Starting today, take action and inspire our youth for tomorrow
Kicking off Nelson Mandela International Day 2012, the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory is going back to where it all began, in Soweto, by inspiring the youth through education. The official launch was held in one of the township’s most significant venues – the Hector Pieterson Museum (at Uncle Tom’s Community Centre).
“The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory is pleased to be launching Nelson Mandela Day 2012 at the Hector Pieterson Museum as, for us, this represents the spirit of sacrifice and selflessness which Hector Pieterson displayed. We would like to encourage young people to be active citizens by participating wholeheartedly in this campaign. We are particularly pleased with the artists who have decided to join us. We hope that all their followers will take their lead,” remarked Sello Hatang, Spokesperson for the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.
During the press conference, Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory CEO Achmat Dangor called to action the guests to take time out of their lives to inspire change in their communities by doing good deeds. “We would like to remind all that the Mandela Day campaign is a call for activism in order to build better communities,” he said.
Other speakers included UNIC Deputy Director Dr Helene Hoedl, who commented, “The message of giving your time to uplift your fellow citizens is reaching people, and the spirit of volunteerism that has been shown is humbling. We can only work harder by ensuring that this is more sustainable, and that we indeed ‘make every day a Mandela Day'.”
South Africa’s award-winning R&B star, Danny K, spoke on behalf of the country’s talented pool of artists participating on Mandela Day. He reminded guests of the vital role that the youth play in South Africa and throughout the world, and how through education and providing them with a good start in life they can overcome all challenges. “As the great man Madiba, himself, is famous for saying: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world’,” said Danny K.
The second phase of the launch was hosted at the Tlhatlogang Junior Secondary School, a disadvantaged school situated in White City, Jabavu, Soweto. Guests offered their time by painting and fixing the school, turning it into a place more conducive to learning. “As the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, we strongly believe that in order for people to understand the meaning of Nelson Mandela Day, we should physically demonstrate Nelson Mandela’s values through action,” Hatang remarked.
As the emphasis for Nelson Mandela Day 2012 is being placed on raising youth through decent education, the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory – in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education – is driving some of South Africa’s most meaningful initiatives, namely the Container Library Project and the 94+ Schools Project, inspired to improve the conditions of our more impoverished schools and encourage literacy among children within our historically disadvantaged communities.
“There are countless ways to give back and start affecting a positive change for our youth,” commented Hatang.
Start now and practise "Mandela deeds" daily: take action, inspire change and make every day a Nelson Mandela day!