Let's Make Every Day, a #MandelaDay

Posted by Ashli L. Savoy
July 18, 2014
Man Walks Past a Billboard Featuring a Photo of Former South African President Nelson Mandela

Six years ago, Nelson Mandela made a call to the next generation to take action to address the world’s social injustices. One year later, in 2009, the first Nelson Mandela International Day was celebrated, launched via unanimous decision in the UN General Assembly. Today, in our fifth year of commemoration, we continue to join the call to carry on Mandela’s legacy and to join the global movement for good.  Nelson Mandela once 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.”

Mandela left us with large shoes to fill: he was a man who changed his life, served his country, and helped free his people. He saw himself first and foremost as a servant of South Africa’s people, to whom he owed a duty and whom he led by example. Serving as a as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker, and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa, Nelson Mandela contributed greatly to our culture of peace and freedom, and for that we salute and thank him. It is now our challenge to follow in his footsteps.

The message behind Mandela Day is simple: everyone has the ability and responsibility to serve others and to create positive change. This can happen any day, anywhere in the world, and the responsibility belongs to everyone. By giving a little of our time, we can start to change the world around us, and by emulating the leadership and service of Nelson Mandela, we can become change makers ourselves.

This year the Nelson Mandela Foundation wants us to remember that Mandela Day is not about symbolic gestures. It is not about "one day of generosity and then back to the normal routine." We join the Foundation and the international community in encouraging people to take responsibility for making the world a better place for all -- to make every day a Mandela Day. 

What will you do to make today a Mandela day? Lead by example and pay tribute to a great man. Join the Mandela Day community and share how you plan to take action, inspire others, and make a difference using #MandelaDay and #Time2Serve.

About the Author: Ashli Savoy serves as a Public Affairs Specialist in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO). Stay connected with IO on Tumblr and Twitter.


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Narayan S.
July 18, 2014
No one will find a person like Madiba. He teaches lessons to help needy people. The people who are in a position to serve the world must learn lesson from him. But sad to say some people do not learned. There is an example in a UN organization which is serving people in the world has a UN professional victim of exploitation, torture, discrimination, and many more. Many appeals and pleas to two executive directors for over three and half years, from 2007 to 2011, fell into deaf ears. Surprisingly the perpetrator(s) were not punished; and the management is/was running against the management principle without having/feeling responsibility. ‘Top managers’ have unlimited authority and power which they misused forgetting ethic, moral and dignity and did not provide justice to a victim in a UN organization. When there is no justice in a UN organization, no one can expect better world, in this world, like our Madiba dreamed of a World.
Texas, USA
July 19, 2014
Madiba is an inspiration for us all and one of the greatest humanitarian's of the 20th century. His teachings are a lesson even today in the 21st century as we fight for equal rights for #IVF children and families. Some day, One Day...#IVF rights!
Pearl M.
July 19, 2014
Nelson Mandela is an extremely good example of a leader. He was not selfish.
cruz j.
July 19, 2014
NEVER FORGET MR MANDELA ! A HERO ! our world miss more men like him WEMISS YOU SO MUCH
john a.
July 19, 2014
i enjoyed using your site


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