Today is the 18th of July, a day that is celebrated across the world as Nelson Mandela International Day.
Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010. However, other groups began celebrating Mandela Day on 18 July 2009.
On 27 April 2009, the 46664 concerts and the Nelson Mandela Foundation invited the global community to join them in support of an official Mandela Day.
Mandela Day is not meant as a public holiday, but as a day to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former President, and his values, through volunteering and community service.
Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact.
The Mandela Day campaign message is:
“Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes.”
“We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring people together around the world to fight poverty and promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity.”
In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly formally declared 18 July to be “Nelson Mandela International Day”.
In 2014, the UN General Assembly established the Nelson Mandela Prize, a quinquennial award recognizing the achievements of those who dedicated their lives to the service of humanity.
Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18 July 2009 via unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly.
It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier, 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”.
It is more than a celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy; it is a global movement to honour his life’s work and to change the world for the better.
In 2009, when the United Nations General Assembly declared Nelson Mandela’s 18 July birthday Nelson Mandela International Day, Madiba called on the people of the world to honour him by helping their communities.
Now while the UN and those commemorating Nelson Mandela Day are calling on the global community to help make a difference in their communities by helping people in various way, this is not a new concept that was just recently initiated.
For thousands of years people have always been encouraged to help others and it is safe to say that Islam has been the forerunner in this, always encouraging men to lessen the burden of their fellow humans.
Thus, our theme for this week is about helping others.