International Nelson Mandela Day 2021

SOS Children’s Villages
SOS Children’s Villages

On the 18th July, the world will be celebrating International Nelson Mandela Day. This day has, since last year, taken a new meaning as the battle now also includes an invisible enemy, COVID-19 and all its other side effects. The essence of Mandela Day – take action, inspire change, and make every day a Mandela Day – is even more important.

Communities across the world continues to be affected by Covid-19, which has affected economies, causing new social and economic challenges and exacerbating old ones. But, there is hope. On an even larger scale, individuals, donors, foundations, institutions, civil society organisations and corporate partners are finding ways to help those in need of support.

Since the announcement of the National State of Disaster, the protection of children against Covid-19 and many elements that compromise their safety and wellbeing has been a priority to all those that provide care and support to vulnerable children and we continue to advocate for this. Children’s rights are not only a basic value but also an obligation clearly set out in Article 28 of the South African Constitution.

SOS Children’s Villages South Africa is committed to taking all possible steps to protecting children. While the National Shutdown to reduce contact is necessary to reduce the further spread of the COVID-19 virus, children’s individual protection and care needs should not be compromised. Part of this includes limiting non-essential visits to the Programmes. While Mandela month is about acts of service, this limitation of visits means volunteering and services at our Programmes has become very difficult.

In place of this, we have wish lists for our donors and sponsors, telling them of our needs at the programmes. This allows them to still honour the legacy of Mandela during Mandela month, and to support us. The global call to action celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact can still be achieved.

Our Mandela Month Banner, and a wish list, can be found by the public, corporates and funders here:

May Nelson Mandela’s legacy live on.


About SOS Children’s Villages

SOS Children’s Villages is an independent, non-governmental organisation that advocates for the rights of South Africa’s marginalised children. We offer loving, family-like care for children and young people who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care. Established in 1984, SOS has eight Children’s Villages and three Social Centres across eight provinces.

Each year our Alternative Care, Family Strengthening and Youth Employability programmes provide life-changing support to children and families across the country.

The Alternative Care model comprises of four principles that include a mother (each child has a caring parent), brothers and sisters (the family ties grow naturally), a house (a secure place to grow up in) and a village (the SOS family is part of the community).

Our Family Strengthening Programme aims to enable children who are at risk of losing the care of their families to grow within a safe family environment. We work in co-operation with local authorities and other service providers to empower families and communities to effectively protect and care for their children.

For more information, go to