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The 18th of July is just around the corner, and you know what that means for South Africans, don’t you? It’s International Nelson Mandela Day! This year it’s an extra special celebration as it’s the 10th anniversary of Nelson Mandela Day, which was first celebrated on the 18th of July 2010. With excitement thick in the air to celebrate 10 years of remembrance for the country’s father, South Africans all over the world are gearing up to celebrate this year’s Mandela Day… but how?

The imminent spread of Covid-19 has made the usual celebrations and the exciting lead up to them all but impossible, but that doesn’t mean that you and your nearest and dearest can’t still do something to celebrate this special day. Due to the world-wide lockdowns and the risk of the pandemic, the Nelson Mandela Foundation is calling for solidarity and focusing more of its efforts on education, food, and nutrition.

While living as an expat in a foreign country, you can do your bit to help the Nelson Mandela Foundation achieve its objective and keep the memory and meaning of Mandela Day alive this year. Introduce people you know to the foundation to donate to the cause. There is also a Mandela Day Global Network that businesses can co-ordinate efforts and collaborate to help the cause.

What is Nelson Mandela Day all About?

Before we jump into some suggestions on what to do for Mandela Day this year, let’s take a closer look at the background of the day, what it means, and why it was created.

For those who don’t already know, Mandela Day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009. The first UN Mandela Day was set to be celebrated the following year on Mandela’s birthday, which is the 18th of July.

Why is Mandela Day celebrated at all? It’s the country and world’s way of recognising Nelson Mandela’s fight for social justice – a fight that lasted 67 long years.

Why 67 Minutes for Mandela Day?

Every year you might see campaigns and hear people talking about 67 minutes for Mandela Day. What is this all about? It’s actually a call to action that brings to light and celebrates the concept that each person has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an impact in some small or big way. The idea is that Nelson Mandela fought social injustice for 67 years, now you are asked to act for just 67 minutes. Your time is now and maybe 2020 is the year that you get to make a positive change in the world.

What to Do for Mandela Day in 2020

Below are a few great suggestions of what you can do for Mandela Day this year.

  • Neighbourhood clean-ups

Most areas across the globe are allowing time for walks and exercise. Arm yourself with some gloves and a black bag and pick up trash in your neighbourhood. Try to use your community forums and groups to encourage others to do the dame.

  • Donate your clothing

Go through your wardrobes and create a pile of clothing that the underprivileged can sell for a profit. Don’t just donate your old and worn out clothing. Choose a few nice items too – it’s the act of giving selflessly that truly makes a difference.

  • Create kid’s gift packs

The local children’s home might seem like it’s doing okay, but the reality is that life is tough in a children’s home. Call the local children’s homes and ask for a list of the children’s names and ages. Create stationery packs for each child that will make school easier and also provide entertainment (include colouring books for the smaller children and journals and books for the older kids).

  • Start recycling

Most of us are complete unaware of how much impact we have on the environment. Absolutely everything that you throw away impacts the environment. Make this year the year that you start caring. Create recycling bins in your home so that you can separate your trash and actually start doing it. Take it a step further by gifting a friend or family member with recycling bins and educating them on how to use them too.

  • Go shopping for someone less fortunate

Everybody knows a person or family less fortunate for them. Perhaps you even see a homeless person regularly on the street. Go shopping. Buy practical yet nice items to help someone living with less than you. Food, personal hygiene products, treats, and even something warm to wear this winter are great things to buy. Visit the person and hand it over. It will make their day and you will be making a difference.

  • Go shopping for vulnerable people

The elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are considered vulnerable and high-risk during Covid-19 times. These people still have to go shopping and run errands. To do your bit, you could offer to do the shopping for these people to minimize their possible exposure to the virus. Don’t forget to wear and mask and sanitise.

  • Hand out take-away meals

We drive around and see so many people on the streets begging for food/money or waiting in areas in hopes of a temporary job for the day. Head to your local take-away and buy a few cooked- food meals and drive around handing them out to those who need them. You will make a massive difference to someone’s life as they won’t have to spend their money on a meal for that day. What a great way to spend 67 minutes on Mandela Day 2020!

FinGlobal: Cross-border Financial specialists

This year, as the world experiences struggles and challenges never faced before, our team calls on you to take the opportunity to make a difference this Mandela Day. Let us take care of your financial emigration or tax emigration paperwork while you take care of making a difference. Wherever you are in the world, your efforts can positively impact on someone else’s life – and that’s changing the world. If you would like to chat to a professional about your tax and financial emigration, or how to access the funds in your South African retirement annuity, simply get in touch with us. Give us a call or send us an email today.