Nelson Mandela Day has been celebrated on July 18 every year since 2010 in recognition of the contributions made by Nelson Mandela.
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) declared July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day. The day celebrates the first former black and democratically elected South African President and the culture of peace and freedom.
Today, more than a hundred cities worldwide commemorate Mandela International Day. In the resolution establishing this international day, the UNGA recognizes Mandela’s values and dedication to humanity in conflict resolution and race relations.
It also recognizes Mandela’s promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality, and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups.
Furthermore, the resolution emphasizes Mandela’s efforts to fight poverty and injustice. Also included in the resolution was an acknowledgement of his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.
In December 2015, the UNGA decided to extend Nelson Mandela International Day also to promote humane conditions in prison. A secondary objective of this extension was to highlight the significant role played by prison staff by raising awareness of the importance of their work. This also applies to prisoners.
10 Ways to Support Nelson Mandela Day
1. Support The Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Campaign
The Nelson Mandela Foundation’s campaign is a vital initiative to continue the legacy of one of the greatest human rights activists in history. You’re contributing to social justice, equality, and peace by supporting this campaign.
The Foundation’s efforts focus on advocating for human rights, empowering marginalized communities, and fostering reconciliation. The Nelson Mandela Foundation seeks to create a world where everyone has access to equal opportunities, regardless of their background or identity. It’s an invaluable organization that’s doing remarkable work to ensure Mandela’s legacy lives on.
As part of the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s “It’s in your hands” theme, the foundation has decided to focus on the intersection between food security and climate change in 2023. There will be a focus on Climate, Food, and Solidarity.
2. Donate Blood at Your Nearest Hospital
Donating blood to your nearest hospital is a valuable act of kindness that can save lives and significantly impact your community.
On Nelson Mandela Day, you can help patients in need. This is whether they are undergoing surgery, recovering from illnesses, or facing an emergency by donating blood.
Hospitals rely on donors’ generosity to maintain an adequate blood supply for various medical procedures.
Your selfless act can contribute to the well-being and recovery of countless individuals. So, consider visiting your nearest hospital and donating blood.
3. Take the Global Citizen Mandela Day Champion Challenge
The Global Nelson Mandela Day Champion Challenge is an inspiring initiative that honors Nelson Mandela’s legacy, one of the world’s greatest social justice and equality advocates.
This challenge calls upon individuals and organizations from around the globe to take action and positively impact their communities.
It encourages participants to dedicate their time, skills, or resources to addressing pressing issues such as poverty, education, healthcare, and climate change.
By engaging in acts of service and embodying compassion and solidarity, the Global Citizen Mandela Day Champion Challenge empowers you to be agents of change. This carries forward Mandela’s vision of a better and more equitable world for all.
Once you download the Global Citizen App and sign up, the challenge will set small tasks for you to complete. These tasks will help uplift your community, improve the environment, and educate you about Africa’s most pressing challenges.
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4. Plant and Grow Trees for the Well-Being of All
Planting and growing trees is vital for the well-being of all. Trees are essential for maintaining a healthy environment and providing numerous benefits to humans and the ecosystem.
They act as natural air purifiers by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, helping to combat climate change and improve air quality.
Trees also provide shade, reducing the heat island effect in urban areas and offering respite from the scorching sun. They help conserve water by reducing runoff and preventing soil erosion.
Moreover, trees offer habitats for diverse wildlife, contributing to biodiversity conservation. More importantly, planting fruit trees supports food production for vulnerable communities.
To support Nelson Mandela Day, planting and nurturing trees will enhance the beauty of your surroundings and create a sustainable and livable planet for present and future generations.
5. Research the History of Nelson Mandela Before Prison
With the goal of finding out more and then sharing your findings with friends on social media, researching the history of Nelson Mandela before prison provides a wider perspective on his life.
Nelson Mandela, born on July 18, 1918, in Mvezo, South Africa, dedicated his life to fighting against apartheid. This was a system of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority government.
During the 1940s, Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC), advocating for equal rights and an end to racial oppression. Throughout the apartheid era, he played a pivotal role in organizing peaceful protests, strikes, and boycotts.
His activism led him to become a prominent anti-apartheid leader and face increasing government opposition. His efforts provided the foundation for transformative events in the years to come.
On Nelson Mandela Day, research his life and share your findings with your audience on social media.
6. Offer to Read Stories to Children at a Children’s Home.
Offering to read stories to children at a children’s home is a beautiful and meaningful way to bring joy, comfort, and inspiration to young hearts.
As an inspiration of goodwill to many people worldwide, Nelson Mandela Day is an opportunity to share stories and listen to children.
This gesture creates a safe and nurturing environment for children who may have experienced various hardships in their lives.
A wave of anticipation spreads through the faces of the children, eager to embark on adventures through a book. It transports them to far-away places, introduces them to unforgettable characters, and teaches them valuable lessons about life.
By reading to children, you will ignite a love of reading, foster creativity, provide a sense of companionship, belonging, and empower these children.
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7. Go on a Social Media Fast
Going on a social media fast can be refreshing and liberating. Taking a break from social media can provide a much-needed respite in a world where we are constantly bombarded with information and distractions.
Disconnecting yourself from platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media gives you the opportunity to reconnect with the present moment. This allows you to focus on more meaningful aspects of life.
You can engage in activities that nourish your mind during a social media fast. These activities include reading, spending quality time with loved ones, and pursuing productive hobbies.
8. Set Up a Recycling System for Your Home
A great way to support Nelson Mandela Day is by setting up a recycling station at your home. This is a simple and effective way to contribute to environmental sustainability.
- Start by designating a specific area in your home, such as a kitchen corner or a garage, for sorting and storing recyclable materials.
- Place clearly labeled bins or containers for different types of recyclables, such as paper, plastic, glass, and metal.
- Educate yourself and your family members on what can and can’t be recycled, as guidelines may vary depending on your location.
- Develop a routine of regularly emptying and sorting recyclables, ensuring cleanliness and freedom from contaminants. Remember to involve the children at home.
By establishing a recycling system, you can actively reduce waste and conserve valuable resources while positively impacting the planet.
9. Walk Instead of Taking Your Car
Walking instead of driving offers numerous benefits for your health and the environment. By taking a walk, especially when the destination is a short distance away, you engage in physical activity that promotes cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and improves overall fitness.
Additionally, strolling can clear your mind, reduce stress, increase energy and allows you to start a conversation with someone. Moreover, walking instead of driving reduces carbon emissions and contributes to a cleaner, greener environment.
It also alleviates traffic congestion and promotes safer streets for pedestrians. So, next time you have a short distance to cover, even on Nelson Mandela Day, consider lacing up your shoes and enjoying walking’s many advantages.
10. Tutor Children Who Need Help Learning Your Mother Tongue.
Teaching children who need help learning their mother tongue is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. As a native speaker, I believe you understand the importance of preserving and passing on the local language to the next generation.
As teachers, we have a responsibility to provide engaging lessons to children learning in their mother tongues. Learning to speak your mother tongue boosts your confidence and fosters a genuine interest in the language.
Whether it’s through vocabulary drills, reading comprehension exercises, or interactive conversations, use the celebration of Nelson Mandela Day to teach a child your local language.
You can spread awareness about Mandela’s life and his values of forgiveness, reconciliation, and freedom through educational events, discussions, or sharing resources on social media platforms.
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