- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 3, 2009

CITIZEN JOURNALISM:

Nelson Mandela Day

The Nelson Mandela Foundation and the organization 46664 are calling on people around the world to support the creation of an official Mandela Day. The holiday would be held annually on July 18, Mr. Mandela’s birthday.

People are being asked to honor the human rights icon by committing 67 minutes of their time to improve their lives through community service.

“We would be honored if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation,” Mr. Mandela said.

Imprisoned for 27 years because of his rhetoric and tactics opposing apartheid, Mr. Mandela was inmate No. 46664. The group 46664 is an HIV/AIDS prevention organization that, along with the Mandela Foundation, supports projects where needs are greatest - South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

At the April 27 announcement in New York, former President Bill Clinton said, “More than any other human being, Madiba has been the great inspiration for the life I lead and the work I do, especially in the area of HIV/AIDS.”

Madiba, an honorary title for elders, has become synonymous with Mr. Mandela in South Africa.

“In return for everything Madiba has taught us, we each owe it to him to support his work and legacy by doing and living our own as best we can, not just on this day, but throughout our entire lives,” Mr. Clinton said.

The Mandela Day announcement coincided with Freedom Day, the annual celebration of South Africa’s first non-racial democratic elections, which were held on April 27, 1994.

PhilanthropyJournal.org published a number of donations to and from well-known businesses and organizations. Here are a few:

• Fight for Children awarded $100,000 each to Capital City Public Charter School, Bell Multicultural High School and the Washington Middle School for Girls in D.C.

• UNICEF will receive $100,000 from CNN Worldwide to provide insecticide-treated nets to stem the spread of malaria.

• Lockheed Martin gave $1 million to the U.S. Institute of Peace to become premier sponsor for annual Dean Acheson Lecture for five years.

• Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy awarded total of $634,070 in grants to 10 nonprofits, public-school districts and other agencies to improve literacy of parents and children.

• USAID received a $1 million grant from ExxonMobil for President’s Malaria Initiative to support health care workers.

• American Council on Education and Wal-Mart Foundation awarded $100,000 grants to each of 20 institutions in U.S. operating programs benefiting higher education of veterans and their families.

• New York Stem Cell Foundation received $300,000 from Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Foundation to provide seed funding for initial six-month phase of multiyear diabetes modeling program.

• National Consumers League received a $146,000 grant from Experian to help underwrite LifeSmarts, league’s 15-year-old program to educate teens and tweens on real-world financial and consumer literacy issues.

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