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July 26, 2019

Boart Longyear Celebrates Nelson Mandela Day

This year, the Nelson Mandela Foundation celebrated 10 years of Mandela Day on July 18th. It was a perfect opportunity for Boart Longyear employees in locations around the world to celebrate and honor Mandela’s humanitarian work by giving back to local communities to fight poverty.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”  Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, inspirational leader, public servant, and philanthropist, served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and gained international acclaim for his activism including winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

The idea of Mandela Day was inspired by Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebration in London’s Hyde Park 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 July 18th as Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, recognizing Mandela’s "values and his dedication to the service of humanity" and acknowledging his contribution "to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world."

Boart Longyear offices around the world were invited  to organize a service project on July 18th to celebrate the humanitarian in all of us, fight poverty, and give back to our communities. Here are some of Boart Longyear’s results from this worldwide initiative:

Salt Lake City, Utah

The Salt Lake City Operations Center (Boart Longyear’s global headquarters) organized a fundraiser, donation, and volunteer opportunity to celebrate Mandela Day. They partnered with the United Way of Salt Lake to complete a snack kit packing project.

In surrounding community schools, a large percentage of the students come from low income families. Kit packing projects benefited these students and provided them with basic items that allowed them to enter the classroom ready to learn.

In order to contribute, employees:

1. Purchased individually wrapped snacks for the snack kits.

2. Donated funds to purchase additional snacks.

3. Volunteered on July 18th to assemble snack kits and prepared them for local delivery.

The goal was to donate enough items to pack 300 snack kits – roughly the number of employees in the Salt Lake Operations Center. However, employees were able to pack over 1,400 snack kits for a local elementary school so that students could enter the classroom ready to learn. As an added touch, employees wrote notes of love and encouragement and included a note in each snack kit.

Johannesburg, South Africa

The Johannesburg, South Africa office partnered with Bethany House Trust, a child protection agency, and provided over 90 children with food on July 18th.

The Bethany House Trust provides several specialized programs for orphaned children and children at risk. The center is located across several residential properties and has been in operation since October 1999. It currently accommodates 90 children, with ages ranging from infant to 18 years old. The aim of Bethany House is to break the cycle of abuse in the child’s life and facilitate healing and re-integration into the community as a productive member of society. Following a holistic approach, the physical, educational, emotional, and spiritual needs of the child victims are met. Teenagers also participate in an independent living program to prepare them for life outside the children’s home.

The Boart Longyear team prepared and served lunch for the children at Bethany House Trust. The day was a huge success, and over 90 children were fed by employees on July 18th. The Boart Longyear team is committed to continuing their relationship with Bethany House and the children. The team considered the experience to be eye-opening and view this act of kindness as a great starting point to continually turn outward and support the local community.

Jakarta, Indonesia

There’s a special connection with Nelson Mandela and Indonesia… and it happens to be his signature printed shirts. Known as the "Madiba Shirt," the informal garment was a way for Mandela to identify with most of his people who never wore suits, according to Yusuf Surtee, Mandela’s longtime tailor.

While the history of the shirt dates as far back to Egypt’s first dynasty, Mandela first became fond of the item when he was given batik print shirts by Indonesia’s President Suharto in 1990. The pattern is a traditional Indonesian one that’s still worn by world leaders today.

To honor Mandela’s legacy, the Boart Longyear Jakarta office dressed in traditional batik print shirts and collected clothes and donations to give to a local foundation that manages child education and aids with poverty.

Vientiane, Laos

The Boart Longyear Vientiane office organized a luncheon for Nelson Mandela Day to celebrate the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an impact to fight poverty, promote peace, reconciliate the diversity of culture, and make the world a better place for people.

During this special occasion, the Boart Longyear Laos team donated personal funds to support the local community. The collected funds will buy educational materials for neighboring rural school communities.

Mississauga, Ontario

In honor of Nelson Mandela Day, the Boart Longyear team at the Mississauga office sponsored a food donation to support the local Mississauga Food Bank. The Mississauga Food Bank is the central food bank in Mississauga, providing food for over 217,000 meals each month through a network of 50 agencies. Their objective is to provide adequate food from the four categories of Canada’s Food Guide – fruit and vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy products – to provide a balanced diet to food bank users for 7+ days each month. Thousands of individuals and families across Mississauga rely on the Mississauga Food Bank every day.

In order to contribute, employees:

1. Collected non-perishable food items to donate.

2. Delivered food donations to the Mississauga Food Bank

The food collection initiative was a success, and all employees enjoyed participating and contributing to local individuals in need.

With one in seven people hungry across the world, it was a humbling experience to join forces and contribute in a small way.

“As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”  Nelson Mandela

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