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Be part of the change

Written by Sphelele Ngubane

This Nelson Mandela  International Day South Africans are urged to ignite the embers of ubuntu and tackle food insecurity by working together. 

Nelson Mandela International Day, celebrated annually on 18 July, will focus on the fight against poverty this year and will be commemorated under the theme: One Hand Can Feed Another.

Nelson Mandela International Day is commemorated on the former President’s birthday and is celebrated across the world every year under a different theme that is inspired by his values and aspirations for people from all walks of life.

In 2005, Madiba said: “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”

Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesperson Luzuko Koti says that as the country fights the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), these are important words to remember.

She adds that Mandela would have wanted to help those in dire need survive during this difficult period.

“COVID-19 has come with a devastating loss of life, exposed the fragility of health systems and aggravated food insecurity for many communities.

“Millions of livelihoods have been lost and people have become increasingly dependent on one another to survive,” says Koti.

The foundation launched the Each1Feed1 programme last year, to meet the immediate needs of the country's most vulnerable communities.

“With Mandela Day 2021, we will continue to address the immediate challenge of families in our communities that do not have access to food. In the long term, Mandela Day is committed to tackling the systemic challenge of food insecurity.”

Koti urges South Africans to extend a helping hand them to those around them.

“We call on you to be an active citizen in your community, individually or as part of one of the millions of groups getting together to start initiatives around delivering food parcels, making masks and protective gear, teaching on-line or making donations towards these efforts,” says Koti.

Celebrate Mandela Day

There are various ways that you can make a difference this Nelson Mandela International Day.

Volunteer: Mandela strongly advocated helping each other. Go out in your community and lend a hand by volunteering.

Support a charity: There are a number of charities that contribute to the initiatives that were close to Mandela’s heart. Find a charity and contribute to the cause. 

For more information about Nelson Mandela International Day, visit www.nelsonmandela.org