Most of us are aware now that for some weeks, Nelson Mandela has been in hospital fighting off a lung infection. The good news is that, the South African freedom fighter has recently on 18th July, enjoyed his 95th birthday. Encouragingly, according to his daughter Zindzi, the county’s former president “is making remarkable progress”.
Since July 2009, the birthday of the iconic figure has been celebrated as an international day to mark Mandela’s contribution to World peace. The idea for this event was inspired by the Mandela 90th Birthday celebration concert in Hyde Park, London in 2008. In November 2009 The United Nations officially declared the day in Mandela’s honour and recognised 18th July 2010 as the first Nelson Mandela International Day.
As stated by the official Nelson Mandela Day website
“The Mandela Day campaign message is simple: Mr Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. 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.
Mandela Day is a call to action for individuals – for people everywhere – to take responsibility for changing the world into a better place, one small step at a time, just as Mr Mandela did.”
Over 700 “good deeds” have been registered by well doers on mandeladay.com including charity concerts, football matches, new school and library openings, runs, walks, bikerides and bake-offs. Of those, around 200 events have been held around the world to raise funds and awareness for the day including “Crocs Cares” where Crocs pledged for each Crocs purchase made to donate a pair of Crocs to people in need.
A number of celebrities have also shown support, some leaving video messages on the pledge4mandeladay.org website. The list includes Morgan Freeman, Richard Branson, Naomi Campbell, Will and Jada Smith, Bono and the crew of the International Space Station.
Although Mandela Day has already passed for this year, the organisation slogan “Make Every Day A Mandela Day” still stands. The world is encouraged to register Mandela Day activities via the mandeladay.org website and or make financial donations through the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory website