Every year on Nelson Mandela International Day, people around the world honour the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom
Nelson Mandela died in 2013. He is remembered today as a conciliator, an international warrior against prejudice, poverty and HIV, and the father of his country.
Today, his legacy lives on. During celebrations to mark his 90th birthday, held in 2008 at Hyde Park, London, Mandela declared that a new generation must take up his struggle: “Where there is poverty and sickness, including AIDS, where human beings are being oppressed, there is more work to be done,” he said. “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now.”
Inspired by these words, in 2009 the UN General Assembly unanimously decided to launch Nelson Mandela International Day: a global movement to honour his achievements by changing the world for the better.
Every year on Nelson Mandela Day – 18 July, Nelson Mandela’s birthday – people around the world honour his achievements and philosophy in the most fitting way; through charity work and community service. Participants spend at least 67 minutes doing volunteer work, one minute for every year Mandela spent fighting for social justice.
The South African Breweries is a long-term supporter of projects to boost growth and social development in local communities. On 18 July, teams from SAB fanned out across South Africa to do their bit alongside charity workers and other volunteers.
Employees based at the corporate office in Johannesburg, along with a team of directors, joined Stop Hunger Now and the Feed a Student campaign to pack much-needed meals for underprivileged university students. Other staff helped out at soup kitchens, health clinics, schools and shelters, and donated toys, food and blankets.
SAB people took part in long-term projects too: piloting a waste management and income generation project, providing training programmes and creating herb and vegetable gardens to help people live sustainably.
Mandela Day is partly about sparing a little time to help those around you; but it’s also an introduction to the struggle for social progress and an invitation to make charitable work part of your everyday life. SAB has been helping to build communities for some time now, and will keep working to bring a little of Mandela’s spirit to every day of the year.