Avanade South Africa makes a difference for International Mandela Day
- Posted on October 16, 2015
The day before the official International Mandela Day this year, I was part of a team of 18 Avanade volunteers who visited Luvuyo Children’s Home to engage in acts of kindness. Mandela Day is a global call-to-action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and has the ability to make an impact. It is celebrated annually on July 18th as International Mandela Day as declared by the United Nations in honour of Nelson Mandela.
Luvuyo Orphanage Home takes care of orphaned children and is located in Soshanguve, one of the many townships in South Africa. The children’s home relies on donations and goodwill from well-wishers to sustain itself. The idea to visit a children’s home was inspired in part by a conversation with one of my colleagues, Wayne Hanslo, who had been part of a similar effort previously. Shortly after, a planning team was formed. With support from our Avanade Executive Team, and sponsorship of the HR Department headed by Carmen Short, we decided to visit the home on International Mandela Day.
The Avanade South Africa team embarked on spending time with the children and caregivers, and engaging with the larger community. It was such a proud moment to be part of such a difference flying the “orange” banner.
It was so heartwarming to see 2-year olds interacting with some of the Avanade team members, and the feeling of family was evident with smiley faces through and through. The Avanade team also shared a meal (lots of pizza!) and party packs with the kids and caregivers and proceeded to help the kids with face and finger painting, as well as masterful canvas paintworks.
In total, we were able to feed more than 60 people, donate shoes, blankets and clothing items to each of the 27 children, as well as a collection of books to the Orphanages library.
We were especially honoured to be asked to speak live by one of the local radio stations, (Soshanguve FM), who were covering the various activities for Mandela Day. One of our directors, Emmanuel Kekana, was able to represent Avanade in this regard, shedding light on why giving back was important to Avanade and particularly why Avanade South Africa chose to be part of the Mandela Day 67 Minutes initiative.
Having only joined Avanade a few months earlier, I must say I felt proud to be part of a company and a team of individuals that care about making a difference in the lives of others. This is something that I personally value. I’m glad too to have been part of this year’s effort and I salute all those volunteers who made this day such a success!
Finger painting masterpiece