The 18th of July was declared international Nelson Mandela Day by the United
Nations General Assembly in 2009. The celebration of this day gives recognition to
South Africa’s former president, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, for his commitment to
human rights, conflict resolution and reconciliation. This important day was
established to inspire people to embrace the values of democracy and contribute
towards a just and fair society.
On Nelson Mandela Day, people are encouraged to spend 67 minutes of their time
to make the world a better place, one small step at a time. The number 67
represents the number of years Mandela fought for human rights and the
abolishment of apartheid. Mahatma Gandhi was Nelson Mandela’s role model: they
shared the same passion to fight for human rights and overcome an oppressive
regime. Nelson Mandela has inspired millions of people across the globe, for
example, Barack Obama, Morgan Freeman, former president George H.W. Bush,
Oprah Winfrey and the current United States president, Joe Biden (to name only a
few well-known people in the United States).
The Department of Human Resource Management (D-HRM) chose to contribute 67
minutes of its time to the Louis Botha Children’s Home in honour of Nelson Mandela
Day. The Louis Botha Children’s Home is known for hosting an annual festival of
lights in conjunction with Relish Bistro in Springbok Park, Hatfield. Our department
became aware of the positive impact and importance of donations and other
contributions made to this children’s home. The home currently houses over 100
children between the ages of 7 and 11 years. There are 11 different houses, each
with two house parents who contribute their time and effort to make a difference in
the children’s lives. On 9 September 2022, two postgraduate students from D-HRM
visited the home, donating cleaning supplies, previously worn clothes and sanitary
products. During this visit, we were fortunate enough to meet Johan Ferreira (one of
the house fathers), to be taken on a tour of the property, and to get an idea of how
the home looked after its children. The tour made us realise how valuable every
donation is to the children’s home, and how much of a difference it makes in each
‘Each loaf of bread that is donated saves the children’s home R20 from buying a loaf
of bread’, are the touching words spoken by Verne Smith, an employee of Finders
Keepers. Even the smallest donation can save money that the home can use for
other vital needs.
Hannah Jansen van Vuuren and Sonaly Ranchod (both of them assistants in the D-
HRM, and BCom (Industrial Psychology) honours students) agree that, ‘In your eyes
a donation may not be valuable but it matters more to someone else’.
In honouring Nelson Mandela Day 2022, D-HRM put into practice the words of Prof.
Alewyn Nel (Head: Department of Human Resource Management): ‘As an
educational institution, it is important to impart a sense of social responsibility to our
students in order for them to give back to the community and assist others with fewer
opportunities. This is a core value our youth needs to ensure we build and instil to
promote a caring society for the future’.