Photo caption 

Mr. Mandela with a child on his lap, talking to her. Taken during meetings about HIV/AIDS in November 2004. © NMF Photo/Oryx Media, Benny Gool.

Today, July 18, we commend the United Nations for recognizing the life and legacy of South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela.

“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life,” Mandela once so poignantly stated at the Live 8 concert in Johannesburg, South Africa, on July 2, 2005, after serving as the first President of South Africa.

At Bread and Water for Africa®, for more than 20 years, we have strived to work together with our partners in Sub-Saharan Africa including Kenya, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Zambia, Zimbabwe and elsewhere to do just that.

The purpose of Nelson Mandela International Day is to reflect upon the struggle apartheid and the campaign for Mandela’s release from prison in which the UN played an important role and initiated the first commemorative Mandela Day in 2010.

On this day today and every year, we invite you to join with the UN and us to mark Nelson Mandela International Day by making a difference not only in your own communities, but in those halfway around the world such as Eldoret, Kenya, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Mutare, Zimbabwe and so many others.

“Everyone has the ability and responsibility to change the world for the better! Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change,” states the UN.

The supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® who have so generously embodied that sentiment are taking action and inspiring change in the lives of the thousands of children who have they have given opportunity to go to school, grow up healthy in loving homes, and so much more.

And as Mandela stated at that Live 8 concert:

“While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.