Mandela Day: Theme, Quotes, Objectives and Significance

July 18 is celebrated every year as Mandela Day or Nelson Mandela International Day across the globe. It marks Nelson Mandela’s birth anniversary. Mandela was born on 18 July 1918. He was a political figure and a philanthropist who led the anti-apartheid revolution in South Africa. In the year 2009, the United Nations took a unanimous decision to observe Mandela Day on the birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela. Mandela Day reiterates that each one of us has the potential to transform the world around us.

Quick Facts on Mandela Day

  • Date: 18 July
  • Other Names: Nelson Mandela International Day
  • Significance: Marks birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela
  • Purpose: To celebrate the legacy of Nelson Mandela
  • Declared by: The United Nations (in November 2009)
  • First Official Celebration: 18 July 2010

Objectives of Mandela Day

Mandela Day celebrates the legacy of Nelson Mandela. It recognizes Mandela’s support for Africa’s struggle for independence and unity.  The day acknowledges Mandela’s contribution to the service of humanity and towards the creation of a non-sexist, non-racial, and democratic South Africa.

History of Mandela Day

The first Mandela Day was celebrated on 18 July 2009 in New York (United States). Later that year, on 10 November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly officially adopted a resolution declaring 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day.

mandela day

The Importance of Mandela Day

Mandela Day is not just a celebration. It is a global movement that reinforces the significance of principles like humanity, democracy, and peace — which were advocated by Nelson Mandela throughout his life.  This day encourages the world to take action for a better tomorrow. It inspires people all across the globe to stand for social justice. The day inspires people to make individual contributions wherever they are and whenever they can.

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Mandela Day Focus Areas (2019-2029)

From 2019 till 2029, an entire decade has been allotted to focus on 10 key goals. These goals are:

Mandela Day Focus Areas: 10 Key Goals
Goal Details Area
Goal 1 Provision of quality education for all children. Education & Literacy
Goal 2 All children in Early Childhood Development (ECD) to have access to learning resources for development. Education & Literacy
Goal 3 Reduce hunger in families through the provision of nutritious meals. Food & Nutrition
Goal 4 Eliminate malnutrition and stunting in young children Food & Nutrition
Goal 5 Provide safe shelter for families to live and thrive in. Shelter
Goal 6 Eliminate homelessness Shelter
Goal 7 Sanitation that is safe in every school. Sanitation
Goal 8 Enable access of safe sanitation to all communities to Sanitation
Goal 9 Dedicate more resources to supporting poverty eradication projects. Active Citizenship
Goal 10 Encourage public participation and activist voices towards the eradication of poverty and inequality Active Citizenship

How the World Celebrates Mandela Day?

Mandela fought throughout his life for humanitarian causes. Thus, on this day, various events are organized to revisit the life and teachings of Nelson Mandela. Seminars and lectures are organized at educational institutions. People opt for volunteering in local organizations working for any humanitarian cause. They march with protesters raising voice against injustice and inequality.

This year, however, is badly hit by the global coronavirus pandemic. The trying times encourage us even further to follow the path of Nelson Mandela. Most offline events that were scheduled to mark the celebration have been canceled this year. The world has taken reliance on digital routes to celebrate the day. Hence, most events are being conducted online.

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What is Mandela Day Global Network?

It is a community of governments, organizations, companies, and people at large who partner with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to drive Mandela Day and pursue its objectives. Mandela Day Global Network establishes a strategic partnership on a global level.  Sharing information, linking the needs to resources, and coordination of efforts are the common goals of this network.

Mandela Day Ideas 2021

The year 2021 has hardly given us any scope to provide our service to the community in open. We are amid an unprecedented pandemic ever witnessed in our lifetimes. Nevertheless, goodness never awaits time. Hence, we have prepared a list of ideas that you may consider for celebrating  Mandela Day this year.

  • Cleaning and sanitizing the neighborhood.
  • Donate medical, sanitary, and hygiene-related packs to the needy.
  • Offer food or ration to the hungry in the community.
  • Join online groups celebrating the day.
  • Donate to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

How Can you Donate to the Nelson Mandela Foundation

If you wish to contribute towards the causes that are being taken up by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, you can visit the official website of the foundation. A separate page for donations is available on the website. You can also access the donation page by clicking here.

Inspirational and Famous Quotes by Nelson Mandela

“One of the most difficult things is not to change society, but to change yourself.”

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”

“The greatest glory in living is not in falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“I never lose. I either win or learn.”

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“When people are determined they can overcome anything.”

“Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”

“You can start changing our world for the better daily, no matter how small the action.”

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

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Dashamlav.com, "Mandela Day: Theme, Quotes, Objectives and Significance." Accessed 29 July 2021. https://dashamlav.com/mandela-day-theme-quotes-objectives-significance/

"Mandela Day: Theme, Quotes, Objectives and Significance." (n.d.). Dashamlav.com. Retrieved 29 July 2021 from https://dashamlav.com/mandela-day-theme-quotes-objectives-significance/