Nelson Mandela Day is an international call to action for people to recognise their ability to have a positive effect on others around them. Commemorating the Day gives all people in South Africa and all over the world an opportunity to do something for others, for 67 minutes every July 18.
Every year on Madiba’s birthday, South Africans and others around the world pay tribute to the former President by volunteering 67 minutes of their time to a charity or serving in their community.
The United Nations has designated July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day. This international day honours and validates Mandela’s commitment to human rights, conflict resolution, and reconciliation.
The UN General Assembly accepted the concept of Mandela Day – an initiative of former President Jacob Zuma in 2009.
Several activities are also organised on or around July 18 to commemorate Nelson Mandela’s achievements like Trek4Mandela – an annual trek up Mount Kilimanjaro on Mandela Day.
The day is also a catalyst to encourage everyone to change the world through voluntary community work, through selfless service. This year was celebrated under the theme, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation’s vision for the next five years is to focus on promoting community and backyard gardens, supporting fruit and indigenous tree planting, and creating awareness of the intersections between food security and climate change.
The Foundation will be planting a million fruit trees across South Africa and supporting vegetable gardens at schools, early childhood development centers and communities. The intention is to address the deep-rooted challenge of food security while reducing the collective carbon footprint in an effort to build sustainable futures for generations to follow.