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Arup Community Engagement



On 18 July, Arup staff in South Africa will gather in Johannesburg for a 67-minute knitathon to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s birthday, or Madiba Day as it is affectionately known.

People in South Africa and around the globe come together every year on this day to give 67 minutes of their time. This commemorates the 67 years Mandela gave to making the world a better place, beginning in 1942 when he first started to campaign for human rights. 

“By devoting 67 minutes of their time – one minute for every year of Mandela’s public service – people can make a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and step towards a global movement for good” explains Charmaine Swartz, who is organising the Arup event.

“This year we wanted to not only knit on Madiba Day but get started early, and already the pile of scarves, etc. is growing.  We are hoping that, through the Community Engagement Network, other offices in our region will start joining us and it could even evolve into an annual inter-office competition”.

A number of our offices in South Africa taking part in the knitathon and the completed woolen clothes will be donated to a local schools and orphanages in the different locations.

Last year’s knitathon produced colourful scarves for the children of Nomthandazo Childrens Care Centre (NCCC) in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni.

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