mandela Day

Jul 17 '16 | By La Afrique Media | Views: 303 | Comments: 0

From helping the blind to packaging meals for the poor, Pietermaritzburg residents will have a variety of options to choose from on Mandela Day this year.

According to the Mandela Day website, the initiative is intended to inspire people “to take action to help change the world for the better and, in so doing, to build a global movement for good”.

One of the biggest events in Pietermaritzburg on the day will be a project organised by the Community Chest, in conjunction with Stop Hunger Now SA, at Liberty Midlands Mall.

A target of 300 000 meals has been set to be packaged and distributed locally.

The organisers hope to rally some 100 teams, with 20 members each, to help out.

Community Chest CEO Michael Deegan said they would continue with the project through the remaining months of the year.

He said Liberty Midlands Mall had donated R100 000 towards the project.

“This could be an exciting teambuilding exercise for workplace teams. It will be fun and exciting as well,” he said.

Deegan said that while schools and other community infrastructure could always do with a facelift, poverty and associated hunger remained the biggest problem in education.

Pietermaritzburg Children’s Home manager Fiona Balgobind said pupils would appreciate stationery, uniforms, winter clothing and food. The facility currently houses 75 children, from the pre-school phase to matric.

“Although we have our own Mandela Day donation drive in the morning on the day, we would appreciate any help that the community could offer to our home.

“Volunteers are welcome to join us on the morning of Mandela Day when we will embark on a road campaign to ask for funds from motorists,” said Balgobind.

The KZN Blind and Deaf Society has also called on locals for help. The society has invited companies to make a difference on Mandela Day by offering work or learning opportunities to hearing or visually impaired people.

Msunduzi Hospice CEO Warren Oxford-Huggett, whose organisation provides free home-based care to patients suffering from life-threatening diseases, said volunteers would be allowed to help on July 18.

Although the volunteers would not be allowed to deal with the patients, they could help with other duties such as cooking, administration, food packages and cleaning.

The KZN National Botanical Garden is offering free entry for visitors on July 16, on condition that visitors bring sanitary pads or toiletries, to be donated to a home or a disadvantaged school to celebrate Mandela Day.

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