Nelson Mandela devoted his life in service of others for 67 years and on July 18, the Nelson Mandela Foundation encourages everyone to devote 67 minutes to helping others as a way of marking Nelson Mandela Day. July 18 is the day Nelson Mandela was born. In recognition his contribution to the culture of freedom and peace, this day was officially declared by the United Nations General Assembly “Nelson Mandela International Day” in 2009, according to their website.
What’s Mandela Day?
“It is more than a celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy. It is a global movement to honor his life’s work and act to change the world for the better,” according to mandeladay.com. The day was inspired on Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations where he tasked the burden of leadership of tackling the world’s social injustices on the next generation when he said that “it is in your hands now”.
The versatility of Mandela Day is that it belongs to everyone and can take place anywhere, at any time. Mandela followed three rules throughout his life:
- Free yourself
- Free others
- Serve every day
Using these three areas as a reference point, individuals, corporations, and associations can come up with ideas on how to use these three areas to make a difference.
Here’s how you can take part:
Global South Africans (GSA) in Beijing will be holding a potluck picnic at Chaoyang Park’s North Gate to bring the community together. GSA will be selling t-shirts for RMB 60 with all the proceeds going to charity. The event will be from 1-7pm.
If you’re not available to attend then try to do something along the following themes:
- Food security
- Education & literacy
- Shelter & infrastructure
Here are three fundraising ways and ways to give back:
Beijing has numerous charitable organizations that are always looking for volunteers in areas such as orphanages, women empowerment, people living with disabilities, or those with special needs. Ask around and get a list of recommended places according to the areas that’s of interest to you. Don’t forget that lovable four legged animals are part of the community and families and animal shelters are always a hand short.
Create Your Own Call to Action
Mandela Day is flexible enough to allow people to create their own call to action just like Madiba did when he said, “it is in your hands now”. If you are passionate about a cause that will make an impact in the communities around you or even back home then sign up the call of action and get feedback from the Nelson Mandela Foundation on whether it can work.
Clean out your closet or shelves then donate to Roundabout to help them raise funds for various charitable projects. Here’s to find out more about donating in the city.
I’m sneakily going to throw this here…
Run a Long Distance Race
There’s no official Mandela Day run but this shouldn’t stop you from signing up for a 5km, 10km, half, or full marathon this year then use that to fundraise for charity. If there’s a cause that you feel strongly about, the vision of Mandela Day is to get involved in that positive outcome and make the community a better place.
Photos courtesy of Mandela Day Foundation