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United Way Blog

United Way South Africa Celebrated Mandela Day by focusing on education

Mandela Day is celebrated each year in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on July 18. It is a celebration of Madiba’s legacy to honor his life’s work and dedicate 67 minutes to making a difference in our communities.

This year, United Way South Africa invited 40 volunteers from multiple businesses to donate school supplies and sanitary products for HIV positive orphans and vulnerable children at Childline Gauteng.

"Thank you for being the most amazing partners – you are just awesome," said Lynne Cawood, Director of Childline Gauteng. "The gifts for our children were so incredible and will motivate them to continue to be the best they can be in school and out! This was truly a Magical Madiba Day – thank you for sharing in the South African Miracle!"

Our volunteers collected, packed and donated over R40,000  (almost USD $3,000) worth of stationery supplies for 100 students and sanitary products for 40 girls to get them all through a year’s worth of schooling. Without sanitary products, girls miss approximately five days of school per month, about 60 days per year. By supplying these 40 girls with sanitary products – enough for a year – we were able to give them back a collective 2,400 days of school.

Our 67 minutes and Mandela Day collaboration was a GREAT success thanks to our corporate partners from Eli Lilly and Company, Distell, Procter & Gamble, Valley Group, Transformation Solutions and YBK Consulting.

For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity. He believed that every individual has the ability and the responsibility to make positive change in the world. As he called upon every responsible citizen to take action and inspire change, his words of encouragement were,"We can change the world to make it a better place. It is in your hands now." The baton of leadership has been handed over to us.