What: Do More Foundation – Mandela Day of Play  
When: July 18, 2024 (Nelson Mandela’s birthday)
Where: 9,600 young children at 192 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres across South Africa

Businesses interested in partnering with the Foundation for Mandela Day:
Iris Naidoo  iris.naidoo@domore.org.za
+27 (0) 82 373 2299    

The theme for Mandela Day 2024 It is in Your Hands has been embraced by the Do More Foundation which is heading up the Mandela Day of Play, involving 9,600 young children at 192 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres across South Africa. Play and fun is at the centre of the initiative. Amazing. Read on for more. Info as supplied:

Do More Foundation building brighter futures for 9 600 young children through play this Mandela Day

The first five years of a child’s life are crucial for developing concepts, skills, and attitudes that form the basis for children to thrive. To celebrate the late Nelson Mandela’s playful spirit and lifelong commitment to social justice over July, the DO MORE FOUNDATION (founded by RCL FOODS) is bringing together over *15 business partners and over 500 volunteers to bring more play to approximately 9,600 young children at 192 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres across South Africa.

This year’s official Mandela Day theme is It is in Your Hands, a powerful refrain that can be found in the many speeches and actions Madiba took throughout his life. It will be embodied at the Foundation’s Mandela Day of Play events by all those rolling up their sleeves for 67 minutes to upgrade an under-resourced ECD centre in their area.

During the month of July, volunteers at RCL FOODS, Rainbow and Vector sites in seven provinces (KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, North West, Free State and Western Cape) will be working together to build – among other possible upgrades – areas for imaginative and sensory play, reading corners, sandpits, bike tracks, and gardens at their chosen ECD centre. These infrastructure additions will not only provide the young children at these centres with more hours and different types of fun, they will also enhance young children’s early learning and development experience.

The importance of play in a young child’s learning and development

The first five years of a child’s life are crucial for developing concepts, skills, and attitudes that form the basis for lifelong learning. Play is essential in building various areas of development for young children, such as gross motor, fine and visual coordination, cognitive and executive functioning, and social, emotional and physical skills.  

According to the ECD Census 2021 Report, free play is often limited, and materials and equipment for these activities are scarce in ECD centres, especially those that are unregistered. Approximately 50% of the 42,420 ECD programs assessed reported providing less than 30 minutes of free play each day. 

“Our nation’s children are facing critical developmental challenges, with the Thrive by Five Index 2022 revealing that 55% of South African children aged four and five in early learning programs are struggling to meet expected learning milestones,” says Warren Farrer, CEO of the DO MORE FOUNDATION. “It’s crucial that we emphasize the importance of learning through play, as it is fundamental to their cognitive and social development.”

Collective action engenders greater social change for more young children

The success of this annual nation-wide project hinges on partnerships with mission-aligned organizations that understand the importance of investing in children’s early years. For Mandela Day events, in particular, the critical role these multi-sectoral collaborations have in empowering play-based learning in some of South Africa’s most disadvantaged communities.

“The power of partnerships to achieve this impact cannot be overstated”, explains Iris Naidoo Partnerships Lead for the DO MORE FOUNDATION. “Partnering with businesses is essential for positively impacting the lives of young children in South Africa. Businesses hold the resources and expertise to tackle complex social issues affecting children, including poverty, education, and health. By joining forces, businesses and organizations like the DO MORE FOUNDATION can pool their strengths, resources, and networks to achieve a greater impact together than they could individually.”

*Mandela Day partners: CHEP, Anchor Yeast, RCL FOODS, Rainbow, Siqalo, Vector, REMGRO, Riverview, PEPKOR Speciality, Tekkie Town, CODE, Refinery, Dunns, Shoe City, SPCC, Eat Fresh, Tsebo, DUT

Businesses interested in partnering with the Foundation this Mandela Day, please contact:

Iris Naidoo
DO MORE FOUNDATION: Partnerships Lead
+27 (0) 82 373 2299

PLAY AND GROW: Do More Foundation children watering garden at the ECD [Early Childhood Development] centre in Hammarsdale. Pic supplied.

The DO MORE FOUNDATION was founded by RCL FOODS in 2017. DoMore ignites collaboration to sustainably support the well-being of young children in under-served communities in South Africa. Through national initiatives, DoMore invites mission-aligned supporters to join them in delivering nutritious porridge, quality early learning resources and a one-of-kind parenting programme across the country. In their intensive community support initiatives, DoMore brings together different spheres of government, non-profit organisations, academic institutions, businesses and local champions of change, to co-create environments that enable young children to flourish.  

For more info visit: www.domore.org.za

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✳ Do More Foundation children children on slide at ECD [Early Childhood Development] centre in Hammarsdale. Sponsored content. Images supplied.