67 Minutes for Mandela
3 July 2009
"Mr Mandela has spent 67 years making the world a better place. We're asking you for 67 minutes." Nelson Mandela turns 91 on 18 July, and the call has gone out for people everywhere to celebrate his birthday – and the global launch of Mandela Day – by acting on the idea that each person has the power to change the world.
The call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and its sister organisations for the creation of an official global Mandela Day, to be celebrated annually on 18 July, Mandela's birthday, is gaining momentum.
The celebration of Mandela Day aims to serve as a global call to action for people to "recognise their individual power to make an imprint and help change the world around them for the better", the Nelson Mandela Foundation said at the launch of the campaign in April.
"Nelson 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. His life has been an inspiration to the world."
Now, the Mandela Day campaign is calling on people around the world to commit 67 minutes of their time "to make an imprint and help change the world around them."
- Find out about volunteer opportunities, pledge some of you time, make an imprint: www.mandeladay.com
Mandela, who turns 91 this year, said at the time of the launch that he would be "honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation."
Tim Massey, director of 46664, a Mandela-inspired and supported campaign to combat Aids internationally, said Mandela Day was about "creating a movement for positive change, and establishing one day to reflect upon, celebrate and make manifest the values that guide Nelson Mandela."
Former US president Bill Clinton said the core of Mandela's example was 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."
South African President Jacob Zuma, in his first state of the nation address in Parliament in June, threw his weight behind Mandela Day, saying it would give people "in South Africa and all over the world the opportunity to do something good to help others ... Let us wholeheartedly support Mandela Day and encourage the world to join us in this wonderful campaign."
46664 is working with its partner organisations, as well as city authorities, community associations and volunteers across the globe to create a worldwide series of Mandela Day events to honour Mandela's life and legacy.
At the centre of the celebrations will be a massive music headliner concert at New York's Radio City Music Hall on 18 July.
For more information, visit www.mandeladay.com.
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