Making magic on Mandela Mondays

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pretoria - The Nelson Mandela Foundation has found a new way of honouring Madiba that spans beyond the internationally recognized Nelson Mandela Day on July 18.

Unveiling plans for the 2011 Nelson Mandela International Day on Monday, the foundation introduced Mandela Mondays, aimed at urging people everywhere to spend as little as five minutes doing something good that will change someone's life, community or environment for the better. 

Speaking at the launch, Nelson Mandela Foundation Chief Executive, Achmat Dangor, said it remains the work of the foundation to affect change within communities, empowering them to change the world around them. 

"Each Monday, give a small amount of your time, wherever you can, to spreading the message that change is in your hands," said Dangor.

This year, the theme for Mandela Day is Change, and is a call to action for people everywhere to take responsibility for making the world a better place, one small step at a time, just as Mandela did.

Helene Hoedl, deputy director of the United Nations Information Centre in Pretoria, said Mandela embodies great values, adding that the UN supports the foundation's commitment to make every day Mandela Day.

"We declared Nelson Mandela Day an International Day in recognition of his ongoing struggle and outstanding contribution to growing a democratic South Africa and elsewhere on the continent," she said. 

Key events for Mandela Day 2011 include a university students' panel on May 23, where students will discuss what Mandela Day means to them, as well as a public figures' panel, where they will announce their intentions for Mandela Day on June 20.

The first Mandela Day was held on Mandela's birthday, July 18, and in November 2009 and it was declared Nelson Mandela International Day by the United Nations. 

Last year, Mandela Day was marked by acts of goodwill in communities throughout the world.