Nelson Mandela Day: Take Action! Inspire Change

Tue, 12/07/11

Honour Nelson Mandela Day on Monday 18 July by devoting 67 minutes of your time to helping others.

Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. By donating 67 minutes you can make a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step towards a global movement for good.

The Day, which was adopted by the United Nations to celebrate the work of Mandela, is not a holiday. Rather, it is a day to roll up your sleeves and play an active role in building your community.

The Mandela Day campaign message is simple: “All we are asking is that everyone gives 67 minutes of their time, whether it's supporting your chosen charity or serving your local community,” says a statement from the Nelson Mandela Foundation.


Celebrate by “looking after the environment”

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has provided 67 examples for how to take action and inspire change, the last seven providing suggestions for how to do good by looking after your local environment:

  1. If there are no recycling centres in your area, petition your area councillor to provide one.
  2. Donate indigenous trees to beautify neighbourhoods in poorer areas.
  3. Collect old newspapers from a school/community centre/hospital and take them to a recycling centre.
  4. Identify open manhole covers or drains in your area and report them to the local authorities.
  5. Organise the company/school/organisation that you work with to switch off all unnecessary lights and power supplies at night and on weekends.
  6. Engage with people who litter and see if you can convince them of the value of clean surroundings.
  7. Organise to clean up your local park, river, beach, street, town square or sports grounds with a few friends. Our children deserve to grow up in a clean and healthy environment.

To see all 67 suggestions for action, visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation site.


How the Day Came About

In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/13 recognises Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, the promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the upliftment of poor and underdeveloped communities. It acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.