Making every day a Mandela Day celebrates Madiba’s life and legacy in a way that will bring about sustainable change.
The spirit of Ubuntu was alive and well as the University of Johannesburg (UJ) heeded the call to promote social cohesion in commemorating Nelson Mandela’s birthday. This year officially marked the 10-year anniversary of the internationally recognised Mandela Day.
UJ, together with Habitat for Humanity South Africa (Habitat SA) in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Department of Human Settlements honoured their 67 minutes of Mandela Day at Palm Ridge, Katlehong where they assisted in bricklaying of community houses and conducting a handing-over ceremony of the houses.
The theme of 2019’s Mandela Day event was, ‘Action Against Poverty’, endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and was the focus for the UJ community. The 2019 Nelson Mandela Day pillars integrated with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are identified as follows:
- Education & Literacy
- Food & Nutrition
- Active Citizenship
“It was Mandela’s dream that we all live in a country where no one is homeless. As UJ’s community engagement unit, we believe we can all contribute to the development of South Africa and such projects are a symbol that this country can fix its own problems. But believing is not enough, so hence we build,” says UJ’s Lebogang Mawelela, Community Engagement Specialist.
UJ staff and orange army student volunteer champions also dedicated their time by engaging in a city cleanup in Johannesburg CBD. They also participated in cleaning and general maintenance work in and around the Helen Joseph, Chris Hani, Rahima Moosa and the Charlotte Maxeke hospitals.
Furthermore, UJ staffers and students donated children’s reading books, non-perishable foods as well as prepared food, which was distributed to children in the hospitals and nursery schools.