The Elders


Take action this Mandela Day

This Mandela Day, Mary Robinson encourages us all to take up the challenge set by Nelson Mandela to "make a difference - to help others - and inspire change", creating a better world for everyone.

"The challenge Nelson Mandela set us to create a better world is also a task for everyone."

Mary Robinson in Sudan
Mary Robinson speaks to a refugee while visiting a refugee camp in South Sudan,
July 2012.

When Nelson Mandela founded The Elders in 2007, he challenged us to “help make our planet a more peaceful, healthy and equitable place to live.”

We Elders have endeavoured to fulfil this weighty mission through our work ever since. We have travelled to many countries to promote peace, speaking to both leaders and marginalised groups in an effort to listen to all voices. And we have campaigned for gender equality and for climate justice, to make sure that the most vulnerable are not the most affected by violence or climate change.

However, the challenge Nelson Mandela set us to create a better world is also a task for everyone. We can all make a difference - to help others - and inspire change.

On 18 July, the world celebrates Nelson Mandela International Day, a day for each and every one of us to do what Nelson Mandela did: to serve others, to take action and to recognise our individual ability to change our local communities for the better, and in turn change the world.

As an Elder, I will take every opportunity I can to keep fighting for a more equitable, sustainable and safe planet. Each of us has this opportunity. And what better time to start playing our part than on Mandela Day. What will you do?


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The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

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