NVT Celebrates Mandela Day by giving 67 minutes to Kurland

Yanga Manyakanyaka
25 July 2014

Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each 18 July (on Mandela’s birthday). The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009.

Mandela Day is not meant as a public holiday, but as a day to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela, South Africa‘s former President, and his values, through volunteering and community service.

Mandela Day 1

Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact.

Mandela Day 2

Mac from Rocky Road Wwisa delivering compost for the trees.

The Natures Valley Trust spent our 67 minutes in Kurland Village doing tree maintenance. Over the years we have planted hundreds of trees in the community. Unfortunately not all the trees are being looked after by the community so we as the Natures Valley Trust decided to continue striving to ensure that Kurland Village is green and beautiful for future generations. We started on Monday the 14th of July to prepare for the Friday by cutting stakes to support the trees from an alien invasive tree that is growing out of control in the farms at Crags, suggested by one of our partners Mac from WWISA the NVT team manage to cut down about 50 of these invasive species in less than four hours – impressive right?

Mandela Day 3

Eco-club members adding compost whilst Yola is doing some pruning.

Then as Friday came we invited the eco club members of Crags primary school, ORCA foundation volunteers, WWISA volunteers and Wildlands Studies scholars who spent a week with us to all join us for the 67 minutes of serving. We were very surprised in having volunteers from far as Cape Town who had only came for holiday wanting to participate in this great initiative. We ended up having a huge team, we were planning on maintaining about 30 trees we ended up maintaining all the trees we planted a year ago. Here is what the team had to say about Mandela day what it means for them:

Mandela Day 4

Mark with volunteers and the Wildlands group.

Ruth Moeti “What does Mandela Day mean to me? As an Environmentalist, Mandela Day is also about environmental freedom and giving back to the environment and the resources they give to us. It’s about getting communities involved in managing the environment.”

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Mark ensuring that tree gets its compost.

Kellyn Whitehead “To me Mandela day means helping those less fortunate than yourself, no matter how small the gesture, it goes a long way.”



Mandela Day 6

Minke assisted by ”little” hands.



Noluyolo Obose  “In celebration of Tata Madiba’s birthday, today Kurland village in Plettenberg bay looks beautiful, green and healthy because of the 67 minutes that I wisely spent on maintaining the trees that was planted for the community in the past. Let’s make every day Mandela day”


Mandela Day 7

Yola demonstrating tree maintenance.


Katie Powell (a UK Volunteer) “It was such a fantastic feeling to see everyone from all sorts of different backgrounds unite in the community, coming together to help preserve life through the tree maintenance. It’s the least we can do as the next generation to give something back to the community, and to celebrate the life and work of Madiba.”

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A happy group with a well maintained tree!

Olivia Reddy (a UK Volunteer) “Mandela day means giving back and helping out with those less fortunate and sharing knowledge to make a better future

Babalwa Mqokeli “Mandela Day means a choice and ability to give back, touch people’s lives and lend a helping where you can.”

Mandela Day 9

Mark “Mallet man” staking the tree.

Mark Brown “Mandela day epitomises for me the hope I have for my country. South African’s from all ages, races, backgrounds giving back to their community in recognition of the sacrifice of the greatest South African ever – Tata Madiba. His ethos, passion and commitment to serve all South Africans lives on through our actions”.

Mandela Day 10

Yanga demonstrating how to clean the tree root collar.

Mandela Day 11

A visitor from Cape Town joining us for Mandela Day.

Yanga manyakanyaka “This day presents an opportunity for everyone to unite and help to make the world a better place without expecting anything in return. It represents a true meaning of Ubuntu.”

The Mandela Day campaign message is:

“Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes.”

“We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation,” according to a statement issued on Mandela’s behalf.

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Doing a mini clean-up as well.

Mandela Day 13

Daniel from ORCA with volunteers.

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Let’s all get involved….