Today is the 10th annual Nelson Mandela Day! On this day, we are called to take action and inspire change, particularly action against poverty and social injustice. As a lawyer, peacemaker, political prisoner, and a former president of South Africa, Mandela fought to restore and reaffirm the dignity of the poor, especially in Africa.
10 years ago today, the United Nations recognized Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity. The purpose of July 18 is to inspire people around the world to take action and inspire change, just as Nelson Mandela did every day.
At Kakenya’s Dream we are proudly participating in the commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s legacy of social justice and human rights. We share Mandela’s belief in change and the power of community. His call to action for those living in poverty is at the forefront of our work. We are bringing about transformative change in rural Kenya through holistic programming that focuses on human rights, advocacy, and the importance and power of community.
In addition to challenges facing the whole community, including poverty, disease, and poor health care, girls in our community face other specific barriers to achieving their full potential. Their human rights are threatened by practices like female genital mutilation and child marriage, and higher levels of sexual violence. Our Centers for Excellence (KCE I and II), Network for Excellence, and Health and Leadership Trainings, all work in unison to not only protect our girls from these threats, but to transform the community and ensure everyone has the resources they need to thrive.
We are creating the next generation of change agents in rural Kenya. Our Health and Leadership Trainings impart vital knowledge on human rights and health information to vulnerable young people across the region, and equip them with skills like public speaking and self defense. Our Network for Excellence program is instilling leadership and service in our girls, as older students in our programs mentor the younger students. Finally, our Centers for Excellence, KCE I and II, give our girls the foundation to achieve their dreams through quality education at full-support boarding schools.
The message behind Mandela Day is that everyone has the ability and responsibility to change the world for the better. Live out Mandela’s legacy with us and help us build a better world for all.