The theme for Mandela Day this year was “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are,” with a focus on food security and the promotion of community-based gardens. Here at UP, the concept was simple: “Soup & Seeds.” ‘Soup,’ for the food given now and ‘Seeds’: food for the future.
At Universal Paper our Mandela Weeks kicked off on Mandela Day, Monday 18 July, with our theme of ‘Soup & Seeds’ taking shape with the filling, packing and labelling of jars and seeds by UP employees. In total, we prepared 1000 soup and seed kits to be handed out to the Ga-Rankuwa community.
Delivery of the packaged kits was split over 2 events, with the first batch of boxes allocated to the elderly community of Northern Hope Foundation on Friday the 22nd of July. The venue outside Isong Sutang General Dealers in Ga-Rankuwa, was generously provided by Mr Isong himself. Music, coffee and biscuits brought comfort in the cold as instructions on how to plant the seeds were given as well as how to cook the meals in each jar. The crowd graciously received their packages along with a bag of maize meal per packaged box generously provided by VJ and his team at Manickum’s Truck Hire. The day concluded with the planting of trees at the community garden with Manoko from Willow Feather Farm demonstrating how to plant and take care of the indigenous trees.
The second event began bright and early on Friday the 29th of July with morning assembly at Lekgalong Primary School also located in Ga-Rankuwa, Zone 1. The Universal Angels were greeted by friendly young faces and a warm welcome from Mr. Manicus, the school principal. He shared the history of Lekgalong Primary with us, a school built in 1962 and the first to open its doors in Ga-Rankuwa. The day was a great success, with the remaining packages handed out to learners in all classes from Grades R to 7 after sound instruction on how to plant and prepare meals at assembly.
Mandela Day 2022 would not be possible without our generous sponsors, the amazing community leaders of Ga-Rankuwa and our own employees at UP. Universal Paper would like to thank the following sponsors for making this another incredible year for giving and for honouring Nelson Mandela’s legacy:
- Mayford seeds for assisting us in donating various vegetable seeds to the community; in addition to being fed a meal on Mandela Day, seeds give individuals and families the opportunity to grow gardens that could sustain them for future years if cared for
- Brian Geyer, along with the rest of his team at Willow Feather Farm, shared his time and expertise with us on how to nurture the seeds for the best chance of germination and growth
- Mark Steniworth from Store & More was kind enough to sponsor all the jars for the soup ingredients
- Straight Line Graphics for supplying the stickers for the jars
- VJ and his team at Manickum’s Truck Hire for assisting with the transport of goods, the generous donation of bags of maize meal and providing support at the handout to the elderly.
Special thanks must also go to Pinky Sekai and Mr Lamola of Northern Hope Foundation for always ensuring that the work we do together truly gets into the hands of the most vulnerable in our community.
Northern Hope Foundation is a NPO that does incredible work in the Ga-Rankuwa community. View their website at www.northernhopefoundation.com for more information and to see how you can contribute to this fantastic organisation.