As the country wrapped up its Mandela Month activities in July, the Nelson Mandela Foundation has revealed that the initiative reached 146 countries this year.
The foundation’s director for Mandela Day, Yase Godlo, said a staggering 800-million people were reached on social media platforms through the theme and hashtag #ActionAgainstPoverty.
The foundation has, however, called on South Africans and people from all over the world to continue to demonstrate great support for the needy throughout the year - and not just on Mandela Day.
“The slogan of Mandela Day ‘Make Every Day a Mandela Day’ is important for every South African and the global community to ensure that we work towards great and sustainable change in the fight against poverty,” Godlo said.
Since 2009, every year in South Africa, July is commemorated as Nelson Mandela Month with 18 July, the birthday of the late former President Mandela, declared as International Nelson Mandela Day by the United Nations.
Since its inception, Mandela Day has continued to play a vital role in the lives of the poor and vulnerable people who benefit from various donations that include food parcels, clothes and other necessities.
As declared by the UN, the initiative is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and make an impact.
Godlo said there should be more mobilised support for initiatives that truly impact communities and effectively contribute to a sustained difference.
“The initiatives and actions should live beyond the Mandela Day Month,” he said.
Since Mandela Day was officially launched, he said, South Africans continue to demonstrate great support for the initiative and this year they came out in numbers to effect positive change in the lives of those less fortunate.
People who mostly benefit from Mandela Day are children, schools, civil society and the elderly with some initiatives focused on youth development.
The foundation said it will continue calling for people to assist the less fortunate and has urged different stakeholders to ensure that every day is a Mandela Day.
“We call on everyone to volunteer for projects that will alleviate poverty, whether that be building a house for someone who has never had a home or planting a food garden at a school to feed pupils. But we don’t want them to stop there, 18 July should be the start of taking action, not the end.”