Every year on July 18, we honour the life and legacy of the late Nelson Mandela, a global symbol of resistance, reconciliation, and hope. More than just a commemoration of Madiba’s birthday, Nelson Mandela International Day, known more fondly as Mandela Day, is a unique opportunity for individuals across the world to step forward and embrace Madiba’s values and vision. Mandela’s dream was of a world that celebrates humanity in all its diversity. He envisioned a world where poverty and inequality are relics of the past, and where everyone can contribute to the betterment of society.
On this day, Mandela’s clarion call continues to resonate with us. “It is in your hands to make of the world a better place,” he once said, and Mandela Day 2023 is a perfect opportunity for us all to heed this call, taking responsibility for changing the world into a better place, one small step at a time.
When and Why Do We Celebrate Mandela Day?
Mandela Day is celebrated each year on Nelson Mandela’s birthday, July 18. This day was officially declared Nelson Mandela International Day by the United Nations in November 2009, in recognition of Mandela’s “values and dedication to the service of humanity” in various fields such as conflict resolution, race relations, human rights, reconciliation, and gender equality.
The essence of Mandela Day lies in its simplicity: each individual has the power to transform the world and can make an impact in their own way. The call to dedicate 67 minutes to helping others symbolises the 67 years Mandela devoted to South Africa’s political struggle, representing a lifetime of service.
2023 Mandela Day Theme: It is in your hands.
History of Mandela Day
Mandela Day started as a global initiative to honour the life and legacy of the revered South African leader, Nelson Mandela. It’s a day that shines a light on the values Madiba stood for and his vision of a united and prosperous South Africa. The call to spend 67 minutes helping others first came to light in 2008, with the first official Mandela Day held in New York on 18 July 2009.
6 South African Organisations to Support This Mandela Day
- The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund: Help create a difference in the lives of children in South Africa.
- Food Forward SA: Contribute to an organisation addressing food insecurity.
- The Smile Foundation: Assist in providing facial reconstructive surgery for children.
- The SPCA: Dedicate your time or resources to help animals in need.
- Save the Children South Africa: Work towards improving the lives of children through various initiatives.
- Ladies Of Love: Nourishing the nation one meal at a time.
10 Ways to Give Back on Mandela Day
- Volunteer at a local shelter or soup kitchen.
- Organise a clean-up in your neighbourhood.
- Donate books to a local school or library.
- Create care packages for homeless individuals.
- Plant a tree or start a community garden.
- Organise a fundraising event for a cause you care about.
- Donate blood at a local blood bank.
- Spend time with the elderly at a care home.
- Start a recycling initiative in your community.
- Mentor or tutor a student in need.
How the SweepSouth Team Will be Giving Back
For Mandela Day 2023, the SweepSouth team is dedicating its 67 minutes to cleaning up our beautiful beaches. As passionate advocates for a clean and healthy environment, we have organised a beach clean-up event where our team members will be picking up litter and restoring the natural beauty of our coastline. This beach clean-up is a meaningful way for us to emulate the values Mandela championed and do our part in creating a better world for all.
We’re also thrilled and proud to be announcing a powerful collaboration between SweepSouth and Kena Health, which will focus on providing affordable private healthcare services to 67 SweepStars. The domestic workers that care for our homes and families so diligently often face an uphill battle accessing quality healthcare (amongst other financial constraints), which is why SweepSouth and Kena Health have joined forces to bridge the healthcare gap for 67 SweepStars, ensuring their well-being remains a priority.
5 Inspiring Nelson Mandela Quotes
On this Mandela Day, let’s remember and be guided by some of Mandela’s most inspirational words:
- “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
- “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”
- “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
- “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Mandela Day is about more than just celebrating Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy. It’s about living out his values, continuing his mission, and dedicating ourselves to creating a world that is equal, just, and kind. So whether we’re cleaning up a beach, spending time with the less fortunate, or helping out a local charity, let’s remember to take action and inspire change, just as Madiba did. Happy Mandela Day to all!