World marks Mandela Day

The world yesterday celebrated the Nelson Mandela Day with acts of community service and messages of goodwill to the former South African president who remained hospitalised on his 95th birthday.
Volunteers paint a classroom at Bisate Primary School in Musanze District as part of celebrations to mark the Nelson Mandela Day yesterday.   The New Times /Courtsey.
Volunteers paint a classroom at Bisate Primary School in Musanze District as part of celebrations to mark the Nelson Mandela Day yesterday. The New Times /Courtsey.

The world yesterday celebrated the Nelson Mandela Day with acts of community service and messages of goodwill to the former South African president who remained hospitalised on his 95th birthday.

In Rwanda, the South African High Commission in Kigali, together with MTN Telecommunication Company and ENGEN staff partnered with the Dian Fossey Foundation, based in Musanze District, to upgrade the Bisate Primary School by painting some classrooms.

Members of the public, including Rwandans, South Africans and other foreign nationals in the county partook in this day of volunteering in honour of the UN Declaration to make July 18 the International Mandela Day.

The South African ambassador to Rwanda Dumisani Gwadiso was among the volunteers.

According to Mandela, fondly known as Madiba, has previously said his birthday, and Mandela Day should be celebrated by doing volunteer work to help lift people out of poverty.

The upgrade will assist school children to learn in a much better environment, it was noted.

Bisate village borders the Volcano National Park, home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas, as well as a number of other rare fauna and flora, some of the most incredible in the world.

At the United Nations

Elsewhere, the UN hosted an informal General Assembly in honor of Mandela with former United States President Bill Clinton and Andrew Mlangeni, a co prison and friend of the ailing ex president among the speakers. UN staff also helped to rebuild homes in Long Island destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

New York

The Tribeca Film Institute partnered with the Nelson Mandela Foundation to commemorate Mandela Day with a video display in Times Square and a meeting in Duffy Square. A picture of a Mandela portrait by South African artist Paul Blomkamp with the words ‘‘Happy 95th Birthday Madiba!’’ was featured on a Times Square monitor throughout the day.

Toronto

A community celebration featuring live music and family activities was at the Nelson Mandela Park Public School.

Paris

The South African embassy in Paris hosted its annual Nelson Mandela Day drive to collect clothes, toys and non-perishable food items for charity. The embassy accepts donations until August 31. The Hotel de Ville hosts a free exhibition, ‘‘Nelson Mandela: from Prisoner to President,’’ where visitors can learn about Mandela’s journey through films, photographs and sculptures.

International Space Station


Three astronauts from the International Space Station honored Mandela in a video message that included words from Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and Bill and Hillary Clinton, among others.

‘‘Nelson Mandela is the symbol of what humankind must strive for: Peace, brotherhood and a common goal to better every life on this planet. Our work here on the International Space Station mirrors exactly what Mr. Mandela spent his life trying to accomplish,’’ astronaut Karen Nyberg said for the group.

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