Our late President and Humanitarian Nelson Mandela was remembered internationally on the 18th, in celebration of his birthday and of his generous spirit we were summoned to take part in volunteering 67 minutes of our time to do good.

The SPICE4LIFE Innovation Task Force Team compiled a list named 67 Acts of Kindness. The aim was to extend the 67 Minutes to 67 Acts of Kindness and Generosity – whether it was through giving time, money, knowledge – any gesture that would make a difference in someone’s life or day.

With our creative juices flowing, we congregated in the Flight Centre, our think tank, and listed everything from giving a compliment to a stranger and sharing lunch with a colleague, to paying tribute to Mandela through a team “Mandela Dance”, to planting a tree and organising a beginners workshop for colleagues so they could learn the basics of managing finances, using Photoshop, and so on. We even managed to arrange an unforgettable soccer experience for our Youth Academy boys!

But we wanted to do more, and believing that charity begins at home, we looked around our community for inspiration. Sanccob is a rescue and rehabilitation organisation for endangered seabirds, we are volunteering with them for a day, getting educated on animal welfare and assisting to clean penguins who are victims of oil spills in the sea.

Joe Slovo remains one of the most impoverished communities in Cape Town, the scope of the poverty includes a lack of educational tools. It is for this reason that we decided to support the #DonateALibrary concept. Echoing Nelson Mandela’s words, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Literacy is the pillar of education, and more than equipping a child with the ability to read, it is an instrument for understanding, imagination and ultimately, a child’s confidence in their contribution to the world.

The South African Blood Service (SANBS) steadily reports a shortage of blood supply. This means patients needing a blood transfusion as a result of an accident or illness face the risk of health obstacles or even death due to the unavailability of blood. The Organ Donor Foundation faces the same struggle, patients in line for an organ transplant are forced to wait months on end, sometimes years, and many times until their untimely deaths for an organ to be available.

Our team decided to be part of donating and raising awareness for these causes. From empirical research and the SANBS, we find that people reject donating blood because they think it is an HIV test and for fear of the result. Organ donation faces a related stigma – people believe they will not be “whole if they lose a part of themselves”, the religious fear not going to heaven and others think they have to be alive to donate an organ. This is not entirely true – a person may register to donate after their death in the event of a fatal accident or irreversible coma.

The aim of these campaigns is not to ‘guilt trip’ people into being saviours, but rather to educate them on the importance of outstretching our hands when we have the ability to do so. Everyone is capable of becoming a bigger contribution than they imagined, and by taking part in these we remind ourselves of the concept of Ubuntu: I am because you are.

 

About The Author

Jesse-Lee Rowe
Communications Manager

Jesse-Lee, a creative at heart, has fallen in love with the vision of SPICE4LIFE and brings an unconventional mix of skills to the table, used to share this love with the world. Jesse-Lee is passionate about story telling, and believes that there are many ways to tell a story – her methods of choice include writing and visual communication through graphic design, video, and photography. Although creative, Jesse-Lee also enjoys the more serious side of things and has a zealous love for business – particularly marketing, relationship management and strategy.

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