You have the potential to transform the world: Mandela

Mandela Day: YOU have the potential to transform the world

Nelson Mandela had three rules which he used to guide his actions: (1) free yourself; (2) free others; and (3) serve every day. Known as a leader who served others, he strongly believed that “what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Motivated by these principles, Nelson Mandela made a call in 2008 for the next generation to take on responsibility of dealing with social injustices – “it is in your hands now”, he said. In 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July to be Nelson Mandela International Day. This day isn’t merely a day on which to celebrate Nelson Mandela – rather, it is a day on which his love for our country should inspire us to serve others.

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Would you like to make a difference? The Nelson Mandela Foundation believes that “Mandela Day actions, no matter how big or small, should consistently focus on the realisation or restoration of dignity and empowerment through contributions”. Accordingly, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has chosen to focus their efforts in the following areas: (1) education and literacy; (2) food security; (3) shelter and infrastructure; and (4) service and volunteerism. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ways in which you can help.

How you could serve:.

  • Volunteer.


Mould Empower Serve  (MES)

MES is an organisation that aims to holistically empower people to live independent, sustainable and meaningful lives. MES runs programmes serving various age groups and has the following opportunities available:




Refilwe Community Project

Refilwe Community Project seeks to provide the best possible care to children in order to break the cycle of poverty and to empower the parents and individuals to become sustainable: spiritually, socially, emotionally and materially.




Wildlands Conservation Trust

Wildlands’ work is structured around a set of activities that combine to form a holistic approach to creating sustainable communities. Here are some of the ways that you can get involved:

  • “Tree for Life” and “Recycling for Life” projects see community members across the country collect recyclable waste and grow indigenous trees which they then barter with Wildlands for livelihood goods, becoming Tree-preneurs and Waste-preneurs.
  • “Clothes for Life” project involves Clothes-preneurs; Clothes-preneurs as opposed to Tree- and Waste-preneurs are individuals in disadvantaged communities who barter or sell second-hand clothing which Wildlands collects from the public, organisations and schools.


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