Mandela Day 2024 South Africa: Ideas to make a difference in local preschools

Take action. Inspire change. Make every day a Mandela Day.

Mandela Day, celebrated annually on July 18th, provides an incredible opportunity to take collective action and leave a lasting impact in honour of Nelson Mandela. Together, we must build a safe, prosperous future for everyone.

Here is how you can get involved at preschools

Host an event at a local school. Here are some ideas:

Host a reading morning at a school and contribute to the school library

Show children it’s fun to read. Bring books to add to the school’s reading corner and host a fun reading morning. You could get creative and dress up, use puppets or act out the story – anything to make reading time fun! Consider giving each child a book to take home, nurturing their love for reading beyond the school setting.

Teach children about healthy eating

Healthy body, healthy mind. Bring healthy ingredients and lunchboxes to the school and show the children how to make a healthy lunchbox. Teach them about fruits, vegetables, meat, fats and grains and show them that eating healthy is delicious. Afterwards, eat your healthy lunches together. By educating children about healthy choices, we contribute to their overall well-being.

Play fun games with the children and bring along a treat

Children learn through play. Engaging with adults, playing individual and group games builds mental muscle since we learn to socialise, follow rules and increase our confidence. How about surprising the hardworking teachers with a treat, like cupcakes, allowing them to enjoy a well-deserved break while you and your team host fun games and activities for these children. Most centres have basic equipment like balls and hoola hoops, but you could also bring them along. 

Sponsor and join an outing for learners to a local attraction

Travel opens your world and your imagination. Give children an opportunity to visit the zoo, aquarium, science lab, play park or attraction in your area. ECD centres need sponsorship for transport costs, snacks and entrance fees. Invite your team to be supervisor assistants on the days.

Collection drives: Mobilize your team to collect and donate


Wish list items:

  • Age-appropriate books for 0-5 year-olds (second-hand items in good condition or new items).
  • Cleaning items and consumables (for example, handwash, dishwashing soap, bleach, multipurpose cleaner, wet wipes, toilet paper, tissues).
  • Art and craft consumables (for example, white paper reams, thick crayons, various colours of play dough, play-dough shape cutters, non-toxic water-based paint, paint brushes, glue sticks, blunt nose scissors).

Fundraising: Donate to make a difference

Finding Thabo Literacy Resources. Cost: R300 per centre. Finding Thabo is an interactive play-based ‘Where’s Wally’ inspired game designed to stimulate key brain parts and build foundations for lifelong learning. With your help we can assist up to teachers to access a Finding Thabo resource kit plus training. The centre receives a high-quality A2 poster kit and a Teacher Activity Guidebook. Grow hosts training to show teachers exactly how to use the kit and how to implement it.

Train and equip a Baby Specialist teacher. Cost: R3 700 per classroom/teacher (any donation/contribution you make is valuable!). Babies (0-2 years old) need lots of appropriate stimulation and development, but Baby Classroom teachers are often under-resourced and lack the specialist training required. Our Baby Programme is specifically designed to inspire and assist the teacher in charge of the Baby class to go from “babysitter” to Baby Specialist! 2 days of practical training and a resource kit that covers every week of the year with practical developmental activities and guides help her approach each day with confidence. 

Healthy breakfasts for preschool children. Cost: R1,87 per meal per day. Help us give 1,500 young children who attend preschools in Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg a healthy breakfast every day! We purchase nutritionally-fortified porridge direct from the supplier to ensure the best price. The porridge helps to address nutritional deficiencies and boosts immune systems.

Equip a classroom with art- and craft-activity consumables. Cost: R450 per classroom consumables pack. Every ECD centre’s wish list includes paint, brushes, playdough, paper, crayons, tissues, wet wipes, and handwash. These essentials help us offer curriculum-driven art and craft activities for every age group. 

Important things to note:

  1. Ask the preschool what help they need – don’t make assumptions. You might think the school needs a coat of paint, but in reality, they might need new, clean mattresses for nap time, age-appropriate books for their reading corner, stationery for their weekly classroom art activities, or a CPR course for a teacher, or help connecting with the right people.
  2. Volunteer your unique skills. Most preschools need practical support and skills. Ask your local preschool how you can use your unique skills to assist them. Handy? Fix lights or gutters or doors. Social media queen? Help the school set up a professional profile on Google My Business and Facebook. Organiser? Help the school with its filing and administration. Designer? Create staff t-shirts or a leaflet.
  3. Maximum 4 people to visit a school. Preschools cannot accommodate large volumes of guests since it’s overwhelming for the children. Most schools have between 25 and 60 children and up to 5 staff members.
  4. Fundraise as a team towards a specific need that the school has identified. It might be new pots and spoons for the kitchen, outside play equipment or a box of Duplo. Identify a financial need and start a fundraising campaign with your colleagues and friends. 
  5. Grow ECD can connect volunteers with local preschools, but we cannot offer transport, event management or security. Your volunteer team has to plan their event and arrange their activities with the centre owner directly. We will gladly share ideas, contact details and best practices.
  6. All guests must sign a volunteer form and comply with safety and POPI requirements. We can supply this.
  7. Photography of children is only allowed with the express consent from parents/caregivers. If you would like to take photos we can assist with a photography indemnity template.
  8. Don’t make unrealistic demands, and make an effort to make the day special for them, too.ECD centre owners and teachers have intense jobs and big responsibilities. You are a guest at the ECD centre, so respect their space and time. 

How to make your donation:

OPTION 1: Donate Online

OPTION 2: Donate Via Direct Bank Transfer

  • Make an EFT deposit into the bank account below
  • Use your Surname or Company Name as the reference
  • Email to confirm which campaign or preschool we should allocate your funds to.

Our Banking Details:

Account Name: GW Foundation
Bank: Investec Bank Limited
Branch: 100 Graystone drive
Branch Code: 580105
Type of Account: Current Account
Account Number: 10011899076  

Your tax benefits for doing good

Need more info?
How to make your donation:

  • All financial donations qualify for tax deductions.
  • We supply Section 18A tax certificates on your request.


CALL:  082 671 1441