This year’s #MandelaDay falls on what would have been his 99th birthday in 2017 with campaigners spending the date honouring his life and legacy whilst looking toward how to continue his phenomenal work.
Here is everything you need to know about Nelson Mandela and the date commemorating
Back to basics. Who was Nelson Mandela?
Not so easy to highlight as he achieved so much in his lifetime but in a nutshell, Nelson Mandela spent his life fighting for equality and racial segregation.
He earned the Nobel Peace Prize for his work ending apartheid with President FW de Klerk and became South Africa’s first ever democratically elected president.
He also campaigned to raise awareness of AIDS and HIV.
Why is Nelson Mandela Day today?
Nelson Mandela Day is marked every year on what would have been his birthday.
This year would have been Mandela’s 99th birthday as he was born on 18 July, 1918.
The day was established by the UN General Assembly in 2009.
What is Nelson Mandela Day all about?
Nelson Mandela International Day is all about marking what the politician did for South Africa in ending apartheid. It is about honouring Mandela ‘s life and legacy.
Before he died in 2013, Mandela urged the younger generation to continue his work with equality to make the world a better place and that’s what Mandela Day is all about.
Not just in remembering what Mandela achieved but in looking to what can be done in the future to ensure enduring change.
This year the message is about taking Action Against Poverty (in line with the United Nations Global Goal 1).
What can I do?
The Mandela Day website is urging people to do something – no matter how small – to help change the world for the better.
That might be simply sending out a poignant tweet to raise awareness under the #actionagainstpoverty hashtag or joining the Mandela Day community.
The campaign is also urging people to tweet about the small thing they did to inspire change under that same hashtag.
In deciding what to do the website suggests starting ‘with what you are passionate about’ and ‘giving a little of your time to make a difference to the life of someone else’.
That might be in helping an elderly neighbour buy groceries, looking after children to give a mother a break or helping someone who is ill.