Thursday, 16 July 2015

Winnie Mandela and Long Walk to Freedom star Idris Elba join the battle for literacy in South Africa

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Idris Elba is an ambassador for the Mandela bangle

Johannesburg, July 16th, 2015 - Winnie Mandela and British actor and star of the film Mandela Long Walk to Freedom Idris Elba are joining forces with the Mandela Day Container School Library Project to raise awareness of the need for literacy, especially in the early stages of learning.

Both Idris and Winnie are officially Mandela Bangle Ambassadors, joining others in the growing list of international and local celebrities who are ensuring the continuation of the Mandela legacy for the right of children’s to have access to education.

“We are privileged to have the support of ambassadors of the stature of Mrs Mandela and Idris Elba in the Mandela Bangle program,” said Robert Coutts, CEO of Mandela Bangles.

Proceeds of the sale of each Mandela Bangle, which are locally produced in copper, silver, as well 9, 18 and 24-carat gold, go directly towards the funding of the Mandela Day Container School Libraries.

To date, monies raised through the Mandela Bangle project have contributed towards the delivery of 22 container school libraries.

Partnering with Soul Buddyz, Rotary International and the Department of Education, among other organisations, these libraries are installed at primary schools with the added support and training to keep them operational for at least 15 years.

“If you consider that there are about a 1000 pupils attending each of these schools, you get a sense of the impact that these libraries already have made on reading levels alone,” Coutts said.

“Mr Mandela once asked if everyone would take the future into their hands adding that sometimes it falls on a generation to be great,” said Mrs Mandela.“Now is the time for us to be that generation and facilitate the change so our children will be able to live in a world we are proud to have had a hand in shaping. Let’s work together with the Bangle program to deliver more Libraries and leave a lasting legacy,” she added.

“It all starts with Literacy,” Elba added. “Learning to read is the first step in being able to learn further and expand opportunities. We often forget, the seeds we sow today will be the growth of tomorrow, Mr Mandela once stated that ‘our children are our greatest treasure, they are our future’. It is now in our hands to make that happen,” he said.

“Our support of the Mandela Bangle program and its library project is affirmation of our responsibilities as citizens to make a difference. This is the ethos of Mandela Day; we simply choose to make everyday a Mandela Day through our efforts towards implementing school libraries,” Elba concluded.

Notes to Editors

The Mandela Bangle program began 2008 at the Mandela 90th birthday concert and has enjoyed success in funding many initiatives as directed by the Nelson Mandela foundation. The new Long Walk to Freedom Mandela Bangle is a more direct effort of the family to ensure the charity aspect of Mr Mandela continues through their direct efforts and associations, particularly in the area of child education.

For more information visit
Instagram: @mandelabangle

Editorial Contact:
Kerry Botha
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