Obama Foundation

On Mandela Day

Email sent: Jul 18, 2019 1:33 pm

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Friends,

Ten years ago today, the world celebrated the first-ever Mandela Day, on Nelson Mandela’s 91st birthday. Mandela himself was honored, but he emphasized that the day should not be a holiday to recognize him, but a day devoted to service. “Our struggle for freedom and justice was a collective effort,” he said. “Mandela Day is no different.”
 
Now, ten years later, I’m asking you to take part in another collective effort—to dedicate your time toward improving your own community.

"Our struggle for freedom and justice was a collective effort." -Nelson Mandela. Honor Mandela Day.



No gesture is too small; no act of service too modest. Whether you donate books to your local library, volunteer at a shelter, or commit to mentoring someone in your neighborhood, every action is a step toward building a more gracious, more generous world. That is the world Mandela himself sought to build.
 
Earlier this week, the Obama Foundation convened 200 of Africa’s best and brightest young leaders in Mandela’s home country of South Africa to help them sharpen their skills, share their hopes and ideas, and build a network that can help chart the future of the continent. But before they left our Leaders: Africa convening, they gathered together to volunteer at a nearby primary school.
 
They didn’t sign their names on murals or stand idly by, waiting for recognition—these leaders simply gave their time in service. It’s the kind of example that true leadership demands. And I can think of no one who better defines that spirit of leadership than Madiba himself.
 
So this Mandela Day, commit some time to making a difference in your community. But don’t do it for yourself or even just to recognize him; do it because it’ll make our world better.
 
Thanks,

Barack Obama

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