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CAFSA takes Action Against Poverty this Mandela Month

03 August, 2017


“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life” – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

This Nelson Mandela Month, July 2017, Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa (CAFSA) got involved in, and facilitated, meaningful activations across the country in celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy.

A bold new theme – Action Against Poverty – was introduced by the Nelson Mandela Foundation for Mandela Month 2017, which seeks to mobilise people to take positive action towards alleviating poverty, with a focus on making a sustainable impact in South Africa.

On Mandela Day, 18 July, CAFSA enjoyed a vibrant, event-filled day, as staff members, clients and their non-profit beneficiaries got involved in philanthropic activations across the country.

Here is a roundup of our Nelson Mandela Day activities:


VISA volunteers in Jo’burg assist Habitat for Humanity one brick at a time


13 volunteers from VISA South Africa's Johannesburg office came together to assist with Habitat for Humanity South Africa's Mandela Build 2017 at Orange Farm in Gauteng.

The VISA team worked tirelessly, and efficiently, to help build a home for Peter Ndebele and his sister, Tumelo. Peter and his sister will no longer have to worry about extreme weather conditions, shack fires and rat infestations in their home thanks to the support of VISA South Africa.

CAFSA was pleased to facilitate this Nelson Mandela Day activity for VISA South Africa volunteers, who thoroughly enjoyed the day, assisting Habitat for Humanity in their goal to build communities one brick at a time.



Shell Durban gets involved in an action-packed challenge with the Domino Foundation


11 Shell employees from the Durban regional office volunteered at the Domino Foundation, an organisation that helps to meet the needs of vulnerable and impoverished communities in the area. On a daily basis, the Domino Foundation impacts the lives of 5 000 beneficiaries through their various programmes.

On Nelson Mandela Day, Shell volunteers spent 67 minutes tackling a 670m line-up of fun-filled activities that were relevant to the work that the Domino Foundation is involved in.

The activities ranged from creating play dough and numeracy charts for children at the local ECD, making sandwiches for their feeding scheme and creating jewellery and magnets for their anti-human-trafficking project.

“Assisting The Domino Foundation team was a great experience and I felt that I really made a difference. I know the sandwiches will go to the needy and the painted numbers will go to the nursery,” said one of the volunteers from Shell who participated on the day.


Shell Jo’burg and Cape Town raise over R40k for their #SafetoSchoolSafetoHome initiative


With a focus on the importance of road safety in South Africa, 114 employees from the Shell Johannesburg and Cape Town offices got involved in fun and engaging activities, facilitated by Active Education, to promote road safety and raise money to purchase high-visibility sashes for Foundation Phase learners at Lungisani Primary School in Johannesburg and Perivale Primary School in Cape Town.

CAFSA had a wonderful time facilitating Shell’s Mandela Day activations, which formed part of Shell's #SafetoSchoolSafetoHome campaign and wider mission to help keep children in South Africa safe when walking from home to school and back.

As part of the Mandela Day activities, a team from Active Education shared useful information about road safety, and spoke about the importance of the sashes, and how to use them. The Shell employee volunteers together raised over R42 000, which Shell generously matched, taking the total to over R84 000 (enough money to buy over 4200 high-visibility sashes), which will enable them to not only provide Lungisani and Perivale school learners with sashes, but to expand the programme to other schools too.


CAFSA joins hands with Habitat for Humanity SA


CAFSA staff members joined Habitat for Humanity South Africa for their Mandela Build 2017, a project which set out to build 67 homes for 67 families in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg from 17 to 21 July 2017 .

Habitat for Humanity’s aim is to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter and it was a privilege for CAFSA employees to work with Orange Farm community member, Nozizwe Nkatlo to assist her to build a home for herself and her 11-year-old daughter.

“My daughter and I cannot wait to live in a brick and mortar house. The environment of living in a shack undermines one’s confidence. My daughter and I cannot wait to have running water inside the house and take a long bath together in the bathtub. I am mentioning this smallest thing because for us this will be a big transition from a shack to a decent brick and mortar house”, says Nozizwe.

Final thoughts

As we look back on the positive happenings of Nelson Mandela Day and Nelson Mandela Month, CEO of CAFSA, Gill Bates, reflects on its significance: “Nelson Mandela Month is an opportunity for all of us – civil society, the corporate and public sectors – to join hands and work together to honour the legacy left by President Nelson Mandela, and to continue to sustainably build on the foundations of our vibrant democracy.”

To individuals, businesses, government and organisations let’s continue, beyond Nelson Mandela Month, to take Action Against Poverty.