On July 18 more than 100 countries are set to join South Africa in its commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day. The day was launched in recognition of Mandela’s birthday via unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly.
The day was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made in 2008, for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that “it is in your hands now”.
Our children are this next generation, and educating and celebrating his life and legacy will hopefully have a positive effect on the youth of today. This global movement not only honours his life’s work but it encourages adults and children alike to act to change the world for the better.
This year marks the first time the day has been celebrated without the icon, however more than 1000 worldwide events are set to be held this year, more than any other year.
In recognition of his legacy and of this day, the City of Toronto is planning to honour Nelson Mandela with a dedication of a city street, which is yet to be announced. Also, back in June the president of the Toronto Raptors, Masai Ujiri, organized and event to honour Nelson Mandela. Joined by a number of celebrities and business leaders the event raised significant funds for Giants of Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
There are many small simple things we can do as families that doesn’t involve donating large sums of money but the gesture means just as much:
Why not ask your child to donate a toy? Explaining that there are many children who aren’t lucky enough to have the same privileges.
What about encouraging your children to ride their bikes more? Then sign up for a cycle challenge and raise some money for charity.
Or what about using your shoppers points to buy a gift card and giving it to someone who cannot afford to buy food?
As Nelson Mandela said: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”