Countdown to Nelson Mandela International Day begins
"Each one of us can do something to make this world a better place"
The countdown to Nelson Mandela International Day 2012 has begun.
On 18 July individuals and organisations around the world will spend at least 67 minutes doing good work in their own communities in honour of the 67 years Nelson Mandela gave in service and sacrifice.
The countdown began at an event on 18 May at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg.
Nelson Mandela International Day, now in its fifth year, was inspired by Mr Mandela’s speech at London’s Hyde Park on 27 June 2008 when he purposely misread his speech to say “it is in your hands now” instead of the prepared “it’s in our hands”.
Recalling that moment, Achmat Dangor, the Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, urged people to remember the message: “Each one of us can do something to make this world a better place.”
“We celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy best and we honour him best by taking action and becoming part of this global movement of good.”
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory has also joined forces with South Africa’s Department of Education in the “94 Projects for Madiba” in celebration of Mr Mandela’s 94th birthday on 18 July. Ninety-four schools in need of infrastructural development were identified for urgent assistance when the campaign started two months ago.
Quoting Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s Minister of Education Angie Motshekga said: “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” She said good progress had been made in obtaining sponsorship for many of the schools.
The Department of Education has also urged South African school pupils to sing Happy Birthday to Mr Mandela at 8am on 18 July. The call has also been extended to people throughout the world to sing the song at their time on 8am on 18 July.
Two of Nelson Mandela’s grandsons, Ndaba Mandela and Kweku Mandela-Amuah and a great-grandson Luvuyo Mandela spoke of the Nelson Mandela International Day programmes in which they will be involved, including planting trees; building houses with Habitat for Humanity; painting schools; and helping to stock school libraries. Also, as Luvuyo Mandela said: “Just a simple ‘hello’ good morning, a smile and something to uplift someone else’s day.”