Food relief organisation Ladles of Love set a world record for the highest number of volunteers offering 67 minutes of their time on Mandela Day, last Tuesday, July 18.
A total of 6003 volunteers spent their 67 minutes at events held in Cape Town at the V&A Waterfront’s Look Out and Oranjezicht City Farm Market; Old Ed’s Club in Johannesburg and Hermanus Waterfront to help create, put together, package and dispatch over 150 000 items for over 4 000 children in 75 early childhood development (ECD) centres.
Sponsored materials and products were used to set up the volunteer activation stations where sandwiches were made, edible gardens created, educational toys crafted, jars of hope with dry foods filled, colouring books collated and hampers packed with items required by children in each centre.
And while they did not meet their target of 6700 volunteers, Ladles of Love founder Danny Diliberto said this Mandela Day, they had the biggest pool of volunteers to date.
The record was still set nationally, and was officiated by Director of Ubuntu World Records, Theresa Parsraman at the Cape Town event.
Mr Diliberto said the focus this year was on helping children through their network of ECD centres. “We need to give our children hope and a stronger foundation to build a better life.”
Sisanda Ngaleka runs a soup kitchen in Khayelitsha, cooking for around 150 people – mostly children – a day from her home.
She said last year, as a beneficiary, the soup kitchen received many canned foods that helped her significantly.
“This year, there are a variety of items, especially for the children. It makes me excited, and I am grateful.”
Andiswa Ncamiso, who is from Joe Slovo, is an organiser at an ECD centre in Khayelitsha, which takes care of 64 children, most of whose mothers cannot afford to pay school fees due to unemployment or social issues.
She said events like these not only help with items for the children, but also create awareness about the plight of children in impoverished communities. “Ladles of Love needs these events to help our children.”
Mandela Day is marked annually on July 18, the birthday of late former president, Nelson Mandela.