In November 2009, the UN declared 18 July "Nelson Mandela International Day". This is in recognition of the former South African President's contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
What is Nelson Mandela International Day?This day remembers Nelson Mandela's life and commitment to make the world a better place. The purpose of the day is to take action and inspire the change, as he did. It is a call for people everywhere, to give 67 minutes of their time, whether it's supporting a chosen charity or serving the local community. This honours the 67 years Nelson Mandela has given of his life to fight for the rights of humanity.
ChildHope celebrates Nelson Mandela DayIn 2009, Nelson Mandela was named the Decade's Child Rights Hero. Nelson Mandela wants to give all children the chance for a better future. Similarly, ChildHope strives towards achieving social justice for children and young people. Our projects aim to address situations where children's rights are violated as a result of abuses of power, poverty, inequality, and violence.
ChildHope works in solidarity with local organisations in Africa, Asia and South America to transform the lives of extremely vulnerable children. The projects we support give priority to prevention, aiming to stop children facing vulnerability in the first place. We work towards creating long lasting solutions and tackle the underlying causes of poverty and vulnerability.
Inspiring change among children living on the streets in Sierra LeoneChildHope is working in partnership with HANCI (Help a Needy Child in Sierra Leone), supporting boys and girls living and working on the streets. Our project is improving opportunities to access quality education, vocational training, and is empowering communities to protect children at risk.
The cities of Bo and Makeni were seriously affected by Sierra Leone's decade long civil war (1991-2002) that displaced about 2 million people. Over 15,000 boys and girls were kidnapped and forced to fight or used as sex slaves. According to statistical reports over 500,000 Sierra Leonean children of school age are engaged in child labour.
Our project with HANCI addresses the specific issues faced by children living and working on the streets. It gives children a safe place to stay and gets them off the streets. We are supporting 720 children to access formal education or appropriate skills training. To ensure children can stay in school, the project also trains teachers to improve their child protection practices and the quality of education the children receive. We are also working with families to develop small businesses that improve their income and enable them to better support their children and ensure they do not return to a life on the streets.
ChildHope and HANCI celebrate Nelson Mandela Day because of the inspiring lesson he has given to everyone: it is possible to change the lives of the most disadvantaged people, one step at a time, with care and determination.