Monday, June 29, 2009

Mandela Day Gains Momentum in South Africa

Mandela Day gains momentum

Support is growing for turning Nelson Mandela's birthday into an annual "Mandela Day" of community service, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said on Monday.

"The call... to celebrate Mr Mandela's birthday on 18 July as Mandela Day, is gaining momentum," Foundation CEO Achmat Dangor said in a statement.

Mandela Day is not meant to be a public holiday but an annual event where people around the world are asked to spend 67 minutes of their time to do something which makes a difference to the world around them.

A series of events will be staged across South Africa, in New York and in other cities across the world to celebrate the day.

"Mandela Day is a global call to action on all people to follow in Mr Mandela's footsteps by doing good in their own communities.

"This is in recognition of his decades of sacrifice for humanity," Dangor said.

Some of the programmes planned to take place on Mandela's 91st birthday in South Africa include a community discussion in Khayelitsha about xenophobia.

Foundation staff members would be giving of their time to various causes on the day.

The Nelson Mandela Institute for Rural Development and Education with the University of Fort Hare would be working with volunteers to clean up the town of Alice and the Jabavu High School located there.

"Afterwards they will celebrate Mr Mandela's life with poetry and song at a jamboree on campus."

In Cape Town the Mandela Rhodes Foundation will participate in workshops promoting ubuntu in the workplace.

Earlier this month, the ANC said its parliamentary caucus and youth league would work together to make Mandela Day a reality.

"We committed ourselves... that on the 18th of July we should commemorate Mandela Day through community work programmes organised and executed through our constituency offices," ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga said at the time.

Ahead of the launch of his day, Mandela met with a group of South African and American students at the beginning of this month.

The students developed a charter applying Mandela's ideals to their day-to-day lives which would be passed on to their communities and peers.

"Mandela has said: "It is time for new hands to lift the burdens" of the world.

He has also said that he wished that "South Africans never give up on the belief in goodness".

"If each one of us becomes involved together we could help create an international global movement for good," Dangor said.

More information can be found at - Sapa
Published on the Web by IOL on 2009-06-29 17:14:46

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