Nelson Mandela International Day | 18 July 2021

For those who didn’t know, we’ve got a few South Africans at Push. Some are based in London, and a few of us working from the motherland itself.

And what’s one of the first things that come to mind when you think of South Africa (besides the brilliant defeat in the 2019 Rugby World Cup), probably Nelson Mandela, right?

Well, did you know that July is Mandela month? South Africans celebrate the former president’s birthday, as the 18th of July has been declared Nelson Mandela International Day. You may think it’s a nice reason to have a day off work, but we use this to try to give back to the community for 67 minutes.

Why 67 minutes?

A minute for every year of public service Mandela performed.
The whole idea behind this is to give people the opportunity to give back to the community, to make a “small gesture in solidarity with humanity” and encourage a global movement of good deeds. The inspiration for this actually came from a speech he made in Hyde Park during his 90th birthday celebrations (2008), when the iconic leader said: “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.”

These 67 minutes are a way to influence positive change, raise awareness and demonstrate his values:

  • Helping people in need
  • Fighting injustice
  • Practising reconciliation

But isn’t this just for South Africans? Nope! You may have picked up on words like “international” and “global” throughout this article. Everyone is welcome to take part, in fact, we encourage you to!

Don’t know what to do? There are plenty of ideas online that include suggestions such as: donate clothes, clean up a city park, volunteer to read stories at a children’s home, learn first aid, put together stationery packs for under-resourced schools, donate blood, volunteer at a soup kitchen, pick up groceries or medication for a senior citizen… the list goes on and on, the sky’s the limit!

There are so many ways to make a difference. Giving a small amount of your time can make a big impact on someone else. So tell me, how will you be celebrating Mandela Day this year?

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