67 minutes of kindness in tribute to Mandela

NELSON Mandela’s daughter is calling on the people of Liverpool to mark next month’s Mandela Day by spending 67 minutes improving the lives of others.

Supported by Liverpool City Council, the My67 campaign has been established by charity Mandela8 in partnership with Dr Makaziwe ‘Maki’. It aims to mark the 67 years Nelson Mandela fought for social justice by encouraging people to give up 67 minutes of their time to help others.

Mandela Day takes place on Thursday 18 July – Nelson Mandela’s birthday – and anyone wishing to be part of the uplifting initiative is being asked to carry out their good deed either on the day itself, or anytime that week.

Dr Maki said: “I am very happy to learn that Mandela8 will be celebrating by doing acts of kindness and goodness with the Liverpool community – it is very exciting. My father said what matters in life is not that you have lived your life, but that you have made a difference in the lives of other people. This is about showing love and compassion to your neighbours.”

The call-out has the backing member of the Jacksons, Jermaine Jackson, who has already pledged to give up 67 minutes of his time and said: “I want you all to be part of the Mandela8, My67 minutes, and do something good for someone else who needs your help – a neighbour, a stranger or even your community.”

My67 was piloted in 2018 and was initially aimed at youngsters across the city. As part of the scheme, 170 schools received Nelson Mandela’s autobiography The Long Walk to Freedom and school pupils took part in litter picks, art projects, gardening and raised money for local charities with football fundraisers and bake sales.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “Liverpool’s connection with Nelson Mandela runs deep, and we were honoured to make him Freeman of the City in 1994.

“He campaigned to make this world a better place for 67 years and we are delighted to work in partnership with Mandela8 to ensure his legacy is never forgotten in this city.

“Marking his birthday by doing a selfless deed is a great tribute to a great man. Liverpool is a city renowned for its kindness – taking this small amount of time out of our busy lives could massively benefit the lives of others, and I hope as many people as possible become part of the My67 movement.”

There are more than 60 suggested ideas for how to get involved on the official website – www.mandela8.org.uk/my-67. Organisers are encouraging everyone who takes part to promote their acts of kindness on social media using #mandela8my67minutes or #my67minutes.

Sonia Bassey, Chair and one of the founding members of Mandela8, said: “It is so important to us that people show kindness to each other and learn to get along, there is already so much hate in the world, it doesn’t need any more. 

“We want people of all ages to get involved.  Children, parents, schools, youth groups, organisations and individuals give 67 minutes of your time on Mandela Day to help your friend, neighbour or a stranger.  Make Mandela Day a special day across Liverpool, the North West and beyond.” 

Other organisations supporting My67 are the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Liverpool Learning Partnership, Africa Oyé, Unison North West, MSB, Granby Toxteth Development Trust, Prima Group, Steve Biko Housing Association and Weaver Vale Housing Trust.