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United Nations Relations

Nelson Mandela International Day Commemorated in Seychelles

Seychelles-2020-07-18-Nelson Mandela International Day Commemorated in Seychelles

Victoria, Seychelles—Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (July 18, 1918–December 5, 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalized racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as president of the African National Congress (ANC) Party from 1991 to 1997.

Five days before we duly commemorated Nelson Mandela International Day, on Monday, July 13, 2020, the world learned of the passing of Zindzi Mandela, daughter of former South African president and liberation hero Nelson Mandela. Zindzi died at the age of 59. Zindzi Mandela, who was serving as South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark, died in a hospital in Johannesburg. It was revealed thereafter that she had tested positive for COVID-19 on the day of her death.

It is easy to break down and destroy.The heroes are those who make peace and build.

—Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity—as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.

On July 18 every year, the United Nations invites humanity to mark Nelson Mandela International Day by making a difference in our communities. Everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better! Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change.

Nelson Mandela International Day 2020 marks 102 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela. It is an occasion to reflect on his life and legacy, and to follow his call to “make the world a better place.” Mandela embodied the highest values of the United Nations. One hundred and two years after his birth, Mandela’s example of courage and compassion continues to inspire the world and the people of Seychelles. We have got to continue to take into account of how the world is connected and how, despite our differences, we all need to work together.

In recognizing the UN and Nelson Mandela Foundation’s call to action against poverty, honoring Mandela's leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all, the National Unity Advocate newspaper of Seychelles made a donation to the less fortunate children of the Foyez of Nazareth at Anse Etoile in a bid to inspire others to take action and also inspire change, amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foyez De Nazareth at Anse Etoile has 15 boys who are cared for by three nuns. The National Unity Advocate is calling on other individuals and business entities to come forward and bring a helping hand to the orphanages and care homes across the country. The National Unity Advocate also plans to organize a clean-up day at the Foyez De Nazareth with the members of UPF-Seychelles in the near future in the continued spirit of “living for the sake of others.”

Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity.
It is an act of justice.

—Nelson Mandela

In 2009 the United Nations General Assembly declared Madiba’s birthday on July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day. Since then, Mandela Day has become a call to action to change the world for the better through the kind of service and leadership championed by Mr. Mandela during his 67 years of service, not just on a single day of the year but through ongoing initiatives.

Madiba’s example as a servant is one that everyone can aspire to by committing to daily actions. Not every action for Nelson Mandela Day need be something grand or heroic. The National Unity Advocate would like to encourage everyone to get involved through whatever action lies closest to their heart and just be humble in giving.

When making arrangements for the National Unity Advocate’s donation, I had ample time to think about the true meaning of public service, community works and giving generously to others, without expecting to receive anything in return. Just think of how the world will be, if we all lend a helping hand, especially to the needy.

In commemorating Nelson Mandela International Day and as we reflect on his life of which he devoted 67 years in service of humanity, let us rise in unity to honor the legacy of the late president of South Africa, who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle for the greater love of his people and the world.

When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.

—Nelson Mandela

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