Nelson Mandela was the embodiment of values such as freedom, equality, respect and values that we need to embrace, as we aspire to a brighter future, which we hope to be engulfed by world peace and harmony. Nelson Mandela International Day is a global call for people to recognize their ability in order to have a positive effect on others around them, by being persistent, determined and dedicated to their core values and principles.
Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on the 18th of July, 2009 through unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly. It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier, for the next generation, to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that ‘it is in your hands now!’ It is more than a celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy. It is a global movement to honour his life’s work and act to change the world for the better.
Since then, the birthday of Mandela is celebrated on the 18th of July annually as Nelson Mandela International Day. This year’s commemoration marks the second Mandela Day when he is no longer around to witness the occasion. Due to his absence, it is, then, more important than ever to maintain the principles for which he fought for and to share his message for peace and humanity with future generations.
Acknowledging on his great efforts, every year on his birthday, United Nations joins a call with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of time to helping others as a way of honouring his good deeds throughout the world and encouraging individuals, communities, governments and non-profit organisations to take one small step towards the larger leap of making a positive imprint.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), appreciate and treasure Nelson Mandela’s values and his commitment to the service of humankind. We also acknowledge his contribution to the struggle for social equality, worldwide, and the support of peace throughout the world. Our motto is to motivate and advocate for youth to embrace and respect the values that Mandela shared and inspire to carry on his noble efforts. We urge young people to step up in bringing imperative change in their society responsibly, especially to those who are the minority or in-need. Let us all strive and fight for all the values Nelson Mandela left!
Happy Nelson Mandela International Day!