International Nelson Mandela Day was started on the 18th July 2009 in response to a call by Nelson Mandela for people of the next generation to take on the fight against social injustices. The UN General Assembly unanimously passed the decision to make a day to commemorate our great statesman by taking up some kind of charitable work. Nelson Mandela inspired us all with his selflessness and sacrifice and all over the world people honour his memory by giving 67 minutes of their time to do the same – 67 is a significant number because it is the total number of years of service which Madiba gave to our country and the world. Avis Fleet are excited to celebrate the values and principles of Mandela Day, making our country a better place for all.
The Stop Hunger Now campaign
Avis Fleet, proudly acting under the Barloworld Trust umbrella, helps to address some of South Africa’s biggest problems. Barloworld has partnerships with civil society to support initiatives from education, to early childhood development, promotion of entrepreneurship, environmental issues and more. For the second year running, we took part in the Stop Hunger Now campaign. This organisation was started in the United States of America in 1998 by Ray Buchanan and it’s purpose is to distribute food all over the world. Members of Avis Fleet staff donated their time towards packing food for underprivileged people all over South Africa for 67-minute shifts.
Think global, act local
Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa (SHN SA) works with volunteers who package food in centres around South Africa. Donated food is delivered to Early Childhood Development centres and pre-schools. The organisation aims to help children because they are the most vulnerable hungry. According to the World Food Programme’s “1000 day window” study the stunted mental and physical growth caused by malnourishment in the first 1000 days is mostly irreversible. SHN SA delivers meals that are fully balanced and designed to address the holistic development of young children. This goes some way toward addressing the fact that hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined and 3.165 million children in South Africa suffer from household hunger.
Meal packing events
All over the world volunteers take part in these events and package highly nutritious meals. What better way to address this serious issue than with a drive that is engaging and fun for participants? These meals consist of rice, soya, dehydrated vegetable mix and a fortification pack of 23 essential minerals and vitamins which have been specifically formulated to combat malnutrition. A team of 20 Avis Fleet employees took part in the event in Cape Town on the 13th July, a team of 20 took part in Port Elizabeth on the 16th July, and two teams of 20 took part in.
Johannesburg on the 19th July. And when you consider that 40 volunteers can package 10 000 meals in under two hours, it makes us extremely happy to think about the children whose lives we have made better with our efforts for Mandela Day.
Graça Machel, Chief Patron of Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa and President Mandela’s widow called for South Africans to keep helping hungry children: “I encourage you to continue supporting this worthy organisation to continue helping hungry children grow up, be educated and to reach their potential as citizens of Southern Africa.”
Avis Fleet is proud to take part in Mandela Day activities because we are committed to making our world a better place.