Mandela Day blankets initiative celebrates sixth anniversary

Bridget van Oerle & Sneziwe Dube

The 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day organisation celebrates its sixth birthday on 27 January. 

  KnitWits from around Gauteng will gather at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton on 27 January to toast the legacy and future of the social movement. 

  Looking back on the past six years, during which Guinness World Records have been broken and countless lives warmed through the blankets distributed, founder Carolyn Steyn says: “Who would have thought that what started six years ago as a simple challenge to make 67 blankets by Mandela Day 2014 would change so many lives? To think that a simple idea, a ball of wool and a crochet hook would snowball into what many are calling a movement for good and change in this world.”   

  Steyn says since 2014 they have distributed thousands of blankets to those in need. 

  “We continue to cross borders, knitting lives together and honouring the legacy of our beloved Madiba with every stitch we make. Positive change is in our hands now,” she says.

  Because the initiative was launched on 27 January 2014 at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, just weeks after the passing of Madiba,  it is fitting that the place be the site of the sixth birthday celebration, Steyn says. 

  Director of Mandela Day and Outreach at the Foundation, Yase Godlo says: “Having grown so much, 67 Blankets for Mandela Day has shown that all communities can work together to build a caring society. This initiative has yielded many lessons and achievements, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation is proud to be associated with this initiative. We thank everyone for their contribution in the fight against poverty.” 

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