Mandela Day – How did it all start?

by BelandaJuly 18, 2018

Mandela Day is an annual call to action for citizens, South African and globally, to donate 67 minutes of their time to a charity, good cause or improving your community/society in a meaningful way.
Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) the annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, is celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010. However, other groups began celebrating Mandela Day on 18 July 2009.
On 27 April 2009, the 46664 concerts and the Nelson Mandela Foundation invited the global community to join them in support of an official Mandela Day. Mandela Day is not meant as a public holiday, but as a day to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former President, and his values, through volunteering and community service.

The South African activist and former president Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) helped bring an end to apartheid and has been a global advocate for human rights. A member of the African National Congress party beginning in the 1940s, he was a leader of both peaceful protests and armed resistance against the white minority’s oppressive regime in a racially divided South Africa.

His actions landed him in prison for nearly three decades and made him the face of the antiapartheid movement both within his country and internationally. Released in 1990, he participated in the eradication of apartheid and in 1994 became the first black president of South Africa, forming a multi-ethnic government to oversee the country’s transition. after retiring from politics in 1999, he remained a devoted champion for peace and social justice in his own nation and around the world.

By the time of his death, Mandela had come to be widely considered “the father of the nation” within South Africa. He is also seen as “the national liberator, the saviour, its Washington and Lincoln rolled into one”.
Throughout his life, Mandela had also faced criticism. Margaret Thatcher attracted international attention for describing the ANC as “a typical terrorist organization” in 1987. She later made favours to release Mandela from prison. Mandela has also been criticized for his friendship with political leaders such as Fidel Castro, Muammar Gaddafi, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Suharto.

Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact.
The Mandela Day campaign message is:
“Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes.”
“We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity,” according to a statement issued on Mandela’s behalf.
To mark the first global celebration of Mandela Day on 18 July 2009, Mandela’s 91st birthday, a series of educational, art exhibit, fund-raising and volunteer events leading up to a concert at Radio City Music Hall on 18 July were organised by the 46664 concerts and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.[4] In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly formally declared 18 July to be “Nelson Mandela International Day”.

Let’s keep the Madiba spirit alive and do our part in making society a better and happier place. Make everyday a Mandela Day.

 

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Belanda