An Interview with The Mandela Day Director: Yase Godlo
The Mandela Day campaign is a celebration of our collective power to create a global movement for good and to make a positive impact on the world. The forgood team sat down with Yase Godlo to chat about all things Mandela Day.
If you haven’t started planning yet, the time is now! Visit our Mandela Day 2021 campaign on forgood. Or, if you’d like to be part of the inner circle, feel free to join the Mandela Day Global Network, a community also running on the forgood platform.
Morning Yase! Let’s start off with what everyone is thinking. How has Mandela Day changed to accommodate the global pandemic?
For us as the Mandela Day team, the core focus has been to create the biggest digital platforms for every citizen to have an opportunity to participate in doing good. Our Mandela Day Global Network has been a very effective platform in our strategic focus to accommodate the global pandemic. We’ve seen a growth in participation worldwide, people responding to help those in need. I hope for a more engaged community within our Mandela Day Global Network, not only engaged with our team, but also across all other charitable organisations that are on forgood.
What are your favourite giving projects that you’ve seen during lockdowns?
I have been very excited by the kind of projects being driven by our Partner Schools. Our colleagues in civil society have continued with amazing initiatives, especially in the Education sector. There was beautiful work done by Old Mutual last year supporting learners in Grade 12 through the #21ActsOfGoodness campaign.
As the Mandela Day team, we are trying to make sure that we continue to support education as one of our goals. We have 5FM who came onboard with SABC to drive a National Schools Civvies Day campaign to give young people an opportunity to become part of a giving movement and help change lives. These kinds of campaigns, they really move one and show that we are a community that has got UBUNTU and can care for each other.
What have you been up to at the moment, as the Nelson Mandela Foundation?
We’ve had quite a lot of activities and it has always been around community-based work. As the Foundation, we have distributed solar panels to different communities, this has been a very key response for us, especially with South Africans facing loadshedding. We have focused this initiative on very rural and remote communities, enabling them with lights and electricity to use for other essentials.
We have also been continuing with our Each1Feed1 campaign, which has been received really well. We’ve received a lot of support from the public and a huge amount of food distribution has been facilitated in different parts of South Africa (focusing on ECD Centres, women and child-headed homes and the elderly). We’ve also received PPE’s that we managed to distribute to our Partner Schools, and we have another round coming end of July 2021.
What should South Africans do this Mandela Day?
As the Mandela Day team, we would really appreciate it if South Africans and individuals across the globe came together and participated in a common goal to change someone’s life.
It is important that we find the motivation and be inspired by Nelson Mandela and understand that doing good should be something beyond just Mandela Month. As the Nelson Mandela Foundation, we call upon everyone to contribute to the Each1Feed1 food distribution network by donating non-perishable food items at all participating malls for Mandela Day. All participating malls will have clearly marked signage and a Mandela Day representative at the collection point where people can drop off their donations.
We would like to see a lot more initiatives happening all over the Country. We’ve seen an incredible 67 Blankets Drive for Mandela Day, a distribution of beautiful blankets donated to those in need. South Africans are amazing!
These are some of the initiatives that people can get involved in during Mandela Day 2021, but our main call is for individuals and groups to support Each1Feed1. This will be bringing change to our communities. Let us show support for families going through hard times and everyone else affected by the pandemic.
Some resources can be found here
Let us bring back humanity and remember the rule of law and food for all.
How have you seen your corporate partners reacting to this new style of “Digital” Mandela Day?
It has taken some time for people to really adapt to this “new normal”. We are now realizing and finding ways to reach out to people and continue to make a difference and be part of a bigger community.
We have seen a lot of connections through corporates. Some responding with food parcels and others supporting the schooling system. There has been a true “great force” in motion, even from the Government.
We receive lots of people wanting to do good and we have referred them to the Mandela Day Global Network. It has made life easy and understanding that there is an online platform where people can do good digitally (and safely) is a success for us.
Even international companies like Gucci want to get involved with us and to support organisations remotely. It is good to each “virtual” connection happening and we want to see more of these happening.
How is the Mandela Day Global Network coming along, the global community of givers, under the Nelson Mandela brand?
The Mandela Day Global Network is one of our GREAT platforms where our community of changemakers gets an opportunity to volunteer time, donate goods and money to NPO’s who need their help. This platform has become a major part of our strategy for reaching communities and making a difference. We are focusing our energy on that and channeling our supporters to the platform.
Do you have any advice for South Africans who are feeling down, fatigued by the pandemic?
I think everyone was hopeful that in 2021, we would be reaching the horizon, but unfortunately, we still have COVID-19. It has affected everyone differently, even some industries are currently unable to operate – hospitality, events, and entertainment. Also, those who must work from home have to contend with this new way of life. We are all exhausted.
We need to find new hope and we really need each other. COVID taught us love, to care for each other. Caring is at the centre of everything as people are dealing with a lot. I want everyone to remember how caring we are as a Nation.