By Koketso Mamabolo
International Day for Monuments and Sites – 18 April
At its 22nd General Conference, UNESCO adopted the establishment of the 18th of April as International Day for Monuments and Sites. In some countries it’s celebrated as World Heritage Day. There are many ways we remember the past and monuments and sites are perhaps the most visible example of how history can inhabit space. The sites and monuments in South Africa carry with them a significant amount of history – both good and bad – that needs to be acknowledged in order for us not to repeat mistakes of the past and to apply lessons learned.
International Mother Earth Day – 22 April
The world is looking towards 2030 as the start of a new way of treating the planet which sustains us. For the third consecutive year, International Mother Earth Day falls in the middle of a pandemic which many have described as a ‘reset’ – whether that be in business, culture or governance – and there’s no reason why it can’t be a reset of how we take care of the environment. With 2030 fast approaching, observations such as this one are becoming increasingly important as we desperately implement policies to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.
World Book and Copyright Day – 23 April
On this day William Shakespeare passed away and is remembered each year for his significant contributions to the world’s cultural artefacts. Some historians speculate that the man affectionately known as The Bard, who authored classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Othello, may have been born on this day too. Shakespeare’s contribution goes beyond capturing the popular imagination, his legacy can be seen in some of the words we use and how stories are told. The 23rd of April is an opportunity to promote reading and the importance of books.
World Intellectual Property Day – 26 April
The theme for this year is IP and Youth innovating for a Better Future. “World Intellectual Property Day 2022 is an opportunity for young people to find out how IP rights can support their goals, help transform their ideas into reality, generate income, create jobs and make a positive impact on the world around them. With IP rights, young people have access to some of the key tools they need to advance their ambitions,” says the World Intellectual Property Organisation on their website. “Every April 26, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to learn about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity. World Intellectual Property 2022 recognises the huge potential of young people to find new and better solutions that support the transition to a sustainable future.”
Freedom Month – 27 April
It’s been almost three decades since South Africa transitioned to a constitutional democracy when the first democratic elections were held on the 27th of April, 1994. “Although we have made remarkable progress since 1994, the spectre of inequality, poverty and unemployment remains one of the most glaring impediments to South Africa’s goal of national unity and social cohesion,” says the government, acknowledging that the freedom we obtained on this day, 28 years ago, was only the start of a journey that will see the nation transforming to an inclusive one.
World Veterinary Day – 30 April
Created in 2000 by the World Veterinary Association, this day is about raising awareness about the important work that veterinarians do. This month’s celebration comes off the back of the 37th World Veterinary Association Congress, which took place in Abu Dhabi at the end of March. “The World Veterinary Day is celebrated annually on the last Saturday of April to recognize the work of veterinarians around the world and their contributions to improving animal health and welfare as well as public health,” says the World Veterinary Association. This year’s theme is Strengthening Veterinary Resilience.