Remembering the legacy of Nelson Mandela

August 22 2019

Saint-Gobain sub-Saharan Africa supports Mandela Day

The idea of Mandela Day was inspired by Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebrations in 2008 when he said: It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.

The United Nations officially declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, recognising Mandelas values and his dedication to the service of humanity.

Nelson Mandela has been making an imprint on the world for 67 years, beginning in 1942 when he first started to campaign for the human rights of every South African. His life has been an inspiration to the world, the foundation said.

By devoting 67 minutes of their time one minute for every year of Mandelas public service people can make a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step towards a global movement for good.


Our decision to support schools

Nelson Mandela was a thought leader in education and inspired millions around the world to value education. He inspired change in society and encouraged people to empower themselves through education.

With this in mind, Saint-Gobain SSA decided to focus on schools. With the help of an NGO, Adopt-a-School, we selected schools where we can make a difference. This year employees across sub-Saharan Africa spent their time at nine schools.


Mvelaphanda primary school, Tembisa, gauteng (South Africa)

About 1200 learners at the Mvelaphanda Primary School celebrated their Mandela Day with Saint-Gobain employees. The activities ranged from vegetable gardening to painting classrooms and cleaning the school property. Employees also collected R16 500 to buy school shoes for needy learners.

Kwathema primary school, Ekhuruleni, Gauteng (South Africa)

50 Saint-Gobain employees took time out to make a difference at the Kwa-Thema Primary School. They donated and installed an 8-channel DVR security system and a gate motor. More than 1200 learners received hotdogs and juice for lunch and each child received a RhinoLite® mould to create a gypsum rhino and learn about this iconic animal.



Belvenie primary school, ElsieS River, Western cape (South africa)

Even though rainy weather meant that the planned painting could not happen, this didnt stop the 24 employees who wanted to make a difference. They cleaned the schoolyard, changed toilet seats and distributed party packs to 835 learners.


Sinako we can learning and care centre, port elizabeth, Eastern cape (south africa)

In the windy city of Port Elizabeth, employees spent their 67 minutes making a difference at Sinako centre that care mostly for kids with special needs. The 105 learners received play mats for their classrooms, as well as educational toys and stationery.



The 10 employees who made a difference at Hlahlindlela gave it their all. They painted ceilings, installed new lights and cornices, and replaced broken windows. More than 1000 learners received chips and popcorn and the local Rotary Club donated books and cushions.


Greenside primary school, polokwane, limpopo (south africa)

In the northernmost province, the Saint-Gobain team replaced old broken tiles with new ones. The school has almost 1500 learners who will now enjoy the benefit of revamped classrooms.


MASKAM primary school, VANRHYNSDORP, Western cape (South Africa)

In Vanrhynsdorp the employees and permanent contractors cleaned the N7 road from the mines entrance towards town. They also donated a play gym to Maskam Primary School, a school with 740 learners.



Sonshine ministries, arusha (tanzania)

The gypsum board plant in Tanzania continued its support of the Sonshine Ministries childrens center. Our team donated stationery, installed a water tank in the vegetable garden, and repaired the eroded roadway leading up to the center.  



Catherine amor daby Primary school, plateau, abidjan (ivory coast)

The team, based in Adidjan, Ivory Coast visited the Catherine Amor DAby Primary School, a school with about 600 learners.