June 18 is celebrated Nelson Mandela International Day to remember the contributions of former South African President Nelson Mandela to peace and freedom. It’s not surprising that the United Nations declared Mandela’s birthday an international day. A man who dedicated 67 years of his life fighting for human rights – kicking against apartheid, fighting for gender equality and the rights of children and vulnerable groups.
But today is not all about remembrance. It’s also about taking action. On this day, members of the United Nations answer the call of the Mandela Foundation by donating 67 minutes of their time to help others. It doesn’t come close to the 67 years Nelson Mandela spent helping people (27 years of which was spent in prison enduring inhumane practices) but it’s a start.
You may think that “helping others” involves some grandiose acts like donating one of your livers. But it really doesn’t. Some of them are as simple as taking stuff people around you don’t need and giving to those who need it. In honor of Mandela Day, here are 6 activities you can do to help others:
- By donating blood at the nearest blood centres. You can also take action by signing this petition seeking to give legal backing to the Nigerian blood policy.
- Take those clothes sitting in your closet that you know you will never use and donate them to a children’s home.
- Get tested for HIV and encourage your partner and friends to do so.
- Take the textbooks and reading books your child no longer uses and donate them to underfunded schools.
- Don’t buy that tiny purse dog from pet stores (as irresistible as that sounds). Rather go to animal shelters and adopt one of those that are about to be put down.
- Help out that elderly person close to you.
Don’t let your good deeds stop today. You can also make everyday a #MandelaDay