“South Africa has a special affinity with Mandela Day, as we feel, and rightly so, that Madiba belongs to us”, says Bev Goldman, National President of the Union of Jewish Women in South Africa. Madiba is a title of respect for South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela, deriving from his Xhosa clan name.
In honour of International Mandela Day in July 2023, the wonderful Union of Jewish Women members and volunteers brought joy and delight to so many across the nation, from new mums receiving gorgeous baby-bags for their newborns filled with everything necessary for an infant’s first days on earth, to school children receiving new shoes for the first time in their lives.
Children in informal settlements received, with whoops of delight, playground equipment; thousands of delicious sandwiches were distributed to thousands of grateful recipients; homeless and indigent men and women enjoyed hot, nourishing and mouthwatering meals; and huge packages of various non-perishable foodstuffs were given to pupils at disadvantaged primary schools for their families.
Bev says: “Our memories of Madiba enhanced the pleasure we received from the happiness and joy of the beneficiaries.”
UJW Cape Town branch packed ‘Bags for New Beginnings’ and delivered them to mothers of new born babies at four Kangaroo Wards for prematurely born babies in hospitals around Cape Town.
The Johannesburg UJW branch also packed and delivered similar bags to indigent moms who gave birth on Mandela Day in government hospitals and clinics.
UJW Durban branch made 10,000 sandwiches for the needy and their beneficiaries. They also distributed them to homeless people at the Dennis Hurley Centre. The UJW volunteers are shown here with book vendors who buy donated books from the Centre very cheaply, better themselves by reading them, and then sell them. One of the men read a book about the Holocaust and is now employed at their Holocaust Centre.
The UJW Pretoria branch prepared bags of food for volunteers who came to help clean the streets in a Pretoria suburb on Mandela Day. The food was packed in beautifully designed UJW bags!