By Elmien Ackerman, a self-proclaimed “wordaholic” who loves words and language and cringes at the thought of a missing apostrophe. She writes for Impaq Education, a curriculum provider for home and tutor education.

Sometimes we as parents get so focused on teaching our kids the basics of maths, reading, and writing that we forget about instilling important values such as caring for others and making a difference in the community. Mandela Day, which takes place on the 18 July every year, offers you the opportunity to teach your kids about the difference that one person can make. Impaq, a home-education provider, is living up to their value of making a difference in education by helping an under-resourced primary school in Olievenhoutbosch. They share some tips on how you and your kids can play a part in supporting learning this Mandela Day.

Helping Schools

1. Help learners and teachers at under-resourced schools by filling pencil cases or stationery bags with essentials (pencils, pens, scissors, highlighters, erasers, etc.) and dropping it off on Mandela Day.

2. If you’re good with your hands, get your kids to help and fix things at a local school or tutor centre.

3. Have your kids look at their reading books and decide which ones they probably won’t read again. Donate the books they no longer need to a low-quintile school or local library. Visit Breadline Africa to learn more about their library project.

4. Speaking about technology, if you’re not using your old computer or laptop don’t let it gather dust in the cupboard. Donate it to an under-resourced school or tutor centre.

Helping the elderly

5. Before most kids can even read or write, they know how to use a smartphone. So why not put these skills to use? Visit a nursing home or hospice where your kids can teach the elderly how to use a smartphone, a computer and the internet. Just think of the smiles on the grandparents’ faces if they’re able to video-call with their grandchildren overseas.

Find a charity to support

6. Help your kids organise a charity event, like a car wash or fun run. Not only will the event raise money for a worthy cause, but it can also help your kids develop leadership skills. Not sure what cause to donate to? Look at the charities on the Jozikids website that have published wish lists for Mandela Day.

Every year, on the 18th of July we strive to make the world a better place, but it’s important to make every day a Mandela Day. Use the day as a starting point and teach your children to always be on the lookout for how they can make a difference in their community.

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