Marking Int’l Nelson Mandela Day, Globally and Locally

International Nelson Mandela Day is on 18 July 2013.

1010987567The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and, in doing so, build a global movement for good. Ultimately, it seeks to empower communities everywhere.

The theme for Nelson Mandela Day 2013 is “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day”. There are three subthemes: food security, literacy and shelter.

Nelson Mandela Day activities are meant to be in service of a community and the people of Kazakhstan are therefore encouraged to conduct events that are in line with one of the three subthemes. However, given the overall theme – as long as you are making a contribution by giving your time (67 minutes or more), – it will be appreciated.

Criteria for Participation in Mandela Day

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has launched a global movement for good on what has become an annual Mandela Day on July 18, Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Mandela Day seeks to honour Madiba’s leadership and humanitarian legacy by asking that each and every person takes some time on that day and each day thereafter to do good within their communities. Mandela Day celebrates the potential that each individual has to transform the world – we are inspired by the example that Madiba has set for us: each of us taking responsibility for ourselves and acting on the responsibility we have to others.

To become part of the Mandela Day movement, all that is required is an action that helps change the lives of people for the better. To ensure that their actions have lasting benefits, they should, with and within communities, always strive to leave behind not only physical changes but also a sense of empowerment, helping to build pride among those communities so that they can take charge of their destinies and change their circumstances. The cumulative actions of people, even if it is one small step at a time, can become a transformative momentum.

Mandela Day is the initiative of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and its sister organizations, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation. 46664, the campaign vehicle of the Mandela Organisations, supports the activity of Mandela Day as well; however, activity on the day and follow-up, are the prerogative of people and organizations “on the ground”.

18 July, the birthday of Nelson Mandela is declared “Nelson Mandela Day” by the United Nations. The call by the UN to organizations and communities across the globe is to volunteer 67 minutes of their time to serve in a project that builds a better life for all.

The 67 minutes symbolizes the 67 years that Nelson Mandela contributed towards the project of building a better life for all in South Africa, Africa and the World.

We call on all people in Kazakhstan to volunteer 67 minutes of their time on Nelson Mandela Day to help change their communities for the better. This year’s events will take place under the theme of “Take action; inspire change; make every day a Mandela Day” with a focus on food security, shelter and literacy.”

The Embassy of South Africa in Kazakhstan will roll out a programme called “Dedications to Nelson Mandela.” The Embassy’s programme started in June 2012 and will continue until December 2015.

We invite you to join us in this interesting and exciting project.

For 2013 we aspire to roll out the following projects:

1. Inspiring Inner Change: inspiring people to participate in Yoga and Meditation Workshops for the duration of 67 minutes. The Yoga and Meditation Session will be conducted by Mrs. Ruweida Soni, my spouse. The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Kazakhstan, The Embassy of the Republic of India in Kazakhstan and YOGA ROOM are partnering to present you with a wonderful and empowering experience in Astana.

2. South African Specialists: inspiring people to become South Africa Specialists. We request as many people as possible to become a South African Specialist during the month of July. All you have to do is spend a few hours on an online course and take a short test. You will receive a certificate after the course. See for more details.

3. Inspiring TV channels and movie houses to show movies and documentaries dedicated to Nelson Mandela. The South African Embassy in Kazakhstan will make such documentaries and movies available to TV channels.

4. Inspire producers of concerts, musicals, theaters to dedicate their productions to Nelson Mandela. For example over the past two years the Haileybury School in Astana dedicated their Annual Concert to Nelson Mandela.

5. Celebrating Nelson Mandela: inspiring people to dedicate their celebrations and events to Nelson Mandela.

6. School Concerts: partner with schools and inspire the children to express Nelson Mandela in the form of art, poetry, letters, lectures and essays. We are working with the Art Schools in Astana and the Haileybury School in Astana. We encourage other schools to join our programme.

7. Inspiring Leadership: post a quotation of Nelson Mandela in Russian and Kazakh weekly on the Embassy Facebook Group and ask others to share the quotations. Produce an ebook of Nelson Mandela’s Quotations.

8. WACHIZUNGU SAWA SAWA: inspire people to support the project. Putting new school shoes on the feet of poor children.

9. Congress of World and Traditional Leaders: inspire all spiritual, traditional and religious groups to dedicate a special service and prayer to Nelson Mandela and building a better life for all. In Astana, we will approach the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities to hold special services for Nelson Mandela.

10. African Dressing, Dancing and Drumming (DDD) workshops: inspire change and build strong volunteers via the DDD workshops. This is a lot of fun and we will encourage as many people as possible to join us.

11. Working with orphans, aged and physical challenged persons: inspire orphans, aged and physically challenged persons to participate in DDD workshops. Provide 67 minutes of service to established organizations.

12. Host Mandela Lectures and panel discussions. Inspire UN, universities, schools and diplomats to host lectures and panel discussions on Nelson Mandela.

13. Host an event of pavement painting inviting orphans and school children.

14. Inspire the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Akims of Regions to name a street, build a monument, name a park, plant a row of trees, name a building, translate and publish books and host arts and crafts exhibitions, dedicated to Nelson Mandela.

15. Building Inspiring Partnerships: UN, Office of the President of Kazakhstan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, identified Ministries, Akimats of Kazakhstan, Embassies, Rosa Otunbayeva Foundation, Aga Khan Foundation, Wachizungu Sawa Sawa, Art Schools, Haileyberry Schools, Religious and Spiritual Groups, InterNations, Astana Friday, Hotels, Libraries, Artist and Writers Associations, etc.

16. The Akimat in East Kazakhstan is building a house that will be named after Nelson Mandela.

For more information, please contact the South African Embassy and join our Facebook group.

The author is the Ambassador of South Africa in Kazakhstan.

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