Celebrating the life of South Africa’s biggest icon Nelson Mandela
JOHANNESBURG -SO MUCH is the enthusiasm ahead of the Nelson Mandela International Day that organisations have pledged to do some 67 minutes of community service at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, although the facility has not yet started operating.
Lulu Herkt, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust spokesperson, says there has been an overwhelming response from organizations pledging to allocate their time at the hospital that is under construction in Parktown, Johannesburg.
The R1 billion facility will only open in December on a piece of land donated by the University of Witwatersrand.
“Many organisations approach the Trust hoping that they can participate in activities and have an impact on someone’s life on Mandela Day,” said Herkt .
“…but the hospital is not operational yet so we refer them to existing hospitals like Chris Hani Baragwanath, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, Helen Joseph Hospital and the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital,” adds Herkt.
However, the trust, established in 2009 to raise funds for the construction of the specialist pediatric hospital for Southern Africa, will make the most of the Mandela Day to raise awareness about the hospital.
A national radio station will air its breakfast show live from the almost complete hospital site on Monday.
“Not everyone can give their time on the day, and we encourage people to donate (either via EFT or SMS or Snapscan) so we achieve our R1 billion target and complete the hospital,” Herkt says.
Meanwhile, organisations are keen to play their part on the day.
Set to be commemorated next Monday marking the late statesman’s birthday (he would have turned 98), Nelson Mandela Day encourages everyone to allocate so much time to charitable work in tribute of the 67 years (including 27 spent in prison) “Madiba” dedicated to the upliftment of humankind.
It is a global call to action for citizens to take up the challenge and follow in the formidable footsteps of the man who died in 2013 from a prolonged respiratory infection having transformed his life, served his country and freed his people.
The day’s objective is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better and in so doing, to build a global movement for good.
It was launched in July 18, 2009 via a unanimous decision by the United Nations General Assembly and inspired by a call by Mandela, a year earlier for the next generation to tackle the burden of addressing the world’s social injustices.
Barclays Africa’s communications manager: vice president group marketing and corporate relations, Nobubele Mkwananzi,, says the company’s focus on the day will be on improving education standards.
Education and literacy are key pillars of Mandela Day.
“We are planning an event that will benefit three schools,” Mkwananzi says.
The International Association for Human Values (IAHV) is also involved in humanitarian activities.
In preparation of the Mandela Day, the organisation has been assisting babies through collecting blankets in Etwatwa, Daveyton near Benoni in Ekurhuleni. Baby formula and diapers have also been sourced.
Its volunteer team in Pretoria has delivered blankets to Re-bafebyi Mental Health in Atteridgeville.
“IAHV offers programmes to reduce stress and develop leaders so that human values can flourish in people and communities. Our community development and outreach programmes seek to strengthen and empower communities on the individual and collective level to foster human values, sustain peace, develop families, communities and individuals in South Africa,” says Denise Humphris, director of IAHV South Africa.
– CAJ News
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