Nelson Mandela Foundation thanks the world

Johannesburg - The Nelson Mandela Foundation on Saturday thanked the world for carrying out good deeds in memory of the former president, whose birthday was celebrated on Friday.

A mural of Nelson Mandela on a shop door in Woodstock. Photo: Willem Law. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

“We have been heartened by the number of sustainable projects still thriving. At the same time it has been inspiring to see the range of innovative new projects to emerge,” foundation spokeswoman Danielle Melville said in a statement.

“We welcome the degree to which structures of the state, of civil society and in the private sector are working together for the campaign.”

Melville said people in 126 countries participated in Mandela Day, and more 1200 positive deeds had been registered on their website.

Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated on July 18, Mandela's birthday, when people are encouraged to give 67 minutes of their time and of themselves to help those less fortunate.

Mandela spent 67 years of his life working for social justice. He died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, aged 95, on December 5. He was buried in his childhood village of Qunu on December 15.

Melville said in South Africa almost half a million food parcels had been distributed to needy people, and more than a million sanitary towels handed to schoolgirls.

Habitat for Humanity in South Africa built 67 houses in one week for the poor.

More than 15 000 books were also donated to school libraries. - Sapa