Today, 18 July 2019, marks the anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birthday, a time of year when South Africans, and the world, are reminded to make time to do good, every day – and Flowstars have rallied to the call.
From this year, the 10-year-old Mandela Day initiative turns its focus to long-term projects that have a continuous and enduring effect, rather than only taking action every 18 July. The mantra is “Take Action. Inspire Change. Make every day a Mandela Day” by taking #ActionAgainstPoverty.
To help people figure out how their abilities and resources can be best matched to needs in South Africa and across the world, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has also launched the Mandela Day Global Network, which seeks to match individuals’ and organisations’ skills and resources with verified needs through a website interface. It was created in collaboration with CSI organisation For Good.
A Flow team of developers, designers and content managers has created a commanding Mandela Day website that showcases the network and Mandela Day’s 10 goals, and provides resources that can be used, among others, on social media every year when Mandela Day is commemorated.
So, if you’re undecided about what to do, visit the site and match your skills and resources to a need via a worldwide community of organisations and individuals, as well as government and corporate entities, who are partnering with the foundation to make Mandela Day more effective, every day.
At Flow we have made a commitment to donate blood as an organisation every quarter. To date, our donations have potentially saved 246 lives.
We also ensure that we have an intern working at Flow every day of the year. We have hosted interns from universities and design schools, as well as post-matrics and learners, via job-shadowing initiatives. Interns are absorbed into Flow departments relating to their area of study.
On an individual level, there are so many ways in which we can strive to make every day a Mandela Day. Here, Flowstars share their plans
“I make every day a Mandela Day by volunteering throughout the year. I am involved with initiatives run by the Bordeaux South free library and the Dependable Strength Foundation, and I try to choose one person every month who I can help either financially or with advice.” – Caroline Smith
“Every Mandela Day our community gets together to clean up the Alberts Farm park and field close to where we live. We remove bags and bags of rubbish and leave it clean and pretty for the people who visit the park and the creatures (frogs, lizards, toads, snakes, birds and goggas) that live there.” – Allison MacDonald
“Flow’s Cape Town team opted for a joint approach this year. We are putting together toiletry packs for The Homestead, an NGO that works with street children in Cape Town.” – Sarah-Jane Viljoen
“I think the Mandela Day Global Network is great. I already contribute to some campaigns with money, but I had a look the other day and thought I might make a point of signing up for one activity a month. That should be doable and it’s also a great way to meet like-minded people. You always feel better about yourself when you do things for others.” – Sue Blaine
“I’m not doing anything specific on the day. I try to live the ‘make every day a Mandela Day’ message by doing little things to make a difference year-round. For example, every time I go into a store I add sanitary pads to my basket. When there’s a specific campaign, such as DisChem’s Million Comforts campaign, or an Imbumba Foundation drive, I’ll donate pads to those directly, otherwise my friends and I do drop-offs at schools ourselves. I also donate to Cotlands Baby Sanctuary, both in cash and in kind. Their major drive currently is to set up 500 toy libraries by 2022, so I’ve been contributing to that.” – Edwina van der Burg
“I am helping to clean up my local park and volunteering at my Parkrun’s 100th anniversary, but since every day should be a Mandela Day, I actually volunteer every weekend.” – Tara Turkington
“I make a monthly contribution to the SOS Children’s Villages and try to visit my local SPCA now and then to play with the animals and give them treats if the SPCA allows it. I also sponsored a kennel for a few months for a pit bull that showed up at our house. She was eventually adopted.” – Lynzi Herbst
“I’ll be walking 25km at the MTN Walk the Talk with 702 event in commemoration of 25 years of democracy. The proceeds go to charity. The event happens the week after Mandela Day.” – Mbali Ntuli
“I try to spread the love throughout the year by donating to our local Tale End Charity to help orphaned and abused animals. I also give to Bobbi Bear, a home for sexually abused children. In my car I keep a bag of clothing that I give to the needy at road intersections.” – Christine Marot
“Throughout the year I support initiatives that are run at shops and at the movies, like Woolworths’ MySchool. I also support Vision Mission and DisChem’s Million Comforts campaign, and I donate clothes to the less fortunate.” – Maria Foundanellas
“Flow client Mango Airlines will be doing some painting at St Ansgar’s School, which they have ‘adopted’. Moeketsi Thipe [a Flow intern] and I will be pitching in to help on that project.” – Chadwin Chetty