Call to support the vulnerable as Mandela Day approaches

Nelson Mandela Foundation has called on the public to honour Nelson Mandela’s birthday by contributing to meeting the immediate needs of the most vulnerable communities on 18 July.

“While the Mandela Day call to action remains a general call to reach out to those in need, this year, our focus will be on the challenge of food security,” the Nelson Mandela Foundation said.

This year, the Nelson Mandela International Day will focus on food insecurity and the culture of lawlessness.

COVID-19 has deepened patterns of poverty and inequality.

“The numbers of people going hungry are growing. Before COVID-19, the statistics showed that one in four six-year-olds in South Africa suffered from stunting due to malnutrition.

“By harnessing our Each1Feed1 programme to Mandela Day and developing the 4Cans4MandelaDay campaign, we aim to ensure that basic foodstuffs reach the most vulnerable communities this July,” the Nelson Mandela Foundation said in a statement on Tuesday.

In the longer term, the foundation is committed to using research and advocacy capacity to address the systemic issues, which cause food insecurity in the country.

“We believe that getting this right is fundamental to social cohesion and respect for the rule of law.”

On Mandela Day, the foundation will be at the Ikageng Itereleng Aids Ministry, a social welfare centre in Soweto, Johannesburg for another Each1Feed1 distribution.

Each1Feed1 is a food distribution network championed by the foundation. It was started at the beginning of the lockdown last year to support families who have been worst affected by the challenge of food insecurity.

Beneficiaries include child-headed households, orphaned families, the elderly, people who are informally employed in the early childhood development (ECD) workforce as well as people living with disabilities.

The food pack has historically been robust and nutritious, capable of supporting a family of five for at least a month.

“The public is encouraged to emulate the campaign in their own ways to ensure that everyone has access to food this Mandela Day. Otherwise, we are inviting the public to donate to the campaign via our GivenGain platform or by contributing to the Each1Feed1 #4Cans4MandelaDay call to action.”

The public has been encouraged to contribute to the Each1 Feed1 food distribution network by donating non-perishable food items at all participating malls for Mandela Day.

All participating malls will have clearly marked signage and a Mandela Day representative at the collection point where people can drop off their donations.

These will be supplied to the Each1Feed1 food network for donation.

In addition, people can register on the Mandela Day Global Network on the ForGood platform.

“Here, you will find pre-vetted NGOs looking for volunteers this Mandela Month to safely donate time, skills, and resources. The ForGood platform is also an excellent portal to find ‘micro volunteering’ opportunities from the convenience and safety of home,” said the foundation.