The Nelson Mandela Foundation and 46664 call for the establishment of a global ‘Mandela Day’

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April 28, 2009 – 46664 and the Nelson Mandela Foundation are calling on people around the world to support the creation of an official Mandela Day, to be held annually on July 18, Nelson Mandela’s birthday.

This celebration of Mr Mandela’s life will serve as a global call to action for people to recognise their individual power to help to change the world around them for the better.

This annual celebration is being created to inspire people from every corner of the earth to embrace Mr Mandela’s values as they seek to improve their lives through service to their communities.

A series of special events will take place in New York City in the United States this year involving many of the charity’s global ambassadors from the worlds of entertainment, music and film.

In addition to the events taking place, 46664 and the Nelson Mandela Foundation together with the New York City Department of Education will host a group of high school learners as they travel to South Africa in June. These learners will visit Mr Mandela’s offices to see his Foundation’s work and to meet South African learners to develop a student charter that applies Mr Mandela’s ideals to their day-to-day lives and local communities.

“We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation,” according to a statement issued on Mr Mandela’s behalf.

Mr Mandela has been making an imprint on the world for 67 years, beginning in 1942 when he first started to campaign for the human rights of every South African.

To date, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and 46664 have focused mainly on supporting projects in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa where the needs of those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS are currently greatest.

The Mandela Day campaign calls upon people around the world to commit 67 minutes of their time to make an imprint and help change the world around them. 

President Bill Clinton said: “More than any other human being, Madiba has been the great inspiration for the life I lead and the work I do, especially in the area of HIV/AIDS. The philosophy of my Clinton Global Initiative – which has inspired 1 400 commitments improving 200-million lives in more than 150 countries – was built on his enduring example that the power of public good does not require public office, just a well-placed heart and a determined mind. In return for everything Madiba has taught us, we each owe it to him to support his work and legacy by doing and living our own as best we can, not just on this day, but throughout our entire lives.”

Tim Massey, International Director of 46664, said: “Mandela Day is about creating a movement for positive change and establishing one day to reflect upon, celebrate and make manifest the values that guide Nelson Mandela.”

46664 will also be working with partner organisations, other city authorities and community associations and volunteers across the globe to create a worldwide series of Mandela Day events to honour Mr Mandela’s life and legacy.