An initiative with a vision to raise R100 million towards job creation and literacy was announced on Thursday in Johannesburg.

Nelson Mandela’s granddaughters, HRH Princess Zaziwe Manaway and HRH Princess Swati Dlamini-Mandela of the Mandela Royal House, joined Relate Trust to launch the Mandela Centenary Relate bracelet. The bracelet pays tribute to the notion that if we each do one small thing, we can achieve big things together.

Since 2010, Relate Trust has raised more than R50 million through their crowdfunding model of selling bracelets globally, made by at-risk youth and elderly persons, for more than 110 causes. A third of the money made goes to the causes, a third to paying the youths and elderly, and the last to running costs.  

Relate CEO Neil Robinson said: “Forty-nine percent of South African youths are unemployed while more than half the country lives below the poverty line. This is a crisis that needs to be addressed now.

“If every tax paying South African bought one Mandela Centenary Relate bracelet, we would achieve our vision of raising R100 million in honour of what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th year.

“Let's all support one of the finest human beings to have ever lived. Let's all as a nation become part of Madiba’s legacy. Buy a bracelet and become part of the biggest crowdfunding effort ever seen in this country.”

Speaking at the launch on Thursday, Princess Manaway said she was proud to be a part of the project: “Tata spent his whole life fighting for a just, equal society. He said at his trial ‘I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities’.

“Through these initiatives involving social enterprise companies, businesses and society leaders we can see his dream realised.”

Money raised will also go towards the Nelson Mandela Literacy Project whose libraries each work with thousands of children.

Speaking to the impact of the literacy programme, Robert Coutts of the Mandela Education Programme, said: “This is such an exciting opportunity to be part of something that will show immediate impact.

“Our libraries also aren’t just for the children – they’re open to the local community. We continue supplying unlimited books to the libraries for 15 years. Our NGO partner Soul Buddyz also commits to a facilitation and teacher support programme of 5 years post deployment to ensure it is totally ingrained into the school day.”

The Mandela Centenary Relate bracelet can be bought in stacks of ten at R495 per pack at Relate's online shop.