By Charndré Emma Kippie
Nelson Mandela Month
From the 1 to 31 July, our nation celebrates former President Nelson Mandela’s birthday. The 18 July has historically been deemed Nelson Mandela International Day, but as South Africans we take this opportunity to honour Nelson Mandela’s legacy and impact on our community for the entire month. Now is the time for citizens to become more conscious of their individual power to make a positive impact and contribute to the transformation of the country. As a global movement for positive change, each of our small steps in the right direction fuels momentum towards incredible change, raising awareness and expanding the reach of Madiba’s values – fighting injustice, helping people in need and practicing reconciliation.
Moral Regeneration Month
Coincidentally, July also marks the period in which South Africans commemorate Moral Regeneration Month, which is an initiative of the Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM). This movement is geared towards encouraging people to commit to building up communities founded on positive values, and dedicate themselves to fostering a solicitous society in the pursuit of maintaining lasting peace and prosperity in our nation. This day coincides with the celebration of Mandela Day on 18 July and the birthday month of Madiba – an icon and leader in the formation of the Moral Regeneration Movement who marked the adoption of the Charter for Positive Values on 28 July 2008.
Virtual Political Consultations between South Africa and the Czech Republic, Pretoria, South Africa: 1 July
This day marks a critical time in our history – Deputy Minister Alvin Botes holds important Political Consultations with the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Mr Martin Tlapa. The Political Consultations will take place as countries across the world forge a means of re-engaging internationally as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our nation is also considering re-engaging international partners in pursuit of the priorities of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan – emphasizing the need to accelerate growth in our country’s economy. The Consultations will enable both countries to boost their bilateral economic and political relations, affording South Africa the chance to advance the Government’s priorities – as identified in the National Development Plan and the African Union’s Vision 2063.
World Population Day: 11 July
In 1989, in its decision 89/46, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme suggested that, in order to zoom in on the importance of the planet’s population issues, in light of global development plans and programmes and the need for urgent solutions, 11 July should be observed globally each year as World Population Day. In 2011, the world population jumped to 7 billion people (up from 2.5 billion in 1950). This has had weighty implications for development. On this day we take the opportunity to raise awareness around sustainability, access to health services, urbanisation and youth empowerment. With the impact of Covid-19, this is sure to be top of the agenda for campaigns this year.
Nelson Mandela Day: 18 July
Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18 July 2009. This was a decision made by the UN General Assembly based on his massive global impact. The UN’s decision was influenced by a call made by the late Madiba regarding the next generation taking on the heavy load of leadership in addressing global social injustices. This special day is a joyous celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy; it is a global movement to honour his life’s work, fight for freedom and to change the world for the better. Education and Literacy, Food and Nutrition, Shelter, Sanitation and Active Citizenship are the key themes that will be focused on as we celebrate Nelson Mandela this year.
World Hepatitis Day: 28 July
Every 30 seconds, someone dies from a hepatitis related illness – even in the current Covid-19 crisis – we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis. This is the theme for World Hepatitis Day this year. Hepatitis A kills around 1.45 million people every year. Marked by the World Hepatitis Alliance in collaboration with patient groups, this day is commemorated to draw attention to the need for increased awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes. Key actions that will be emphasised are strengthening prevention, screening and control of viral hepatitis, enhancing hepatitis B vaccine coverage, and integration into national immunisation programmes coordinating a global response to hepatitis.
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