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July 18, 2014

Nelson Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize winner
(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Today we celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day, a global movement to honour the great man’s public service and diplomacy, a day of service celebrated on July 18, Mandela's birthday.

During his long life, Mandela inspired countless individuals. In 2009, the United Nations declared July 18th, his birthday, Nelson Mandela International Day. The day was unanimously approved in 2009 by the U.N. General Assembly. It was created to honor Mandela and inspire others to carry on his efforts to "take responsibility for making the world a better place, one small step at a time," according to a statement from the Nelson Mandela Foundation Initiative.

An Interactive Google Doodle pays tribute to Mandela who has been called both '"The World's Most Famous Political Prisoner" and "South Africa's Great Black Hope"

No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion.

People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.

Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.

For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and 
enhances the freedom of others.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall.

During his time in prison, Mandela was restricted to a 2m x 2.5m cell, with nothing but a bedroll on the floor and a bucket for sanitation in it. He was consigned to hard labour and was, at first, only allowed one visitor and one letter every six months.

Nelson Mandela received honorary degrees from more than 50 international universities.

Mandela, the former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Price recipient, died at the age of 95 on Dec. 5, 2013. This is the first time the day has been celebrated since his death.

Let us honour his memory by doing our part in making a positive change and to work towards making this world a better place.

Happy #MandelaDay 

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