In its centenary year, staff and students of Stellenbosch University (SU) will again celebrate International Mandela Day with various projects and initiatives. Activities kick off in the week of 18 July, but the majority will take place in the week of 27 July when students are back on campus. Amongst others, the campus community sets out to make 10 000 sandwiches for those in need in around Stellenbosch.
- Activities on the Stellenbosch Campus include a drive to collect comfort packs and food items for students (18 July – 3 August), a colloquium themed After Mandela with panellists from among others Harvard (18 July); a knitting initiative to create teddy bears for the Tygerberg Hospital (various dates); a Chamber Music Community Concert at the Rietenbosch Primary School Hall in Cloetesville (15 July); Maties Sport hosting a Sports Day at Devon Valley Primary (18 July); and
- The Tygerberg Campus will see, amongst others, a Fun Run/Walk (18 July) to collect toiletries and non-perishable food items to be donated and a clean-up under the bridge near the entrance to the campus as well as the canal adjacent to the railway line (17 July).
Activities will culminate in a collaborative community event in the Kylemore area on 25 July. Here a “WOW Debatfees" (debating competition), a health promotion event, a Maties Sports Day as well as an Amazing Reading Race – a fun programme designed to create awareness around the importance of reading with speed and comprehension – are to be held.
- Click here for more information on all the activities.
18 July 2018 heralds 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela. 2018 also marks SU's centenary commemoration, which was formed out of the Victoria College in 1918.
Themed 100 years of learning, growing and moving forward together, the commemoration signifies a new beginning for Stellenbosch University, encapsulated in the slogan: saam vorentoe | forward together | masiye phambili.
“Celebrating the legacy of Madiba has been part of the SU Centenary Commemorations this year," says Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director: Social Impact and Transformation. “There has been a number of formal and informal deliberations and events on the SU campuses to purposefully guide our reflection on the life and legacy of the late father of our nation. The Mandela week celebrations will be a culmination of ongoing activities to honour Madiba.
“It is important that we constantly remind ourselves to give back. And we should be deliberate in doing so. The legacy of Madiba not only allows us to do exactly that but it also guides us in doing so humbly."
SU awarded an honorary doctorate to Nelson Mandela in 1996 for being “a symbol of empowerment through learning, an icon of peace and reconciliation through negotiation, and an embodiment of justice and humanity".
“This is a legacy that we continue to honour at Stellenbosch University, and one that will serve us well as we enter the second century of our existence. We share Madiba's conviction that 'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world'," says SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers.
According to Ms Renee Hector-Kannemeyer, Deputy Director: Social Impact and Head of Matie Community Service (MCS), “the SU Mandela day theme, '100 ways to impact', is in line with SU's centenary commemoration as well as the #SendMe theme inspired by President Cyril Ramaphosa's invitation and moving quote of the late Hugh Masekela during the State of the Nation Address this year. And this is what the institution sets out to do with Mandela Day creating opportunities for staff and students to contribute their 67 minutes through various initiatives."
“Our University is committed to contribute actively to societal well-being. Celebrating the life of this wonderful leader is also an opportunity to follow in his footsteps and to demonstrate our active citizenship in tangible ways," Dr Antoinette Smith-Tolken, Director: Social Impact, adds.
Toasties for Tummies initiative
An anchor initiative of the Mandela Week celebration is the Toasties for Tummies Initiative which entails making a whopping 10 000 sandwiches for various organisations around Stellenbosch. The Golden Key-Stellenbosch Chapter, in association with MCS, hosts the project annually.
“SU endeavours to create opportunities around Mandela Day that can result in ongoing, sustained volunteer work for students and staff," explains Ms Michelle Pietersen, Senior Programme Manager at MCS. “The Toasties for Tummies initiative, creating an awareness of food security challenges facing the Stellenbosch community, serves as the perfect platform in this regard."
Apart from the Toasties for Tummies Initiative, a wide range of events involving education, the arts, sport, health promotion, discussions, reading competitions and donation drives, amongst others, are taking place on both the Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses. Various faculties and professional and support service environments thus join hands in honouring Madiba during Mandela Week.
Activities will culminate with a collaborative community event in the Kylemore area on 25 July.
- To view opportunities for volunteer work during the month of July 2018 and to see how you can get involved, please click here.