Nelson Mandela International Day was launched at the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto on Wednesday.
“We would like to encourage young people to be active citizens by participating whole-heartedly in this campaign,” said Sello Hatang, spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, in a statement.
He said the venue chosen represented the spirit of sacrifice and selflessness.
During a news conference, the centre's CEO Achmat Dangor called on guests to take time out of their lives to inspire change in their communities by doing good deeds.
“We would like to remind all that the Mandela Day campaign is a call for activism in order to build better communities,” he said.
“The message of giving your time to uplift your fellow citizens is reaching people, and the spirit of volunteerism that has been shown is humbling.”
Musician Danny K reminded youngsters of the vital role they play in South Africa.
“As the great man Madiba, himself, is famous for saying:
'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
The second phase of the launch was hosted at Tlhatlogang Junior Secondary School, in Soweto.
It is a disadvantaged school situated in Jabavu.
Hatang said guests offered their time by painting and fixing the school and by turning it into a place more conducive to learning.
“We strongly believe that in order for people to understand the meaning of Nelson Mandela Day, we should physically demonstrate (former president) Nelson Mandela's values through action.” - Sapa