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The UN General Assembly unanimously decided to recognize Nelson Mandela’s birthday on July 18, 2009, as Mandela International Day.

A call made by Nelson Mandela (1) inspired it. He urged the next generation to take on the responsibility of leadership in resolving world social problems. He stated, “It is now in your hands.”

The celebration of Mandela Day (2) aims to serve as a global call to action for people to

“recognize their individual power to make an imprint and help change the world around them for the better,” Says the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

“Nelson Mandela has been making an imprint on the world for 67 years, beginning in 1942 when he first started to campaign for the human rights of every South African. His life has been an inspiration to the world,” The foundation said.

By devoting 67 minutes of their time – one minute for Mandela’s public service every year – people can make a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step towards a global movement for good.

It is more than a celebration of his life and legacy. It is a global movement to honor his life’s work and act to change the world for the better.

The Message

Nelson Mandela followed three rules throughout his life, which he did at great personal sacrifice:

  • Free yourself.
  • Free others.
  • Serve every day.

The worldwide celebration of Nelson Mandela’s birthday is a call to action for people all around the globe to take up the challenge. And follow in the legendary footsteps of Madiba, who transformed his life, served his nation, and freed his people.

Its objective is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better and, in so doing, to build a global movement for good.

We must ask ourselves what we are doing to make the world a better place; what are we doing to make Mandela Day every day?

Mandela Day is dynamic and ever-changing: it belongs to everyone and can take place anywhere, at any time. We urge everyone to find inspiration for their contribution to Nelson Mandela’s legacy and serve their fellow humans daily.

Why Celebrate Mandela Day?

The message behind it is simple – each individual has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better.

If each of us heeded the call to do good every day, we would be living his legacy and helping to build the country of our dreams.

The baton of leadership has been handed over to us. It is in our hands now to make a positive difference.

2014 is mainly symbolic as we work to honor a great politician and make every day a Mandela Day to mark South Africa’s 20 years of democratic freedom. (3)

How Do You Celebrate Nelson Mandela Day?

Over the past ten years, Mandela Day has helped increase awareness for the causes of human rights (4) and equality around the world. Mandela Day encourages people to support initiatives in the following areas:

  • Education
  • Literacy
  • Food
  • Nutrition
  • Sanitation
  • Shelter

Celebrating Mandela Day does not require a big budget. The key is to get involved and use your time, talents, and resources to make a difference in the lives of others.

Ways to Continue Nelson Mandela’s Legacy of Social Justice

For Mandela Day, spread the spirit of Ubuntu in 67 minutes. Ubuntu is a southern African philosophy that means “humanity towards others.”

It is the belief that we are all interconnected and that our well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of others. This philosophy was Mandela’s guiding light, and it can be ours too.

Here are some ideas you can do to make every day a Mandela Day and continue his legacy of social justice: (5)

Help Kids Stay off the Streets

Children who grow up in deprivation are more likely to commit crimes and get hooked on drugs. They’re also more likely to quit school and become homeless.

There are many ways to help children stay away from crime and drugs. One way is to give them a safe place to live. Another is to teach them skills that will allow them to succeed in life.

Many organizations offer these services. Some are government-funded, and others are private charities. But all of them work hard to help kids avoid becoming criminals and drug addicts.

Save Three Lives

It only takes a minute to save a life, and you don’t even have to be a doctor. You can give blood or donate your time and money to a worthy cause.

All it takes is a little bit of effort on your part. But the rewards are great. You’ll feel good about yourself, and you’ll also be saving other people’s lives.

Help Improve the Quality of Education in Schools

Education is the foundation of our society. Without it, we cannot progress. However, many children today don’t receive a proper education. It is because there aren’t enough teachers and resources available.

You may help by giving your time and money to organizations that work to improve the quality of education in schools. You can also volunteer to tutor children who need help with their studies.

By doing this, you’ll be making a difference in the lives of children and helping to build a better future for our society.

Help Keep a Girl in School

Girls don’t have the same chances as boys in many parts of the world. They’re often forced into early marriage or denied an education.

Supporting organizations that work to keep girls in school (1) can help change this. You can also donate money to programs that provide scholarships for girls.

When you give girls the chance to go to school, you give them the tools they need to succeed.

Keep the Environment Safe

Our planet is in danger. Climate change occurs, ice caps are melting, and species are vanishing. We should do something to protect our planet before it’s too late.

Cutting down on your carbon footprint is one thing you can do to help. Such as driving less, recycling more, and using fewer energy appliances.

You can also help organizations that are working to protect the environment. By doing this, you’ll be helping to ensure that our planet will be around for future generations.


  1. 5 Ways to Continue Nelson Mandela’s Legacy of Social Justice (globalcitizen.org)
  2. What can I do? – Mandela Day
  3. NELSON MANDELA INTERNATIONAL DAY – July 18, 2022 – National Today
  4. Nelson Mandela International Day (unesco.org)
  5. Nelson Mandela International Day, 18 July, For Freedom, Justice and Democracy (un.org)

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