The Nelson Mandea Children’s Fund (the Fund) and its flagship project, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) will be postponing any physical donation drop-offs and activities at the institutions this International Mandela Day on Sunday, 18 July 2021.
Given the current restrictions presented by the Covid-19 pandemic including a rise in infections, particularly in Gauteng, as well as the limitations placed by the recent unrest in our country, the Fund and NMCH have taken the decision to place safety first.
Historically, former president Mr Nelson Mandela celebrated his birthday in the presence of children sharing in the celebrations together with staff of the Fund, members of the public, corporates and the philanthropic community. Since his passing in 2013, the Fund has upheld this tradition, honouring Madiba by hosting the Annual Children’s Celebration at its Head Offices in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, and other venues across the country.
CEO of the Fund, Konehali Gugushe says that the Fund has had to adapt the celebrations in the past two years,. “Covid-19 has really forced us to look at other ways of honouring our founder and ensuring that our beneficiaries are not left feeling neglected during this time of celebration, which they have come to expect and really look forward to enjoying with us. As such, we’ve had to be innovative and move those activities we can online to avoid gatherings and curb potential infections.”
This year the Fund in partnership with Takalani Sesame is calling on the public to join its virtual #MandelaDanceChallenge by dancing to media personality, Proverb’s “Legacy” song and posting this online. “This a way for us to still promote child participation and to encourage families, to have fun together in a light-hearted way and in the spirt of celebration.”
The Fund and Takalani Sesame will launch the official video for the challenge on Mandela Day on its digital platforms.
The organisation is also putting together care packages, filled with essential items such as sanitary towels, hygiene products and toys, which will be distributed to its beneficiaries.
The Fund had intended to collect donations in person from the public on Mandela Day, but has postponed this activity to the end of the month. “As we mentioned, safety comes first. We are also aware of the current needs of our beneficficiaries and note how the recent unrest in South Africa have strained supply chains. This has caused a delay in some of our donations reaching us in time. As such, we extending the collections to beyond Mandela Day and will collect all physical donations at our premises towards the end of the month as we continue to watch how this current situation unfold.”
International Mandela Day has also become synonymous with committing 67 minutes towards philanthropic work. The public often respond to this call with various requests including on-site actitvies at NMCH, Madiba’s legacy project and the only dedicated paediatric hospital in Gauteng.
Interim CEO at the hospital, Dr Nonkululeko Boikhutso, echoed the sentiments of the Fund in prioritising safety, thereby halting any physical activities. “The public have really shown us their much valued support in the past by dropping off items at the hospital and supporting our patients and families during this period. As a hospital however, we must promote the message of discouraging social gatherings and adhering to the government imposed Level 4 restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.”
The public can still make online donations to both organisations through their website portals and support the virtual initatives outlined on these. Outside of the dance challenge, the Fund will also be hosting a virtual auction of a bespoke pair of sneakers that have been redesigned from an original pair of Hi-tec sneakers that Madiba wore during his fight for liberation in our country. The auction will go live on Mandela Day (18 July 2021) on https://freedom.hi-tec.co.za/auction/freedom-shared/ at 10:00 [CAT] with the proceeds donated towards supporting the work of the Fund.
For more information on visit on the Fund visit www.nelsonmandelachildrensfund.co.za or visit www.nmch.org.za to learn more about NMCH
For enquiries please contact:
South Africa Main Office
21 Eastwold Way, Saxonwold 2196, Gauteng
P.O. Box 797 Highlands North 2037
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: (+27) 11 274-5600
Fax (+27) 11 486-3914