The significance of Nelson Mandela Day.

Nelson Mandela Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on Mandela’s birthday, 18 July. The day was officially declared as Mandela Day by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held in 2010.

It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier, for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that “it is in your hands now”.

It is more than a celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy; it is a global movement to honour his life’s work and to change the world for the better.

Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that everyone has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact.

#MANDELADAY2020

In 2020, the essence of Mandela Day – take action, inspire change, and make every day a Mandela Day – is more important than ever before.

Communities across the world are affected by the spread of Covid-19, which has hit every economy, causing new social and economic challenges and exacerbating old ones. 

But, there is hope. On a scale never seen before, individuals and groups are finding ways to help those in need of support. You can join us.

We call on you to be an active citizen in your community, individually or as part of one of the millions of groups getting together to start initiatives around delivering food parcels, making masks and protective gear, teaching online or making donations towards these efforts.

Mandela Day is celebrated on 18 July every year. In 2020, it will be the day we share the successes we have achieved and the lessons we have learned as we battle this pandemic, and its effect on those less fortunate than ourselves.

We call on you to contribute to the Each1Feed1 campaign, join a community initiative or start your own.

And, most of all, stay safe.

Take Action! Inspire Change!

As Mandela said: It is in your hands to make of the world a better place. And so, every year on Mandela Day, we ask people around the world to take action and inspire change by making a difference in their communities.

If you would like to donate your own time to public service, here are some things you can do to take action and inspire change:

  • Make a new friend. Get to know someone from a different cultural background. Only through mutual understanding can we rid our communities of intolerance and xenophobia.
  • Read to someone who can’t. Visit a local home for the blind and open up a new world for someone else.
  • Help out at the local animal shelter. Dogs without homes still need a walk and a bit of love.
  • Help someone get a job. Put together and print a CV for them, or help them with their interview skills.
  • Many terminally ill people have no one to speak to. Take a little time to have a chat and bring some sunshine into their lives.
  • Get tested for HIV and encourage your partner to do so too.
  • Take someone you know, who can’t afford it, to get their eyes tested or their teeth checked.
  • Donate a wheelchair or guide dog, to someone in need.
  • Buy a few blankets, or grab the ones you no longer need from home and give them to someone in need.

Visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation for more actionable ideas >>

“For me Nelson Mandela is about giving back to the less fortunate in any way. One may donate clothes, food, toiletries etc or even give their time to do something helpful and impactful for others. It is also a day that reminds us to celebrate the life of Tata Nelson Mandela and to be grateful for everything he has done that contributes to the 25-year democracy we have,” says Mantshadi Photolo.

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