Nelson Mandela Foundation

Since the recognition of Nelson Mandela International Day by the United Nations General Assembly in November 2009, the Mandela Day team at the Nelson Mandela Foundation has had to use adaptive measures for the ever-changing socio-economic landscape of South Africa and the world at large. 2023 marks the opportunity for the Foundation’s efforts to align local and international concerns – Climate, Food & Solidarity.

The world today is beset by seemingly insurmountable challenges such as persistent inequality, conflict and deepening poverty. Climate change and the intersecting threat of increasing food insecurity have both a local and global impact.

On the 20th of April 2023, the Nelson Mandela Foundation held a Mandela Day briefing at the Afrika Tikkun, Uthando Centre, in Braamfontein, for various stakeholders within its larger network, including beneficiaries of the work we do. The event was held to highlight the work of the Mandela Day team with communities in responding to climate change and food insecurity. This work is a continuation and expansion of the community-based food gardens, home-based food gardens as well as the 1 million trees initiative started in 2022.

The 18th of July 2023 will mark 105 years since the birth of our founding patron, Nelson Mandela, and the Mandela Day team wishes to reignite the global reach of Nelson Mandela International Day through global partnerships. On Mandela Day this year, it is the vision of the Nelson Mandela Foundation for the world to unite and decisively act against climate change and food insecurity by planting trees, establishing or working in community and home-based food gardens as the sun moves from New Zealand in the east, to the furthest most reaches in the west.

The briefing outlined the call to action for Mandela Day 2023, which aligns with the Foundation’s tenth year in remembrance of Madiba’s passing, “It’s In Your Hands” and “The legacy lives on through you” respectively.

We are working to destruct cycles of poverty and inequality by taking climate action and creating food-resilient environments. As Chief Operating Officer  of the Green Development Foundation, Talifhani Tshitwamulomoni, said at the briefing, “We cannot end climate change, but we can mitigate its devasting effects.” Through sustainable partnerships, community participation and engagement, skills development and meaningful research that is focused on climate and food security interventions, our global collaboration can have enormous impact in minimising climate change disasters.

As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of Madiba’s passing, we have the opportunity to create a better world by rejoicing in all we achieved and survived - from COVID-19, natural and economic disasters, and other social collapses and pick up our boots and work for a brighter future that is based on solidarity with one another across borders. It is in your hands.