What is Mandela Day?

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela International Day commemorates the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world. It was launched on his birthday, 18 July, in 2009 via a unanimous decision by the UN General Assembly.

“It is in your hands to make of the world a better place,” he said a year earlier, calling on the younger generation to take up this task.

Mandela Day calls on us all, every day, to make the world a better place. Each year on 18 July we look back on what has been done, and forward to what will be done. 

Making every day a Mandela Day celebrates Madiba’s life and legacy in a sustainable way that will bring about enduring change.

TAKE ACTION. INSPIRE CHANGE. MAKE EVERY DAY A MANDELA DAY.

The Message

Nelson Mandela followed three rules throughout his life, which he did at great personal sacrifice:

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FREE YOURSELF

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FREE OTHERS

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SERVE EVERY DAY

The message behind Mandela Day is simple – everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better.

If each one of us heeds the call to simply do something good every day, we can live Nelson Mandela’s legacy and help build the country of our dreams.

The baton of leadership has been handed over to us. It is in our hands now to make a positive difference.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has decided to dedicate 2017 to honouring a great statesman and making every day a Mandela Day by encouraging everyone to take action against poverty in a way that will bring about sustainable change.

Action against poverty

“We need to restore and reaffirm the dignity of the people of Africa and the developing world. We need to place the eradication of poverty at the top of world priorities. We need to know with a fresh conviction that we all share a common humanity and that our diversity in the world is the strength for our future together.” – Nelson Mandela

Poverty stalks South Africa. It is at the root of malnutrition, stunting, poor educational outcomes, the skills deficit and unemployment, disease, the loss of dignity, and even anger and violence. We have to take action against poverty, and we have to work together to do that. Each of us can make every day a Mandela Day by choosing to do something sustainable that will help South Africa eradicate poverty and ensure we each realise the ideal of a dignified life.

Resources

There are numerous resources available to businesses, schools, organisations and individuals. These include videos, posters, branding, worksheets, information about Nelson Mandela and much more.