Three Things To Do This Mandela Day To Support Children In Need

Like Whitney Houston, we believe that children are the future.


Megan Flemmit |

Nelson Mandela once said, “Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation.They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth who care for and protect our people.”

But for them to have a future filled with possibilities, they need to be given a chance to grow and flourish now.

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According to the South African Child Gauge 2017, 29% of children live below the poverty food line and 58% cannot read fluently and with comprehension at the end of grade 4. While many factors contribute to poverty and the lack of quality education, we can still help children maximise their potential by supporting charities who work tirelessly to keep children in school.

This year marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela. As they have done for the past eight years, organisations across the country will honour his legacy by giving back to underprivileged communities. We’ve rounded up three ways in which you can help out and get involved.

1.   Bikers For Mandela Day

If you enjoy the freedom the open road brings, this is a cause you can rally behind. In 2010, Bikers For Mandela Day rode their maiden voyage in Cape Town and Jo’burg. The initiative, formed by Nelson Mandela’s former personal assistant, Zelda la Grange, celebrates Madiba’s legacy by helping the less fortunate.

In 2010, they managed to build a classroom at a creche on a farm in De Rust, Western Cape. Since, they’ve travelled more than 100 000km, helped restore orphanages, distributed food and blankets to old age homes, and planted vegetables in disadvantaged communities.

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This year, bikers will ride in aid of Keep a Girl Child in School on 14 and 15 July. The aim is to restore the dignity of the girls by giving them access to sanitary pads, an item many can’t afford. Prospective riders are asked to bring as many packs of sanitary pads they can carry. All products will be distributed by Mimi Women, a local organisation that makes, sells and distributes sanitary pads. Enter the event here. And if you prefer avoiding two wheels altogether, you can still donate to their cause here.

2.   Cathedral Peak Challenge

Enjoy a challenge, and love a good view? Take part in the Cathedral Peak Challenge. Walk or run over 21km while summiting one of the highest free standing peaks on the Drakensberg. Starting at the Cathedral Peak Hotel, the race will see you ascending 1531m .

Push yourself to your limits by taking on this challenge. It’s one of five events in the Cathedral Peak Challenge, which was conceptualised by the owner of the hotel, William van der Riet. Entry to the race is R250. Add an additional R100 to your entry fee to support their initiative of choice. The funds collected from this summit will go towards the Caring4Girls initiative which provides sanitary pads to underprivileged girls.

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And for those quick on their feet, prize money to the value of R25 000 is up for grabs for each person who completes the race first in each of its categories. Categories include fastest male, fastest female and mixed team of two.

3.   Mandela Day Football Giveaway

From teaching children physical skills to learning team work and discipline, sport has the power to change lives. Each Mandela Day, Fives Football and Totalsports team up to ‘plant’ balls across Cape Town and Johannesburg. Each ball planted gives the youth an opportunity for change, and a chance to unlock their potential.

Last year over 200 balls were distributed to various sporting projects, schools, orphanages and NGO’s across the country. Get involved by voting for your favourite charity and influence how many balls they receive. You can cast your vote every day up until Mandela Day. Be more hands on and donate a ball to the cause.

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