What Pargonauts are doing for Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela International Day is upon us! In celebration of Mandela’s life and the values that this legend stood for, on his birthday 18 July the whole world strives to make the world a better place. Following in the footsteps of Mandela who dedicated 67 years of his life serving humanity, “67 minutes for Mandela” came about, a global movement that sees the Haves giving to the Have Nots, be it in the form of money, food, clothing or voluntary activities.

The Pargo Team will be part of this legacy, in honour of the International icon and humanity by engaging in altruistic affairs. We asked the Pargo team what they’ll be doing for Mandela Day to change the world for the better, and below is what they’ll be doing!

We open each statement with a fitting Madiba quote.

Derk Hoekert: Director & Co-Founder

“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it is an act of justice.” – Nelson Mandela

I will make fruit-shakes to give to people on the streets, an effort to address the concept of “if you take care of your body, your body will take care of you”. Fruit-shakes are nutritious, juicy and refreshing – a simple yet healthy option to improve one’s health. People need to learn that sometimes things aren’t as they seem and that you can make lemonade out of lemons, a fruit salad from fruits or a fruit-shake to spice things up a little. I hope they will appreciate it!

Michaela Gabriel: Head of Marketing

“I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses. We must never forget that it is our duty to protect this environment.” – Nelson Mandela

Did you know a plastic bottle outlives a human by approximately 400 years? My local beach in Milnerton is covered in plastic especially during winter when the wind blows onshore.For Mandela Day, I pledge to collect and fill 67 refuse bags with plastic rubbish. This could take 67 days. In the long term, I feel single-use plastic should be banned and replaced by biodegradable options.

Simone Isaacs: Partner Manager

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination” – Nelson Mandela

For Mandela Day, I will write and post handwritten letters to 67 Incarcerated individuals. In ode of Mandela and his experience as a prisoner. His time was for a cause and my wish is that perhaps these letters would inspire and move the prisoners.

Sam: Graphic Designer

“There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a program that will help me bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate and ridden with a terminal disease.” – Nelson Mandela

I will be handing out ‘gift bags’ to the homeless. I have recently cleared out my cupboard of all my old winter clothes, and have made individual gift bags with a variety of different garments. I will be handing these out to homeless people in my community or beggars at traffic lights. Remember, if you’re going to donate clothes to a shelter or charity, socks are one of the most needed items of clothing by the homeless, but often the least donated. Throw a couple of pairs into your own gift bags if you’ll also be doing this!

I have also recently come across an awesome initiative taking place in America, which sees a couple of graphic designers redesigning homeless peoples’ signs in a vibrant, eye-catching way! The difference it makes to these people is immediately noticeable, as many are not using their signs to make money at all; they’re using them as a voice, to reach out. I think being able to give others a voice to be heard, while helping others through your own passion, is exactly what Mandela day is all about!

Portia Mbele: Marketing Intern

“Without education, your children can never really meet the challenges they will face. So it’s very important to give children education and explain that they should play a role for their country.” Nelson Mandela

I have a selection of carefully selected kid’s books that I will be reading out to children in my community, our future leaders! This is to instil the culture of reading and to address the importance of education as a way of living. Where I come from, gang violence, alcohol abuse and adolescent pregnancy have been a generational lifestyle and seen as “cool”, it’s practically what you see, hear and experience daily. I hope this gesture makes the kids see books and reading as cool and that it doesn’t have to end in the classroom but can be turned into a habit, a habit that is a most powerful weapon than guns!

Fatimah Oosthuizen: Office Administrator

“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” – Nelson Mandela

I will be collecting litter with my family in and around my neighbourhood in Lansdowne. The aim is to contribute to a cleaner and greener city through waste ridding. The litter will be recycled. Recycling is one of the best ways to make a positive impact on our environment and in the world as it helps to reduce pollution, habitat destruction and reduces effects on global warming. Recycling also reduces the need for extracting our raw materials, preserving our natural resources for future generations.

Pargo urges every one of you reading this to play your part in building a better nation and hopefully to make every day a Mandela Day. There’s a sense of fulfilment that one gets when they give or when you do something out of the goodness of your heart. As Nelson Mandela puts it “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return.”

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