After the first Mandela Day in 2009, Mandela thanked all who had supported it. He said: "It is our hope that people will dedicate their time and effort to improve the conditions within their own communities. We thank you for participating in Mandela Day".
Five years later the Trustees and staff of the Nelson Mandela Foundation would like to echo his words in thanking all who came out in their numbers around the world in support of the first Mandela Day since Mandela's passing. "We value your commitment and your solidarity. And we trust that you will continue to work at improving conditions in your communities," the Foundation said on Saturday.
Nelson Mandela International Day 2014 has been successful by any measure. "We have been heartened by the number of sustainable projects still thriving. At the same time it has been inspiring to see the range of innovative new projects to emerge. And we welcome the degree to which structures of the state, of civil society and in the private sector are working together for the campaign."
The United Nations linked it's My World Campaign to Mandela Day. Designed to secure participation by global citizens in the identifying of new development goals, it has already secured contributions from nearly 3 million people around the world. Mandela Day activations were recorded in 126 countries. Over 1 200 actions were registered on the Mandela Day website and there are more to come. Nearly half a million food parcels were distributed to needy South Africans. Over a million sanitary towels were made available to South African schoolgirls.
"Drawing on volunteers from Australia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, the US and South Africa, Habitat for Humanity built another 67 houses for those in need. And we recorded over 15 000 books donated to school libraries on the day itself."
The Mandela Day Library Programme should result in an additional 30 library spaces to the over 55 we have already delivered before yearend.
"Of course the heart of Mandela Day is not about numbers and statistics. It is about building sustainable cultures of service, overcoming alienation, and inspiring people to change their societies so that fundamental systemic issues are addressed. Join us in making every day a Mandela Day. Continue to register your actions on the website as a global changemaker," the Foundation said. "Let us demonstrate that the legacy of Nelson Mandela is a living one. Let us make Mr Mandela proud, every day."