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 was officially launched by the Nelson Mandela Foundation at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Johannesburg on Monday.
Nelson Mandela International Day, now in its fifth year was inspired by 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 Foundation 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 the Department of Education in the “94 Projects for Madiba” in celebration of Mandela’s 94th birthday.
Ninety-four schools in need of infrastructural development were identified for urgent assistance when the campaign started two months ago.
Quoting Nelson Mandela, Education Minister 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 identified schools.
The department has also urged South African school learners to sing “Happy birthday” to Mandela at 8am on 18 July.
The call has also been extended to people throughout the world to sing the song at the same time on the day.
Three of Nelson Mandela’s grandsons, Ndaba, Kweku and Luvuyo Mandela spoke of the Nelson Mandela International Day programs in which they will be involved including planting trees; building houses with Habitat for Humanity; painting schools and helping to stock school libraries.
Luvuyo said: “Just a simple ‘hello’ good morning a smile and something to uplift someone else’s day.” – BuaNews