Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each 18 July (on Mandela's birthday).
was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the
first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010. However, other groups began
celebrating Mandela Day on 18 July 2009.
The day remembers
Mandela’s achievements in working towards conflict resolution,
democracy, human rights, peace, and reconciliation.
Nelson Mandela is respected for his commitment to values such as freedom, equality, and respect.
Mandela Day not only celebrates Nelson Mandela’s life, but it is also a
global call to action for people to recognize their ability to have a
positive effect on others around them.
The day hopes
to inspire people to embrace the values that Mandela shared. These
values include democracy, freedom, equality, diversity, reconciliation,
Many people and organizations around the
world take part in many activities to promote Nelson Mandela Day. These
activities include volunteering, sport, art, education, music and
culture. Various events are also held on or around July 18 to honor
Nelson Mandela’s works and to promote the different projects that were
inspired by Mandela’s achievements.
Mandela Day also
celebrates a campaign known as “46664”, in reference to Nelson Mandela’s
Robben Island prison number. The campaign was originally launched to
raise awareness of HIV/AIDS. However, its focus expanded to broader
humanitarian work. The
efforts from Mandela Day support the campaign’s ongoing work and other Nelson Mandela charitable organizations.
Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa, on July 18, 1918. He is one
of the most well-known anti-apartheid activists in South Africa. He was
jailed in 1964 for leading the liberation movement against apartheid
and for his stance on the human right to live in
prisoner number was 466 and the year was 1964 when he was imprisoned on
Robben Island, off Cape Town in South Africa. The Robben Island
prisoners were never referred to by their names, but rather by their
numbers and year of imprisonment – hence
46664 was Nelson Mandela’s
number. His release from prison in 1990 fed political debates in the
country and contributed to South Africa’s transition towards a
After his release, Nelson
Mandela continued addressing racial issues in his country and supported
reconciliation initiatives. His efforts resulted in him becoming elected
as South Africa’s president in 1994. He remained in office as president
until 1999. He also won the
Nobel Peace Prize, together with
another former South African president Frederik Willem de Klerk, in
1993. In 2007 Mandela formed the Elders, an independent group of global
leaders who offer their influence and experience to support peace
building, help address
major human suffering causes and promote shared interests of humanity.
first Mandela Day was launched in New York on July 18, 2009, but the
UN’s resolution to declare the day occurred later that year. On November
10, 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution
declaring July 18 as “Nelson Mandela International
Day”. The day
marks Nelson Mandela’s contribution to peace through his active
involvement in resolving conflicts, promoting human rights,
international democracy and reconciliation, and in addressing racial