Homeless benefit from CBD Mandela Day projects

Castle of Good Hope CEO Calvyn Gilfellan picks up a wreath for the laying ceremony, held in honour of all those who died in service of the country.
The City was buzzing with programmes for Mandela Day, celebrated on Thursday July 18, with different organisations braving the cold to do 67 minutes of good in honour of South Africa’s late president, Nelson Mandela.

Mayor Dan Plato attended the Citizens of Change event at the Castle of Good Hope alongside Judge Siraj Desai, Castle CEO Calvyn Gilfellan, religious leaders and a few local political leaders. 

They also had a wreath-laying ceremony for all who had died in service of the country. 

Mr Gilfellan said on Sunday, February 11, 1990, he and the staff at the Castle had welcomed Nelson Mandela, after he made his first speech as a free man.

“Madiba and our struggle heroes fought for everything this castle stood for, including the oppression of our people. He would be so proud to see people from different walks of life coming together in his name to fight our modern challenges.”
Other activities at the Castle included cooking food master-classes, where 500 fish were prepared to feed 400 hungry people in the city. Write Sisters, group of women who had some scary moments in the Castle’s water tunnels (“Tourist tunnel trauma, CapeTowner, June 15, 2017), also joined in giving back to the homeless, who helped them in the ordeal. 

CBD-based feeding programme Ladles of Love held the biggest soup kitchen in the city, and fed soup and bread to more than 1 000 street people on Mandela Day. 

Ladles of Love founder Danny Diliberto said over 800 volunteers made their 67-minute bookings, which cost R100 to help at the soup kitchen. 

The funds raised were used for Ladles of Love’s weekly feeding schemes. 

Businesses also donated vegetables, dry ingredients, bread, cold drinks, buckets, knives, chopping boards and bowls prior to the event. 

Volunteers chopped veggies, mixed soup, and served over 2 000 litres of soup. Some was also donated to other feeding schemes across the city. 

The Street Store also had a pop-up store alongside the soup kitchen, where homeless people received blankets and warm clothing. 
The South African National Zakáh Fund (SANZAF) handed out food at the District Six Community Health Centre on Mandela Day, July 18. Sanszaf head of marketing, Sakeena Bock, said: “Every day is Mandela Day for us because we live to do nothing but good deeds and that is what Nelson Mandela would have wanted.” 

The Consulate General of France, in partnership with the French association for the children of South Africa, held a jazz evening fundraiser at its Loop Street offices as part of the Mandela Day celebrations. 

The fund-raiser was in support of House of Hope, a Hout Bay NGO run by ex-political prisoner which was the vision of Struggle stalwart, Denis Goldberg.

The French consul general, Laurent Amar, said he visited Dr Goldberg at his Hout Bay home last year, and this is where he learnt of House of Hope, and how it brought opportunities to the children of Hout Bay. 

The Cape Town International Convention Centre spent Mandela Day with FoodForward SA, sponsoring the venue for their food donation and packaging drive. CTICC staff participated in the drive by packing food, which supported 530 beneficiary organisations. In addition to this, the CTICC donated blankets and socks to its local community partner, Journey of Enrichment (JOE), who handed the items to homeless people.

Cape Town-based ad agency 99c hosted  the possibly the first evera gourmet soup kitchen at the Chef’s Studio on Bree street, called the 99c Winter Karma Kitchen. The soup kitchen was in honour of 99c staff member Kirsty Webster, who passed away in 2016. 

Every year in winter, Kirsty took it upon herself to collect warm clothes and blankets, before hitting the streets of Cape Town to personally hand over these packages to those in need. When Kirsty passed away, her employer continued her legacy through initiating an internal drive called Winter Karma, together with Kirsty’s parents Robin and Adele Webster. 

The Table Bay Hotel at the Waterfront was officially opened in 1997 by the late Nelson Mandela. In honour of him and in the spirit of his immense generosity and love for children, employees from The Table Bay spent their 67 minutes helping the volunteers at GrandWest to pack meal parcels for children in need as part of the nationwide Rise Against Hunger food packing drive. They packed enough meals to feed about 75 000 preschool children three times a week for the rest of the school year. 

Employees of CBD-based business Quicket spent Mandela Day raising awareness about the homeless. 

They spoke to motoristsat the corners of Long and Buitensingel Streets, and Buitengracht and Buitensingel Streets, and handed out shelter passports, which entitles the recipient to a hot meal, a shower, a bed for the night and access to social services at any Haven night shelter in the Western Cape. The Shelter Passport is available on Quicket.co.za 

Cape Community Newspapers, which publishes the CapeTowner and its sister publications, made 40 waterproof sleeping bags for the homeless.

The Good Night and God Bless Sleeping Bags were invented by Jo Maxwell fourteen14 years ago. Made out of newspaper, recycled plastic and duct packaging tape, the bags are intended to help those who are the homeless stay warm and dry during the winter.

Cape Community Newspapers editor, Chantel Erfort, said it was important for reporters to connect with the community. “As journalists, I think it’s pretty easy for us to become disconnected from real life and from some of the difficulties that people face in real life, so the initiative 
has really helped us to get in touch.”