ˇ§There can be no greater gift than that of giving oneˇ¦s time and energy to
help others without expecting anything in return.ˇ¨
years ago, on 18 July, South Africaˇ¦s father of the nation and global icon,
Nelson Mandela was born. This unique member of the human race dedicated his
entire life for promotion of freedom, peace and stability. He fought and
lived for equality for all members of the human race in South Africa and
beyond. He was a symbol of struggle for freedom against institutionalised
racism called Apartheid, which was declared by the world through United
Nations a crime against humanity. For that, he spent almost three decades in
prison for fighting against this crime against humanity and therefore a
threat for global peace and stability.
After his release, he played a central role in transforming South Africa
from Apartheid to an inclusive constitutional democracy, where all live side
by side in peace and harmony. He promoted process of peace and
reconciliation and established a non-racial, non-sexist democratic nation,
at peace with itself and the world. He chose peace and reconciliation over
revenge. That is why he was honoured with Nobel Peace Prize for his immense
contribution to global peace and stability. In one of his words of wisdom
promoting peace he said
No one is born hating another person because of the colour of
his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate,
and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes
more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Tata Madiba spent his life bettering lives of many people through his acts
of kindness, contributing towards building a better South Africa, a better
Africa and a better and prosperous world for all who live in it. United
Nations therefore, declared 18 July as International Nelson Mandela Day, for
humanity to honour and promote values held so dearly by this greatest
citizen and icon of the world. The world declared 18 July International
Day, a day of Service to honour Mandela who valued doing
something for others to change their lives for the better. We all remember
his words of wisdom when he taught us to make a difference in other peopleˇ¦s
lives when he said;
We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in
your hands to make a difference.ˇ¨
This year the day and month will not be observed as a normal International
Mandela Day and month where citizensˇ¦ across the globe donate 67 minutes of
their time to performing good deeds, It will be used as an opportunity for
us to remember the time in which transformation gained traction in South
Africa and celebrate and celebrate the man who made a meaningful
contribution towards global peace and stability.
18 July 2018 has a special significance as it marks the centenary
celebration of Madibaˇ¦s life under the theme: ˇ§Be the legacy:
Celebrating the birth of a world icon and a life of serviceˇ¨.
The idea to do something that will benefit those around us was inspired by
Mandela himself at his 90th birthday celebration in London's Hyde
Park in 2008, when he said: "It is time for new hands to lift the burdens.
It is in your hands now."
Let us embrace Madibaˇ¦s values and honour his legacy through humanitarian
acts and initiatives that acknowledge his never-ending quest to change the
world for the better.
The overarching objective of Nelson Mandela International Day and month is
to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the
better, and in doing so build a global movement for good.
South African Mission in Taipei will be observing this day on 9 August 2018.