Mandla Mandela hands out blankets to the elderly in rural Hammanskraal

On 26 June 2014, over 2 000 elderly members of a rural community in Hammanskraal, North West Province, received a much-welcome winter gift – a thick blanket donated by the Al-Imdaad Foundation and personally handed over to them by Zwelivelile “Mandla” Mandela, Chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council and grandson of the late Nelson Mandela.

An initiative of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Al-Imdaad Foundation and the Chief himself, the blanket handover project represents Mandla Mandela's call to make every day a Mandela Day by helping those in your community in whatever way they can. 

Members of the community gathered at a local primary school to talk about Mandela Day and hear Chief Mandela's view about honouring his late grandfather.

This is the second blanket handover event of its kind that has provided support to communities in need.

Mr Mandela participated in a blanket handover event in Soweto, at the Mfulo Community Hall earlier this year.  

After a brief introduction and formal greetings performed by the Chief and members of the local municipality, Mandla Mandela spoke about action as a key theme of Mandela Day, saying: "Actions speak louder than words."

He asked guests to be patient while he handed out blankets one by one, starting with those born in the early 1900s.

The eldest member of the audience, an elderly man born in 1918, expressed his joy and gratitude for receiving a warming winter gift from the hands of the Chief himself.

Others were somewhat overwhelmed by the donation, and sang songs of gratitude.

The blankets were donated by the Al-Imdaad Foundation, a non-profit humanitarian aid relief organisation dedicated to providing humanitarian services to those who need it most.