“So like it is extremely boring, but I’ve never felt so good about myself. While we were in the car afterwards driving away, it was nice to see so many homeless people eating the food I helped make.”
Sam Mendelsohn, age 10, sharing after volunteering with Mensch Network Member Danny Diliberto’s organisation Ladles of Love.
Words: Gina Flash
Mandela Day this year marks the 10th anniversary of Madiba’s passing in December 2013.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation has themed their 10-year remembrance with the call to action “The Legacy Lives on Through You”. What a beautiful and appropriate reminder that each of us has a role to play in transforming South Africa. With actions big and small. In the words of young Sam Mendelsohn quoted here, we’re reminded that often in giving of ourselves, we gain as much, if not more, than we give.
For the past 6 years, Mensch has hosted a community ‘cook-a-thon’, an action and volunteering day to mark Mandela Day. A day that invites our community to pitch in, actively support and learn more about, Jewish-led organisations in our Mensch Network, working to better society. Later in the year in mid-November, we also help to activate the international day of volunteering, Mitzvah Day, across Southern Africa. Joining over 40,000 people world-wide, Mensch helps to create community volunteering projects in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Johannesburg and even Namibia! A lot of work goes into these two flagship volunteering days, and this year we are taking things up a notch. Extending the reach and impact of these 2 once-off events into a 3-month volunteering programme!
An opportunity to volunteer beyond Mitzvah Day
Mandela Day to Mitzvah Day! We are offering you an opportunity to volunteer on a regular basis, at times that suit you, and in a way that serves the organisation you’re working with. As a Mensch volunteer on this programme you will be part of a cohort of Capetonian Jews volunteering across the city, in a variety of ways. We will meet monthly to connect, reflect and dig a little deeper into what is innately Jewish about the act of service; and discuss the tensions of doing this work in our context.
So, join us at this year’s Mensch Mandela Day communal cook-a-thon, meet and learn about the organisations looking for volunteers as part of this longer-term volunteering programme!