South Africans from all backgrounds are getting ready to follow in the footsteps of the country's biggest hero by dedicating at least 67 minutes of their day to doing good as part of the Nelson Mandela International Day celebrations on 18 July.
Mandela Day, which is commemorated annually on his birthday, was formally adopted by the United Nations in November 2009 and was first celebrated on 18 July 2010. The day serves to inspire individuals to make a change for the better.
"Everyone can help change the world," the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory chief executive officer, Achmat Dangor, said at the launch of Nelson Mandela International Day 2012 in May.
"Each individual has the ability to make the world around him or her a better place. One small step, when you add them all together, can become a global movement for good," he said.
Over 80 activities have already been registered for this year's commemorations, ranging from building houses and schools to providing books, food and supplies to poorer communities.
There will also be international events taking place in countries such as New York, London, Iceland, Jamaica, Burkina Faso and Australia.
Creating a brighter future
The Department of Basic Education, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and Brand South Africa, launched the 94+ Schools Infrastructure Project in April.
The project aims to mobilise resources and support from various sectors of society to tackle the huge infrastructure backlog facing schools that serve South Africa's poorer children.
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory will also hold a colloquium on 'Legacy and the State of the Archives in honour of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela' at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu in the Eastern Cape on 17 and 18 July.
The Mandela Day container libraries initiative is linked to the 94+ Schools Infrastructure Project, and serves to provide opportunities for members of the public to become involved. People can volunteer as librarians, assist with sorting of books and undertake reading activities with learners.
The Pick n Pay book drive will involve the retailer placing branded boxes at its stores to collect story books for children, which will be distributed to various schools to boost and support the establishment of library facilities.
Collection will take place at all supermarkets and hypermarkets nationally and a formal hand over of books will take place in the last week of July.
Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton will also hold a collection for books and canned food under the slogan 'a full tummy powers a healthy brain'. The hand over of the books and food will take place at a school in Alexandra on 18 July, and will be preceded by community service work at the school on the day.
Riding and flying for Mandela
Bikers for Mandela Day focuses on spreading Nelson Mandela's legacy throughout South Africa and this year will see a group of 67 bikers leaving from the Irene Village Mall in Pretoria on 14 July and travelling to Belfast in Mpumalanga to aide and take part in the activities of the Belfast Children's Home.
Registration for the participating bikers and fundraising activities will take place on 7 July at the Irene Village Mall; South Africans are asked to donate tinned food and clothing, as well as any financial contributions they can make, towards the home.
Funds raised will assist with providing clothing, a sustainable food programme for the home, computer and learning equipment for the senior boys and girls and maintenance such as painting and plumbing.
The Cycalive initiative aims to build bridges across racial lines and involves high school learners travelling by bicycle from Johannesburg to Durban. It is organised by the Torah Academy and involves Soweto's Pace and Moletsane schools.
South African Airways (SAA) will also run a major Mandela Day programme, involving 31 young people - one from every single SAA global destination - in a discussion on the lessons from various periods in Madiba's life.
SAA will fly the youth to Johannesburg on 12 July. A high-level dialogue, with a fundraising component, is planned on the topic "Shared Futures", and the airline will support the programme to improve school infrastructure by donating three container libraries to schools.
The airline and its staff will also undertake Mandela Day activities in key international airports, including London and Frankfurt, as well as participate in community activities in destination cities in the rest of Africa.
Building a better future
Habitat for Humanity plans to build 67 houses between 16 and 20 July in Orange Farm in Gauteng, Mfuleni in the Western Cape and Umgababa in KwaZulu-Natal.
Habitat's National Marketing and Communication Officer Adrienne Burke said that to achieve their ambitious target, they needed the help of South Africans to raise the funding required for the 67 houses and also by volunteering their time on site during the build week as well.
"It is a very moving experience for all volunteers having played an instrumental role in making a tangible difference to someone's lives," Burke said in a statement.
Stop Hunger Now will involve thousands of people around the country preparing special food packs, which will be distributed to early learning centres in poor communities.
Food distribution forms part of a broader programme of improving facilities and management at these educare centres. Companies such as Pick n Pay will get involved and hundreds of their staff members will help with the packing sessions. Members of the public are also invited to participate.
Bringing about change the Mandela way
Cheesekids has been branded the Youth Revolution for Mandela Day and there are major activities planned for Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
Cheesekids creates a platform for public involvement by using a central hub from which members of the public who have signed up are taken to various community service sites. Thousands of people are set to take part in Cheesekids' July activities.
The Ascent of Kilimanjaro campaign aims to collect 67000 sanitary pads for distribution to girls in rural areas. Richard Mabaso, from the Imbumba Foundation, and inspirational speaker and mountaineer, Sibusiso Vilane, will undertake the climb from 6 to 14 July, followed by the distribution of sanitary pads during the week of 16 July.
The programme aims to reach 1000 girls and to provide them with sanitary pads for a year. The United Nations Women Southern Africa Regional Office is giving strong backing to the campaign and made the first hand-over of pads to Imbumba Foundation last week.