What is Mandela Day?

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 the late Mr Mandela did for more than 67 years. Start by devoting 67 minutes to community service on Mandela Day, on July 18 each year, and then make every day your Mandela Day by doing some good for others.

What is the significance of the call to devote 67 minutes to community service?

The late Mr Mandela spent more than 67 years serving his community, his country and the world. The number is symbolic of how people can start to do the same – one small step at a time – and so become part of a continuous, global movement for good.

Are there specific tasks people need to carry out?

To become part of the Mandela Day movement, all that is required is an action that helps change the lives of people for the better. To ensure that their actions have lasting effects, people should strive to leave behind not just physical changes, but also a sense of empowerment, helping to build pride among communities so they can take charge of their destinies and change their circumstances. The cumulative actions of people, even if these begin with one small step, can gain a transformative momentum.

Is there an organisation behind Mandela Day?

Mandela Day is the initiative of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and its sister organisations, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation; however, activities on the day and after, are the prerogative of people and organisations “on the ground”. Provided their activities fall within the ethical framework of “service to one’s fellow human”, people are free to organise and partner as they wish.

Where do the resources come from to sustain Mandela Day activities?

Community-focused action, the underpinning principle of Mandela Day, should not require large or additional resources. Rather, Mandela Day efforts should strengthen local resources, both human and material. It is vital that sponsorship should not be sought in ways that divert funding normally available to communities and their non-governmental partners.

Was Mr Mandela directly involved in Mandela Day?

No. During a speech in June 2008, as he was about to celebrate his 90th birthday he called upon the next generation of leaders – in villages, towns, parliaments, presidential palaces, cathedrals, mosques, synagogues and temples – to take over the burden of leadership from his generation. We see this as a call to people everywhere to use his legacy to initiate a movement that can help change the world for the better.

As he said: “... It is in your hands to make a difference ...”

What does the Nelson Mandela Foundation do?

Click here to read more about The Nelson Mandela Foundation

What can I do to help?

There are several ways you can make an imprint. Please visit the Activities section to learn more.

How do I donate?

Visit the Donate page of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.