In marking the International Nelson Mandela Day on Sunday, 18 July 2020, was a bitter sweet occasion. The day came a few days after the passing away of Ambassador Zindziswa “Zindzi” Mandela, the daughter of the late struggle icon Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. This year the world is also battling the COVID – 19 outbreak which has taken many lives and left a lot of communities vulnerable.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation encourages everybody to mark this day; to engage in activities that inspire change; to make a difference to someone, or a community that needs it most. Accordingly, the South African High Commission and the South African ICAO office in Montreal partnered with Food for Thought, a non-profit organization, and Joe Thottungal, the award-winning chef and owner of Ottawa’s Coconut Lagoon and Thali restaurants, and provided a meal to communities temporarily housed in establishments without adequate cooking facilities in and around Ottawa. The South African diaspora was represented by Mr Tim Askew who – with the rest of the team – worked tirelessly to make Nelson Mandela Day a success.
18 July was officially declared the International Nelson Mandela Day by the United Nations in November 2009. The day honours the legacy of Nelson Mandela who spent 67 years of his life fighting for justices and for human rights.
International Nelson Mandela Day at the Thali Restaurant – Ottawa 2020
“MAKE EVERY DAY A MANDELA DAY.”
The International Nelson Mandela Day, sometimes referred to as Mandela Day, is a day in honour of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former President and is observed annually on 18 July, on Nelson Mandela’s birthday. This day was officially declared the International Nelson Mandela Day by the United Nations in November 2009.
The day honours the legacy of Nelson Mandela and on this day individuals are inspired to – for 67 minutes – take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. It is on this day that individuals are especially encouraged to give 67 minutes of their time to make a difference to someone less fortunate or who needs help in one way or another.
2019 –Ten year anniversary of the International Nelson Mandela Day
This year, 2019, marks the tenth anniversary of Nelson Mandela Day, commemorated under the theme: “Action against poverty”. To commemorate this milestone the Nelson Mandela Foundation has launched a new approach and strategy titled Mandela Day: The Next Chapter.
The strategy outlines a new approach over the next ten years that will significantly change the manner in which the International Nelson Mandela Day impacts people’s lives. This means that the focus will be on harnessing research, analysis and dialogue to build sustainable impact for those that need help the most.
It identifies five key focus areas for global partnerships to focus on to have strategic impact. These areas are education and literacy; food and nutrition; shelter; sanitation and active citizenship, and they are in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
International Nelson Mandela Day at the Ottawa Mission – in Canada 2019.
International Nelson Mandela Day at the Ottawa Mission – in Canada 2018.
International Nelson Mandela Day at the Ottawa Food Bank Community Harvest Program 2017
Article: Diplomat & Int’l Canada
“Spreading Nelson Mandela’s kindness”
Diplomat & International Canada Winter 19/Jan-Mar