With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting many Mandela Day CSI initiatives for the second year running, CSI Agency MAMAS Alliance has some advice and guidance to offer corporates this year.
While the current situation prevents corporates from necessarily having staff physically at various sites, MAMAS Alliance says that there are so many ongoing options that can really make a significant difference, far beyond Mandela Day, especially given the impact that the riots and looting have had on certain NGOs particularly in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng, directly impacting so many communities.
MAMAS Alliance prioritizes the empowerment and upliftment of vulnerable youth and children across South Africa, with a network of 2 200 Mamas across 33 independent autonomous NGOs operating from 75 predominantly rural sites. Companies who collaborate with MAMAS Alliance throughout the year can benefit from having the necessary logistics and admin taken care of, at no cost, with 100% of their CSI funds going directly to those in need, to better the lives of our children and youth.
Prior to 2020, Mandela Day was traditionally celebrated by staff dedicating 67 minutes of their time to make sandwiches, paint school or hospital walls, community clean ups and the like, initiatives that involved action to inspire change. Here are some suggestions about how to have the biggest impact this year:
Drop off food parcels or any in-kind donations to NGOs or community centres.
At this time, it is much safer for the NGOs to distribute the food parcels themselves than having a group of people from a company assisting them. However, one or two employees present during the distribution can be possible given that all COVID-19 regulations are thoroughly observed. This reduces the risk of exposure to staff while enabling companies to make an impact during level 4.
Donate cash for food parcels or any need.
This is the best and safest option to make an impact during this period. In our experience, it is safer and more effective for the NGOs to buy what they need rather than being in contact with the employees of companies and increasing exposure to Covid-19. Directing this funding through the CSI agency MAMAS Alliance ensures that the investment goes directly to intended beneficiaries, and includes extensive monitoring and reporting regarding the use of the funds.
Spend 67 minutes transferring skills and knowledge to NGOs virtually.
Employees can still volunteer their time virtually. With the use of technology, skills transfer and knowledge sharing can still happen without being physically present at the centres. It is not only safe but ensures uninterrupted employee volunteerism. The time spent by your employees can also be claimed for BBBEE points.
MAMAS Alliance’s goals are aligned to many of the objectives of Mandela Day, particularly where children are concerned. This includes reducing hunger and malnutrition, increasing access to education and ECD centres and the provision of shelter and nurturing environments.
With their network of NGOs taking care of the needs of more than 60 000 children daily, MAMAS Alliance urges corporates to take action to inspire change, and to take this action every day.
“Making everyday a Mandela Day has never been more vital and no matter how large or small the action might seem, it all contributes towards helping our most vulnerable, whether it is providing food hampers, donating much needed PPE or supporting ECD centres,” says Kabelo Mosate, the newly appointed Managing Director of MAMAS Alliance.