The significance of Nelson Mandela Day?

​Nelson Mandela Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on Mandela's birthday, 18 July. The day was officially declared as Mandela Day by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held in 2010.

Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that everyone has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact. This year's Mandela Day campaign message is "Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We're asking you to start with 67 minutes."

IIE Rosebank College National office will be visit and donate essentials to the Orlando Children's Home to celebrate.

We asked some IIE Rosebank College members of staff what Nelson Mandela Day means to them.

"The day means giving back to the less fortunate. Yes, you can do it every day but, on this day, it's about being considerate, doing something for those less fortunate, your community or others in general," says Wanga Nemavhola.  Reamogetse Mautlane agrees. "Nelson Mandela sacrificed so much of his life for us, and it's a reminder to do for others, just as he did for us."

Nakedi Montsho believes Nelson Mandela Day should be everyday if it is to have any kind of impact. "I have a problem with the fact that Nelson Mandela Day is just for one day. There is no value if we do something for those in need for one day only and leave them to suffer the other days."

"For me Nelson Mandela Day represents two things, optimism and hope. There is value in paying it forward. It isn't about giving but making it easier for someone else who is coming behind you.  It's about asking yourself what you can do to make things better and thus encouraging a culture of paying it forward," says Patience Molepo.

Suggestions of things you can do

According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation you could.

  • Put together stationary packs (pens, stickers, coloured paper, scissors etc) for teachers at an under-resourced school.
  • Do a neighbourhood clean-up armed with plastic gloves and black bags.
  • Donate your time at a haven or shelter.
  • Make 'care kits' (including a comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, face cloth, etc) for patients at a nearby government hospital.
  • Organise a fun outing for children at an HIV/Aids home.
  • Donate blood.
For more suggestions on what you can do visit here

"For me Nelson Mandela is about giving back to the less fortunate in any way. One may donate clothes, food, toiletries etc or even give their time to do something helpful and impactful for others. It is also a day that reminds us to celebrate the life of Tata Nelson Mandela and to be grateful for everything he has done that contributes to the 25-year democracy we have," says Mantshadi Photolo.


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