July is an auspicious month for South Africans, as it is the month we celebrate Mandela Day and the life of our beloved former president. Nelson Mandela’s birthday is on 18 July, and the call is out for people everywhere to celebrate his birthday by acting on the idea that each person has the power to change the world.
According to an article on SouthAfrica.info, the idea of Mandela Day was inspired by Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park in 2008, when he said: " It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now". The United Nations officially declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, recognizing Mandela’s " values and his dedication to the service of humanity" and acknowledging his contribution " to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world". Later, 67 Minutes for Mandela was launched by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, who said: "Mr Mandela has spent 67 years making the world a better place. We’re asking you for 67 minutes".
What did you do with your 67 Minutes on Mandela Day this year? Just Flour and Millstone Flour did what we love best – feeding people!
We chose to do a food drive in partnership with Sithanda Upliftment Projects (Sithanda UP), an NPO run and managed by one of our own team members, Gareth Ruttell. We also called on a team of very willing and excited Grade 3 pupils from Glenashley Junior Primary school to help us. Together, we spent the morning making peanut butter sandwiches, using some of our freshly baked Just Flour loaves. With the aroma of delicious bread around us, we all had to work hard to resist the temptation of gobbling up a sarmie or two ourselves… At the end of the morning, we were able to hand over a very satisfying delivery of sandwiches to the William Clark Gardens / Othandweni Childcare Youth Centre and Edith Benson Babies Home.
For Just Flour and Millstone Flour, giving back to the community is an important part of our business, hence our eager affiliation with Sithanda UP. This was the perfect opportunity to make a difference and we spent a heartwarming morning at the home. With 56 children currently being looked after there, ranging in age from birth to 18 years old, there is a never-ending need for assistance.
Sithanda Upliftment Projects is an Affiliate of the Bert Deana Memorial Fund which is registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (93/0042503) and is a registered Non-Profit Organisation (105-697-NPO). It identifies individuals and / or charities in our community who are attempting to better the lives of those around them. We met up with Gareth who explained to us how they work: "We assess any shortages these individuals or organisations are experiencing that are limiting what they are able to do. Our core function is to then create events or put teams together with the central focus of raising funds for these charitable causes. 100% of the donations go towards the chosen charities. The organisation is run on a volunteer basis."
Just Flour and Millstone Flour will soon have another opportunity to partner with Sithanda UP on 2nd September at Parkview Golf Course, where we are sponsoring a hole and some mouthwatering, freshly baked breads. Sithanda is hosting this golf day in support of one of their chosen charities, Focus on iThemba. iThemba provides a safe haven for previously disadvantaged children from the Valley of 1000 Hills community, through schools and homes. For more information on Sithanda UP or Focus on iThemba and the upcoming golf day, please contact Gareth on email@example.com.
At the end of the day, nothing feels better than knowing that you have done your bit to make a desperately needed difference in somebody’s life. So thank you to the kids at Glenashley Junior Primary, Sithanda UP and most of all to Madiba, for inspiring us all to do better!