Sandton Convention Centre observes Mandela Day
This year marks the first Nelson Mandela International Day since the passing of one of the greatest leaders in modern history, Madiba. On Friday, 18th July, Tsogo Sun’s Sandton Convention Centre (SCC) paid tribute to his legacy by partnering with Stop Hunger Now Southern Africa, to eradicate child hunger in unregistered Early Childhood Development Centres.
The event was themed ‘Meals in Memory’ and packed 745 000 meals throughout the day in five shifts of 67 minute each at the SCC and multiple shifts in Cape Town. It was the largest number of meals packaged on a single day by Stop Hunger Now SA to date.
The meals will be distributed to 180 unregistered Early Childhood Development Centres around Johannesburg and Cape Town, bringing relief to almost 9 000 children, who receive three nutritious meals a week thanks to the efforts of all the volunteers and sponsors.
Barry Mey, Chief Executive Officer of Stop Hunger Now SA, notes, “The outpouring of support from individuals and corporate South Africa to perform 67 minutes of community service in honour of our beloved Madiba is testimony to the fact that this year’s Mandela Day was very special. Following our great statesman’s passing late last year, so many South Africans have responded to his birthday wish – for us all to serve the poor.”
Commenting on Sandton Convention Centre’s support of the event, Executive Director Mati Nyazema says, “Mandela Day is a celebration of kindness and giving. As a country and as individuals we can only hope to mirror this sentiment, not only on Mandela Day but every day. It is this effort that will keep Madiba’s memory alive, and we are honoured to partner with Stop Hunger Now SA’s and all the corporates and members of the public who came together to make this vision of feeding hungry learners a reality.”
Mey adds, “We are amazed at the hospitality, generosity and support that the Sandton Convention Centre has shown us. Stop Hunger Now’s partnership with the venue has made today’s objective of 745 000 meals possible.”
Mrs Graça Machel, former president Nelson Mandela’s widow opened the day’s proceedings with a heartfelt address, noting the great things being achieved through his legacy, “Well done! Wherever Madiba is today, you can be sure he’s smiling.”
This is the second year that the SCC has partnered with Stop Hunger Now SA, which is an on-going international initiative that serves 65 countries. As part of the Tsogo Sun group, the SCC participates in initiatives such as this one that are enduring, and which align with the group’s sustainability in tourism strategy and model.