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Nelson Mandela International day 18 July

“Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are”


The Nelson Mandela International Day campaign remains rooted in the call Nelson Mandela made in 2009 to honour him by working in communities rather than by celebrating his birthday. While the 18 July remains a focal point for the campaign, we urge people supporting the campaign to participate in sustainable interventions with lasting impact.

Our global theme for 2022 is “Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are.” The context, of course, is a world in which inequality continues to grow and in which the destructive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed existing disparities and damaged vulnerable communities in all kinds of ways. The call to action is as broad and as inclusive as possible – identify those in need around you and do what you can to make a difference for them. Our key partners internationally will be the United Nations, Red Cross and South African embassies around the world.

In South Africa the Nelson Mandela Foundation will be framing its Mandela Day work around its food and nutrition programme. While the call to action remains the same, we will be focusing our endeavour and our messaging around promoting community and backyard gardens, supporting fruit and indigenous tree planting, and creating awareness of the intersections between food security and climate change.

We will be urging people to:

  • Plant and grow fresh, organic and cost-effective produce in or for vulnerable communities.

  • Plant and grow trees for the well-being of all, with an emphasis on fruit trees in support of food production for vulnerable communities.

  • Invest in sustainable food production platforms to the benefit of vulnerable communities.

  • Embrace home and community planting and growing as a contribution to protecting the environment and addressing the challenge of climate change.

Our key institutional partners in South Africa will be the Green Development Foundation, Nelson Mandela University, Shoprite, and structures of provincial and local government.

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