Nelson Mandela International Day

The 18th of July 2009 was established as the international Nelson Mandela Day, through a decision made by the UN General Assembly. Why? Because the Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an impact:  “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”. Nelson Mandela.

The 18th of July was chosen because it was Madiba’s birthday as way to honour his legacy. The first year of this International Day, in 2009, was marked by a series of educational events, art exhibitions, fund-raising and volunteer events leading up to a concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The Nelson Mandela Foundation has decided to dedicate 2017's International Day to honouring a great statesman and making every day a Mandela Day by encouraging everyone to take action against poverty.

The official hashtag for today is, in fact, #ActionAgainstPoverty. “We need to restore and reaffirm the dignity of the people of Africa and the developing world. We need to place the eradication of poverty at the top of world priorities. We need to know with a fresh conviction that we all share a common humanity and that our diversity in the world is the strength for our future together.”, Nelson Mandela.

Mandela started his battle for freedom by joining the African National Congress in 1942 against the South African regime who denied political, social and civil rights to the black population majority – the apartheid regime. In 1962 he was imprisoned for 27 years, and even from prison he managed to fight against the apartheid. Only in 1990, after the strong requests from the African National Congress and the international community, was he released and became the President of South Africa in 1994. He then turned the old apartheid regime into a democracy through the reconciliation of the two parts.

SCI is actively involved in peace promotion, active citizenship and is against every form of discrimination and racism. The main campaign of SCI today is Building Bridges, a campaign with the aim to raise awareness and stimulate the reflection about the current refugee crisis and forced migration in general. Over the next few days you will read some stories gathered along the Balkan Route thanks to the “A Route to Connect” project. And if you want to be more actively involved in non-discrimination and peace activities, please check the workcamps labelled Building Bridges and No More War on our database and join this summer! 


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