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Mandela Day – EC Students give back

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“Do not look the other way; do not hesitate. Recognize that the world is hungry for action, not words. Act with courage and vision.” Nelson Mandela


To celebrate Mandela Day (18th July) this year, EC Cape Town students and teachers took up the call again. We decided to volunteer at a homeless shelter, one of many in the city. Cape Town’s winters can be harsh and this affects the homeless even more. So, we thought it would be a good idea to support one of the shelters who provide much-needed support and comfort to the poorest of the poor.

It all started with a donation drive and the EC Cape Town community did not disappoint – students and teachers donated food and other needed goods, which we delivered on the day. About 70 students braved the rain to drop off these items and spend some time with the staff and residents of the shelter.

EC Students gathered to prepare for the day of volunteering at the Shelter for Nelson Mandela day.
EC students all gathered before heading to the shelter.

Why do we celebrate Mandela Day?

By Daniele Martins

Everybody knows Nelson Mandela. In November 2009, the United Nations officially declared 18th July as International Nelson Mandela Day. On July 18th you can do something good for 67 minutes. 1 minute for each year that he worked to change the world.  On this day, we went with EC Cape Town students and teachers to The Haven Night Shelter and I’m sure that everyone has learned something for life. It’s not about doing, it’s about being…being human. You can learn English and you can learn to be better every day. 

It’s your choice. 

Delivering donations to The Haven Night Shelter
Delivering donations to The Haven Night Shelter

What does Mandela Day mean to us?

By Yayha Karsoum

Mandela Day is one of the most important days throughout the year. Not just for South Africa but for people all over the world. 

As we know, Nelson Mandela devoted 67 years of his life to tackling institutional racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Then, EC school along with some students decided to go to do volunteer work for 67 minutes. So we decided to visit a homeless shelter and help them with some work.

The shelter was near our school, so we could go on foot. When we arrived there they hosted us. We saw the people and how they smiled because we came to see and help them. We then started talking to the people in the shelter, it was a beautiful thing and we realized that there is no difference between us. After that, the people in charge of the place gave us some information about how we can better deal with the poor and homeless people. When lunchtime came, we offered our help, unfortunately they had already received enough help and donations.

So, thank you EC Cape Town and the shelter for this opportunity to give back.

Students delivered some donations to the shelter.

How can you continue to make a difference?

After speaking to students and teachers, this will not be the end of our involvement and many have asked how to continue helping in some way. We are including a link to the Night Haven Shelter site where you are able to donate time or money, helping the amazing staff and charity organisation.

We have also put a donation box in reception where you can add clothes, food and other goods, which we will donate on a regular basis to the shelter.

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