Nelson Mandela Day for Ubuntu

“Do what you can with what you have, wherever you are” Nelson Mandela

Ms Matanato Ngwaila at the ceremony with the recipients of food parcels and mattresses in Bizana, Eastern Cape.

Nelson Mandela Day was made popular among South Africans, the continent of Africa and the world through the 67-minutes for Mandela campaign, remember! It gradually swelled into an entire month of July dedicated to emulate the Statesman’s spirit of Ubuntu. Today, this is an internationally recognised commitment to making the world a better place and encourages people to live out the values of Ubuntu on a daily basis. Ubuntu is the underpinning principle that former President Nelson Mandela led his life and possibly the best asset he bequeathed the world.

“Do what you can…”

Here at the NHC, a project of the Ubuntu Initiative runs throughout the year to request the public to apply for assistance in reaching out to destitute communities. The most recent was on 30 June 2022 where a community was assisted with food parcels, mattresses and other needs. The call for applications is still open and you may share with those who you think may qualify. More information is on the NHC website.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is leading the campaign annually in partnership with national government and international organisations. The theme for this year is framed around food and nutrition “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”.

It encourages promoting communities and backyard gardens, supporting fruit and indigenous tree planting, and creating awareness of the intersections between food security and climate change.

“There is increasing global consciousness about the interdependence of climate change and food insecurity, exacerbated by social inequality and poverty” mentions the website of the Foundation.

The focus on food availability, accessibility, utilisation and affordability, will hopefully alleviate hunger particularly by the vulnerable amongst us. South Africans are called upon to participate in sustainable interventions such as promoting community and home gardens and supporting fruit and indigenous tree planting.

The Mandela Foundation emphasizes that essence of Mandela Day – take action, inspire change, and make every day a Mandela Day – is more important than ever before and urges people to:

  • Plant and grow fresh, organic and cost-effective produce in or for vulnerable communities.
  • Plant and grow trees for the well-being of all, with an emphasis on fruit trees in support of food production for vulnerable communities.
  • Invest in sustainable food production platforms to the benefit of vulnerable communities.
  • Embrace home and community planting and growing as a contribution to protecting the environment and addressing the challenge of climate change.

Entering the “Mandela Month” leading to the birthdate of President Nelson Mandela on 18 July, the globe will be honouring his contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.

The UN General Assembly declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day” in November 2009 to recognise Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity in: conflict resolution; race relations; promotion and protection of human rights; reconciliation; gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups; the fight against poverty; the promotion of social justice. The resolution acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world. Here at home it is simply Ubuntu at an extraordinary level.

On the day that South Africa dedicated to celebrate its Heritage, 24 September 2018, world leaders gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York for the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit. At the Summit, nearly 100 Heads of State and Government, Ministers, Member States and representatives of civil society participants adopted a political declaration committed to redoubling efforts to build a just, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and fair world, as they paid tribute to the late South African President’s celebrated qualities and service to humanity. Recognizing the period from 2019 to 2028 as the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace, the Declaration saluted Mr. Mandela for his humility, forgiveness and compassion, acknowledging as well his contribution to the struggle for democracy and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world. This again places South Africa at the centre stage of leading efforts of honouring Mandela.


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