Special | 31 July 2012
The diplomat team was overwhelmed by the responses from Missions on the request to share their Mission activities for Mandela Day. Due to the number of responses received and the limited space available in the magazine, we deemed it necessary to have this special edition of the diplomat News Flash. We look forward to receiving more Mission activities in future!

Nelson Mandela International Day – 18 July 2012


IN NOVEMBER 2009, THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY DECLARED 18 July, President Nelson Mandela’s birthday, as ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’. In honour of President Mandela’s birthday, the international community observe a day of service in his honour by giving 67 minutes of their time to serve others in their communities. Sixty-seven minutes refers to the years of service and sacrifice President Mandela gave to the cause of freedom for the people of South Africa and whose life had been the ultimate definition of peace, both in South Africa and throughout the world.

Across the globe, DIRCO played its part in the service of others in commemoration of Nelson Mandela International Day.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN HIGH COMMISSION in Port Louis in collaboration with Bagatelle-Mall of Mauritius, Pick n Pay Mauritius and South African Airways celebrated International Mandela Day on 18 July at Bagatelle Mall, Moka (which is a joint South African-Mauritian project).A fun afternoon was offered for over 50 children from the disadvantaged areas of the region to mark this  celebration. Ten children from the School for the Deaf also participated in the activities.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY IN FINLAND, together with Friends of South Africa (former anti-apartheid activists), observed Nelson Mandela International Day. It was held at Koskela Old-Age Home, which is located about a quarter of an hour’s drive from Helsinki city centre. The home accommodates just over 200 elderly people.
MISSION STAFF IN MILAN commemorated International Mandela Day by donating a few hours of their time to resident guests of the nursing home of the Blind Institute in Milan. This initiative gave the officials an opportunity to explore and better understand the world of the blind and, at the same time, to dedicate themselves to a humanitarian activity for the benefit of the elderly and blind.
STAFF MEMBERS of the South African Embassy in Montevideo visited the Republic of South Africa School in a less affluent area of Montevideo on 24 July 2012 to maintain and further strengthen ties. The school was named after South Africa in the 1990s and had the name finally registered in 2006.The Uruguayan Parliament took a decision this year that an annual event in commemoration of International Mandela Day should take place at the seat of Parliament.
NELSON MANDELA INTERNATIONAL DAY celebrations were held at the Nelson Mandela High School in Libreville, Gabon. The South African Embassy and the school collected non-perishable food items for the non-governmental organisation (NGO), Samba Mwana, which means “welcome children”. The NGO takes care of needy children in Gabon and currently provides services to 96 children.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY in Qatar announced its planned activities for Mandela Day during a press conference held in Doha on 10 July 2012. The planned activities for Mandela Day would be conducted in the middle of the holy fasting month of Ramadan (2 to 5 August) to couple it with the charitable ambiance of the holy Islamic month.
ON 16 JULY 2012, in celebration of International Mandela Day, Ambassador Robina Marks delivered a lecture on Reconciliation: International Friends’ Experiences organised by the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs.
HAVING INSPECTED VARIOUS educational institutions, the South African Embassy in Khartoum decided to focus its International Mandela Day activities on the rehabilitation of the Alzahra Primary School for Girls in the centre of the city
MISSION STAFF OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY in Australia assisted with cooking, serving and cleaning at the St Benedict Community Centre in Canberra. The community centre provides a safe environment and care for the homeless and for those who are lonely and struggling financially through the provision of free meals and accommodation five days a week.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY IN MADRID, in collaboration with the European University of Madrid, participated in the book Launch of the “Nelson Mandela Por Si Mismo”, the Spanish version of: “Nelson Mandela by Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations”.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN MISSION IN ROME volunteered at La Casa di Peter Pan – heading the call by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to volunteer at a hospital or community centre on International Nelson Mandela Day.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY IN LISBON reached out to one of the various children’s homes in the city’s vicinity. The Fundaçao O Século is an after-school centre and a summer school during the holidays for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY IN OMAN observed International Mandela Day with an appeal to all Omanis and expatriates to join in the global voluntary drive to “do something good” on this momentous day.
THE STAFF OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY IN MOSCOW undertook their community service work at the church called the Church of “Great Ascension”, where the staff spent their 67 minutes cleaning the church premises.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY IN DAKAR, in partnership with South African Airways and Anglo-Gold Ashanti, celebrated Nelson Mandela Day together with a local orphanage, “La Pouponnière de la Médina”. The staff of the embassy and its partners donated a consignment of medical supplies and baby food to the orphanage and also did a tour of the institution during which they met with volunteer workers who explained their daily activities to the guests.
ON 11 JULY 2012, the South African Embassy in Tokyo co-organised an event with the College of Women’s Association of Japan (CWAJ). A presentation was made on South Africa and on Nelson Mandela’s life to the CSWAJ’s English-speaking group of children aged between three and seven years.

THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY IN BERLIN celebrated former President Mandela’s birthday by identifying the FEZYouth, Children’s and Family Facility in the south-east of Berlin to commit their 67 minutes of volunteerism.


MANDELA DAY 2012 WAS CELEBRATED in sweltering heat in the Old City of Jerusalem by the South African Representative Office to the Palestinian National Authority and the African Society, representing Palestinians of African descent living there. A mini-soccer tournament was held for six youth teams from the Old City and surrounding Palestinian neighbourhoods affected by the Israeli occupation.

ON THE OCCASION OF NELSON MANDELA INTERNATIONAL DAY on 18 July, the Mission in Stockholm engaged in a programme of activities in cooperation with the City of Gothenburg. From 16 to 22 July, the Gothia Cup World Youth Football Tournament takes place annually in Gothenburg. Involving boys and girls of ages 11 to 18 years, it is the world’s largest youth football tournament. This year, a total of 37 200 players from 1 625 teams and almost 80 countries participated in the tournament.
TOGETHER WITH THE SUN FOUNDATION and a bikers’ organisation called Free Souls, the South
African High Commission inspired hundreds to participate in the Bikers for Mandela Day Ride where participants generously donated to the Touch of Hope Foundation, an Indian NGO providing a humanitarian response to the plight of the HIV and AIDS pandemic in India.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY staff members in Buenos Aires treated orphaned children from the Fund acion Hogares “Hogare de la Fe” to lunch and a boat ride on the River Tigre’s Delta on 18 July 2012.
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE EMBASSY of the Republic of South Africa and a South African family who has established a charity foundation in Bulgaria made a donation to a kindergarten in the village of Kopilovtsi, Kyustendil Municipality. The Embassy took small presents as a gesture to the children and requested the business community and individuals to dedicate 67 minutes to help society. The kindergarten in the village of Kopilovtsi is visited by 110 children. Most of them come from the Roma suburb in Kyustendil.
THE EMBASSY OF SOUTH AFRICA IN BRASILIA identified three charity organisations around the city, namely, Vida Positiva, an organisation that cares for abused children, House of Nations, an organisation fostering children from the indigenous (Indian) communities of Brazil; and Roots, an organisation that teaches arts and Capoeira dancing to children from underprivileged backgrounds. A fund-raising event was held earlier this year on 18 May 2012 to raise funds for these organisations in support of Mandela Day. On 18 July, the Mission visited two of the organisations. The Mission is also preparing to host a Mandela Day Talk for 07 August 2012, in partnership with the Catholic University of Brasilia. The Talk is aimed at spreading the legacy of Mr Mandela in Brazil. .
THE MISSION FOCUSSED its activities on the plight of the homeless who are suffering as a result of the current economic crisis that is experienced by Greece. The numbers of homeless people in Greece have drastically increased due to current economic crisis. Mission staff including friends of South Africa honoured International Mandela Day by cleaning a storage facility which keeps clothes and other useful items for the homeless people of Athens. The storage is managed by the Homeless Foundation and the Municipality of Athens.
THE EMBASSY IN VIENNA this year kicked-off its Mandela Day celebrations during the annual Friends of South Africa (FOSA) Summer Braai on 23 June 2012. This event gave the Embassy the opportunity to involve the larger South African community in Vienna in this year’s Mandela Day celebrations. As this year’s Mandela Day theme focused on children, foster children from the SOS Children’s Village in Vienna, as well as adopted South African children and their families from the organisation Eltern fur Kinder, were invited to the Summer Braai celebrations. Roughly 250 adults and children attended the Summer Braai/Mandela Day celebrations. The day was filled with various activities and games for the children, including a special story about Mandela.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONSULATE, in partnership with South African companies based in Lagos, paid a visit to a home for abandoned babies run by the Nigerian Red Cross in poor village of Makoko. In celebration of Madiba, Shoprite donated two hundred thousand naira (+-R10 000) to the home and also presented them with food items and toys. Unilever, under the slogan “dirt is good” also donated a washing machine, boxes of detergents and some food items. SABMiller donated non-alcoholic drinks and water. The Mission staff dressed all the kids with Mandela branded T-Shirts donated by DSTV. They sang a birthday song for Madiba and cut a cake with Madiba’s picture.
HIGH COMMISSIONER NTOMBILE MABUDE and staff members of the Mission in Lilongwe accompanied by partners from the South African and Malawi business community visited the Chikondi & Mphatso Orphan Care Centre as part of their social responsibility on Nelson Mandela International Day.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN MUMBAI, partnered with the Worli-based Happy Home and School for the Blind (HHSB) to commemorate the 94th birthday of President Nelson Mandela as well as the Nelson Mandela International Day celebrations. The HHSB was established in 1925 and is a safe environment where children from all spheres of live with visual/multiple impairment are taught to understand their environment and the need to learn that their world is connected to what they hear, feel and touch, but cannot see. Today, the HHSB has 150 learners and it costs approximately Rupees 5 000 per day to feed the children and Rupees 6 000 per year per child for education. The learners at HHSB have already been faced with many obstacles and challenges in their young lives and have shown the spirit of Madiba to overcome and to prevail.
UNESCO, an Irish Charity affiliated to the World federation of UNESCO clubs, held an event in Fr Collins Park in North Co Dublin. Participants from Eco-UNESCO and Embassy staff volunteered
to construct a statue of Nelson Mandela in 67 minutes, in honour of the day _ made from recycled materials it had collected as part of the organisations work in sustainable development and environment conservation. The completed statue is now proudly placed in the reception area of the Embassy.
AS PART OF THE MANDELA DAY CELEBRATIONS, charity work was done by the South African Embassy officials, together with United Nations agencies and youth volunteers at the Orphanage of Jabe, based in Bujumbura. The orphanage, which was established in 1962, accommodates 53 children, from the ages of two months to 18 years old. The work done included cleaning of the interior and premises, painting of the rooms where the children sleep, as well as the study room and artwork was done for the walls of the orphanage by local artists. Donations were also made to the orphanage by the Embassy and the UN agencies.
KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DRC) THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY TO THE DRC, the elements of the South African National Defence Force deployed in Kinshasa under the banner of MONUSCO (the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC), Vodacom and Shoprite joined forces to commemorate Mandela Day by makinga practical difference in the life of less privileged children.

Volunteers were deployed to the Centre Reverend Tshisumpa, Q. Kinkole, Sicotra, Commune de la Nsele, to do general maintenance and repair work, including painting, in order to create better living conditions for the orphans and street children housed there, as well as the pupils from the area attending the school.

The volunteers were also supported by the official choir of the African Academy of Choral Music, Choeur la Grâce and the students from the Law Faculty of the University of Kinshasa. Stakeholders donated amongst others school desks, mattresses, note books, pens and pencils as well as food stuff. On behalf of all of us in the DRC, Happy birthday Tata, “O gole o kake tlou”.
IN KEEPING WITH THE MANDELA DAY THEME, 90 officials from DIRCO’s head office visited the Itereleng and Reneilwe primary schools in Hammanskraal, Temba. The volunteers assisted to clean the school, did some maintenance work, planted a vegetable garden and read to the junior primary school children.
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