How Safire celebrated Mandela Day

At Safire Insurance, we stand by our slogan, “Short-term insurers, long term partners” by supporting numerous charities and worthy causes throughout the year. However, as Mandela Day is celebrated on 18 July each year, this month we stepped up our efforts a notch or two…

How did Mandela Day begin?

Commemorated on July 18, Nelson Mandela’s birthday, Mandela Day is based on the notion that every individual has the power to transform and uplift the world around them through their actions, no matter how seemingly small that difference may be. The day was officially created by the United Nations in November 2009 to honour the legacy of the iconic leader, with the first observance of Mandela Day held on July 18, 2010. In recognition of his 67 years of public service, people across the world are asked to spend 67 minutes helping others. Originally the “My 67 Minutes” campaign, this inspirational drive is now known as the Acts of Kindness campaign.

How did #TeamSafire make a difference?

This year, to celebrate Mandela Day 2023, #TeamSafire was invited to help make a difference in and around Pietermaritzburg, KZN, where our head office is located.

  • We started a hotly-contested inter-department “Collection Box Challenge” that aimed to collect (at least) 67 non-perishable food items, toiletries, blankets, toys and clothing for the youngsters at the Salvation Army’s Joseph Baynes Children’s Home. This home, which was founded in 1923, provides expert care and support for more than eighty vulnerable children who have been abandoned, neglected and abused. We were delighted with the result – an incredibly generous 791 items were donated, which were delivered to the home by Safire staff members who spent time playing and interacting with the children. There was such a positive response that it was decided to extend the collection period to the end of July.
  • Our Safire staff members were at the 14th annual Hill’s 1000 Paws Walk for SPCAs event that took place on a cold and drizzly Sunday 9 July at Highgate Wine Estate near Howick. While it was still dark, they set up two water stations on the 2km and 4km walks to ensure that everyone had access to water while walking. Safire also donated prizes for the dog events in the arena, as well as making a cash donation to the 1000 Paws Walk project that raises much-needed funds for the three SPCAs that serve the communities and animals of the KZN Midlands, namely the Pietermaritzburg, uMngeni-Howick, and Mooi River & District SPCAs.
  • Our staff members were also offered an opportunity to spend their 67 minutes at the Bisley Nature Reserve on a snare patrol, under the guidance of the Friends of Bisley Nature Reserve (FoBNR). This reserve offers 350 hectares of thornveld and grassland on the outskirts of the city of Pietermaritzburg. There is no entrance fee and it has a number of picnic sites where visitors can relax and enjoy the birdlife and wildlife that includes giraffe, impala and zebra. Sadly, these animals are under constant threat of poaching, especially through the use of snares, a particularly cruel way of trying to catch animals that often suffer debilitating injuries or a lingering death. “Another successful FoBNR snare patrol awareness group for 22 Safire Insurance employees,” reported Marlene Bell, secretary of FoBNR. “Two groups patrolled both the bushy areas off trail 5-6 and 48-46. Unfortunately some signs of capture were noted, as well as unusual markers so all walkers within the reserve, especially up by the railroad, are asked to be extra vigilant.”

“The kindness and generosity of our staff while supporting those in need is remarkable,” says Megan Stella, Safire’s Chief Operating Officer. “Together we can truly make a difference to the world around us.”