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The great anti-Apartheid protestor, South African civil rights activist, ultimate politician and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, made volunteerism and social action a defining goal under his leadership. On July 19, 1918 Mandela was born in Mvezo, South Africa. He passed away in Johannesburg December 2013. Since 2008, the United Nations has forever established July 18 as UN Mandela International Day.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation established a Web site devoted entirely to Mandela Day. Most importantly, it is not merely a day to reflect and remark on his peaceful protests during his 27 years in prison or even his continued work to establish equal rights after his release and eventual presidency of South Africa. While his story his truly spectacular and inspiring, Mandela Day was established to encourage citizens around the world to step up and find a way to participate in a social action such as promoting literacy and education, enhancing food security, providing shelter and improving infrastructure, and service and volunteerism. On July 19 every year, global volunteers are challenged to find a way to give back to society by devoting 67 minutes of social action time to a cause that is meaningful. 67 minutes represents the 67 years that Nelson Mandela worked to eradicate social injustice in his country. Read the Independent’s Nelson Mandela biography: A long walk to immortality - the life and times of Madiba for a review of his fascinating and inspirational life story. Read also the Chicago Tribune’s Timeline: Life and times of Nelson Mandela.
Start by reading South Africans Celebrate International Nelson Mandela Day. Follow up with the Huffington Post’s Mandela Day Celebrates The Legacy Of The Iconic Hero. Around South Africa, cities and provinces are working to enhance the lives of those around them. Find out how Soweto women knit blankets for Mandela Day (The Citizen). Read how the Gauteng premier gets involved in school initiative for Mandela day (Times South Africa). Read Mandela Day – What Can You Do For 67 Minutes? from the Inquisitr.
Keep in mind, the point that this day is a catalyst to continued action. Contributing to volunteerism and helping for 67 minutes is a spark to further work. Watch eNews Channel Africa’s Winnie’s stern words for those who do good only on Mandela Day video clip. Next click over to the International Business Times post, Nelson Mandela Quotes: 17 Inspiring Sayings From The South African Leader On His Birthday. Read the article and quotes and look at the photos. Mandela’s stirring and motivational statements helped to overhaul an entire oppressive society and lead them into prosperity and positive action.
For further reading, the New York Times provides their own full Chronology of Coverage that spans their coverage going back as far as 1962 - South Africa Sentences Nationalist to 5 Years. Skim through the numerous article topics and click any that interest you. Nelson’s life and his goals and accomplishments are an inspiration to citizens in every nation. As you plan your next community service involvement, read UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for Nelson Mandela International Day.