Start main page content

Mandela Day a lifestyle for Witsies

- Wits University

Wits staff members and students celebrate Mandela Day, by giving back to their own – the Wits community.

In celebrating Mandela Day, commemorated annually on 18 July, Wits staff and students focused on the Mandela Day Toiletry Bank Challenge.

The Challenge, an initiative of the Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach (WCCO) programme, called on all Witsies to fill up giant bins with toiletry items in aid of needy students.

“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference,” Madiba once said.

This statement is what inspired the Wits Law Clinic staff members to donate toiletries to the WCCO in an effort to contribute to sustainable change as envisaged by Madiba, and celebrate his dedication and service to humanity.

Neo Mahlako, a staff member at the Law Clinic responsible for student training and mitigation says that giving back is a cause very close to his heart and part of his daily work.

Wits staff members donating toiletries for Mandela Day

“Mandela Day is what we live for at the Law Clinic because this is what we do every day. We try by all means, with the limited resources that we have, to assist those who can’t, particularly those who do not have access to legal services. The Day means that we have to go beyond what we are used to and acknowledge that before you are whatever that you are, you are a member of society, and being a member of society, you also have a responsibility beyond your daily routine, and to give back to society. It is everybody’s responsibility to ensure that we do the little that we can to make South Africa a better country. Mandela Day should be a lifestyle.” 

Some of the teams that excelled in the Challenge include: The Law Clinic, the Global Institute for Change, the Faculty of Humanities (Graduate Centre, Finance and Human Resources Departments), the Registrar’s Office and the English as a Foreign Language students at the Wits Language School.

The Advancement Division, which comprises of the Marketing and Communication Department, Alumni, Development and Fundraising Office, Functions and Events, joined hands with the Legal Department to fill up a giant bin with toiletries for students.

The team which collected the most number of toiletry items will win free lunches at the Wits Club.

For their Mandela Day, the US Embassy donated food to the Wits Food Bank and laboured in the Wits food garden located on the Braamfontein Campus West. The garden provides fresh vegetables distributed to students and also used in the Masideleni Daily Meal Food project, which provides one daily hot meal to students facing food insecurity.

Donations to the WCCO are welcome throughout the year. Visit the WCCO on the ground floor at the Matrix for a discussion on how you can assist. Financial contribution to the WCOO can be arranged via the Wits Fundraising and Development Office.