Mandela Day must not be forgotten, says MAMAS Alliance

Despite the pandemic and lockdown restrictions, companies can still inspire change.

With the pandemic among other factors affecting many Mandela Day CSI initiatives for the second consecutive year, CSI agency MAMAS Alliance has some advice and guidance to offer corporates this year.

MAMAS Alliance prioritises the empowerment and upliftment of vulnerable youth and children across South Africa, with a network of 2,200 women across 37 NGOs operating from 75 predominantly rural sites that take care of the needs of more than 60,000 children daily.

Prior to 2020, Mandela Day was traditionally celebrated by staff dedicating 67 minutes of their time on initiatives that involve action to inspire change, like painting school or hospital walls and community clean-ups.

While the current situation prevents corporates from having staff physically at sites, there are still many ways to make a significant difference.

Kabelo Mosate, the newly appointed managing director of MAMAS Alliance, said, “Making every day a Mandela Day has never been more vital and no matter how large or small the action might seem, it all contributes towards helping our most vulnerable, whether it is providing food hampers, donating much needed PPE or supporting ECD centres.”

Here are some suggestions about how to have the biggest impact this year:

  • Drop off food parcels or in-kind donations at NGOs or community centres: It is much safer for NGOs to distribute food parcels, rather than having a number of people from a company assisting. However, it is possible to have one or two employees present during the distribution if all Covid-19 regulations are observed. This reduces the risk of exposure to staff while enabling companies to make an impact during the level 4 lockdown currently in place.
  • Donate cash for food parcels or any need: It is safer and more effective for NGOs to buy what they need. Choose an organisation THAT provides monitoring and reporting on how the funds are used.
  • Spend 67 minutes transferring skills and knowledge to NGOs virtually: Employees can still volunteer their time virtually. With the use of technology, skills transfer and knowledge sharing can still happen without being physically present at the centres. It is not only safer, but ensures uninterrupted employee volunteerism. The time spent by your employees can also be claimed for B-BBEE points.