At this time of unease and uncertainty, people could benefit from the calm reassurance and gentle wisdom of the late Kofi Annan. 8th April marks the anniversary of his birth, and the launch of the Mandela Mile Global Leadership Challenge, a three month initiative culminating on 18th July, the anniversary of the birth of another great humanitarian, Nelson Mandela.
Kofi Annan’s last public appearance was in South Africa as Chairman of the Elders, a group of independent world leaders founded by Mandela in 2007, calling world communities to walk together in celebration of 100 years of Nelson Mandela. With his blessing, Shanthi Annan inspired global communities to join in, and connected the world to the core centenary walk in Johannesburg, lead for the last time by her father-in-law on International Mandela Day 2018. These became known as the Mandela Mile global walks.
Since then the Mandela Mile organisation, along with its many partners around the world, has pioneered global community walks and celebrations every July 18 on Mandela Day.
This year, Mandela Mile is designating the period between 08 April (Kofi Annan's birthdate) and 18 July (Nelson Mandela’s birthdate) as a time for remembering and celebrating these two legendary world leaders, for challenging people from all walks of life to practice greater leadership in their own lives and communities, and for collectively nurturing a community of natural leaders, who are inspired, ready to speak out and rebuild our world.
Mandela Milers, including 40 emerging leaders representing 21 countries (the first participants in the newly created Mandela Mile Leadership Training Programme) have been making modifications to their plans to accommodate both the constraints and the global community needs imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The founder of the Mandela Mile organisation, Shanthi Annan, calls for global community leadership, and suggests that people should adapt their activities in response to the current crisis by addressing the needs of their neighbourhoods and communities, in particular those of the elderly and most vulnerable. This is in the spirit of Kofi Annan and Nelson Mandela, who combined compassion with practical solutions to the problems of the day. This could be by tending gardens and allotments for those who are unable to do so, keeping streets and pavements litter-free, and with all the necessary hand washing, trying not to waste water.
Throughout the period, individuals and community groups worldwide are invited to join the Mandela Mile online community platform and share how they are practising greater leadership in their own lives and communities.
To join the Mandela Mile Community Platform, share your ideas, suggestions and proposals for this years Mandela Mile on 18th July 2020, please connect via the Mandela Mile Website ( www.mandelamile.global ), contact via email ( [email protected] ), and follow @MandelaMile on social media platforms.