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Celebrating Mandela Day this July

Liverpool charitable organisation Mandela 8 is marking Mandela Day this year by encouraging the public to take part in a whole week of activities aimed at promoting community cohesion and highlighting those who have been affected by the ongoing pandemic.

Celebrating Mandela Day this July

by Culture Liverpool

The group behind the new Nelson Mandela memorial in Princes Park (Mandela 8) had originally planned for a visit from Mandela’s family to mark its opening this July, but sadly plans had to be put on hold due to both construction work and travel being so adversely affected by the lockdown.

Adapting to the country’s current situation, the charity decided they would instead use the week – commencing 13th July – to recognise the not only the pain and suffering that local communities are going through but also provide a space for organisations to recognise the work their staff and volunteers have done to help people during Covid-19.

Amongst the suggested activities for the public to get involved in are calls for community choirs to entertain residents in lockdown (whilst engaging in social distancing) as well as litter picking and planting trees.

Participants are encouraged to spend 67 minutes of their day taking part in their chosen act of kindness – one minute for every year of Mandela’s public service – as part of this #My67Minutes campaign, sponsored by Torus Foundation.

A special memorial section of the Mandela8 website will also be reserved for submissions from the general public, allowing them to post tributes and photos of loved ones who have been lost during the pandemic.

Chair of Mandela8, Sonia Bassey, said: 

“2020 has been a year of significant world events so far and Mandela8 has been truly moved by the country’s response to Covid-19 and the murder of George Floyd; an atrocity that has shown us all around the world that in many ways we still live in an Apartheid state.  This also reinforces the need for us all to celebrate each other for our differences and contributions we all bring to society.”

“The week will also be a chance to reflect on current affairs, the rising tensions and the impact of racial hatred on our lives and enable people to celebrate the positive contribution Black people and people from other cultures around the world bring to society, and how we must work together to bring about lasting change and healing.”

“Aptly, Nelson Mandela himself was in lockdown for 27 years, and came out of it to ask for peace and reconciliation; our programme this year is one of remembrance, recognition, hope and healing.”

Kate Shone, Managing Director of Torus Foundation, said 

“Torus Foundation are really pleased that Mandela8 have expanded their My67Minutes programme this year and we’re really proud to be the campaign’s main sponsor. This pandemic has had a huge impact on us all and we hope that the people of Liverpool and the wider community will join Mandela8 to remember their loved ones and thank those who have worked tirelessly during these unprecedented times.”

Mandela Week – 13th to 21st July, 2020 – My67Minutes

SPONSORED BY TORUS FOUNDATION

To mark ‘Mandela Week’ the public are encouraged to take part in the following activities:

– Post a picture on Mandela8’s dedicated website page – click here – of a loved one they have lost to Covid-19 and say something about them so the world can remember them with you.

– Companies and Organisations are encouraged to celebrate the achievements of their staff and volunteers during the pandemic.

– Over the next five Mandela8 will be highlighting the Struggle series of sketches produced by Nelson Mandela across their social networks, and are asking young people to express their feelings through a series of drawings depicting their views on what the prints represent to them and share them.

 Communities are asked to come together. This could be through a whole host of activities, but here’s some ideas to get started:

Litter Picking – in your local community or greenspace

Choirs – singing for residents in care homes during lockdown

Quote for Mandela – post a quote from Nelson Mandela or another leader that has inspired them, using the hashtag #MandelaWeek, #My67Minutes and #Mandela8My67Minutes

Plant for Mandela – whether it’s a new tree in your community, a plant in your garden, or some veg on your windowsill, take a photo and post it using the hashtags #MandelaWeek, #My67Minutes and #Mandela8My67Minutes

Chalk a quote – an inspirational Mandela quote in a park or on a pavement in your community.

Any acts of kindness that you can think of.

Remember to take pictures of videos and post them to social media using the hashtags.

Please use the Mandela8 resource booklet on the website and give consideration to whatever you do complying with social distancing guidelines and digital solutions.

MANDELA Week will take place 13th – 21st July, 2020.

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