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Let’s celebrate Mandela Day

On 18 July, Nelson Mandela’s birthday, the world pauses to acknowledge his legendary life and work – and pay it forward.

17 July 2019

Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and make an impact.

What is Mandela Day all about?

It all started in 2009, when the United Nations General Assembly formally declared 18 July to be International Nelson Mandela Day. The day is not just to celebrate his life and legacy, but also to take his life’s work forward into a new era and inspire change.

“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.” So said Nelson Mandela, and he lived by his word. Now it is in our hands to continue his legacy, take up the challenge and strive to make the world a better place – starting in South Africa.

Mandela Day aims to uplift the dignity of others, and has a collaborative, long-term approach that supports initiatives in the areas of education and literacy, food and nutrition, sanitation and shelter, as well as active citizenship. There is always a sharp focus on children and early childhood development as well as alleviating poverty.

What you can do

Mandela Day is not a holiday but a day to get involved in building your communities to ensure a better and brighter future. So what can you do to make a difference? Consider taking up the 67 minutes challenge – since Madiba spent 67 years making the world a better place – and dedicate just that minimal time to do good in Mandela’s name. Clean up your neighbourhood, plant trees, feed the hungry in your community, spend time with the elderly, with children and orphans, get your hands dirty doing community work – or keep your hands clean and knit blankets for the less privileged. The possibilities to help and give back are really endless.

The day’s mantra of “Take action; Inspire change; Make every day Mandala Day” has the objective of inspiring people around the world to take action for positive change and so build a global movement for good. Each person can make a difference and the collective can impact the world in a hugely positive way. Actually, the world would be completely changed for the better if we lived every day as if it were Mandela Day.

IMAGE CREDIT: 123rf.com