Nelson Mandela: Any society which does not care for its children is no nation at all
By Chris Niles
18 July is Nelson Mandela Day: UNICEF recognizes a great champion for children.
NEW YORK, 5 July 2013 – 18 July is Nelson Mandela Day, when UNICEF will join millions of people around the world celebrating his achievements.
This year's day is especially poignant as the great champion for children battles illness in his native South Africa.
Mr. Mandela established the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund in 1995 and, in 1999, after stepping down as South Africa's first black president, he established the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
In 2001, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, along with his wife, humanitarian Graça Machel, helped to launch the Say Yes for Children campaign, an unprecedented movement to improve and protect the lives of children.
The campaign was the first major initiative of the Global Movement for Children, a coalition of some of the world's largest child rights organizations in a unique partnership to raise awareness about issues affecting children.
The campaign gathered more than 94 million signatures, which were presented at the United Nations Special Session on Children in 2002. At the session, Mr. Mandela urged world leaders to do more to give children health care and education.
In 2004, UNICEF and the Nelson Mandela Foundation started Schools for Africa, a campaign to promote education, especially for girls, orphans and those living in extreme poverty.
"Any country, any society which does not care for its children is no nation at all," he said.