Celebrating Nelson Mandela Day with GirlCode – An Organization Empowering Black Girls through Coding
Nelson Mandela International Day is a yearly international holiday honoring Mandela that is observed on his birthday, July 18, each year. The first day was celebrated on July 18, 2010, after the UN formally declared the day in November 2009. On July 18, 2009, other groups, however, started commemorating Mandela Day. The purpose is to honor Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, and his values through volunteerism and community service rather than as a day off from work.
On this day, we had a few words with Tinyiko Simbine, CFO & Founder of Girlcode. The nonprofit uses technology to empower women, in particular with coding. Their goal is to promote more women in tech, design, and development roles to make future businesses and products more successful and diverse.
Why do you think it’s important for us to celebrate Nelson Mandela day?
Tinyiko Simbine: Nelson Mandela Day must be observed to highlight the legacy of the man who has contributed to the development of the African nation for future generations. It also serves as a reminder of why it’s crucial for us to make a positive difference in the world. In addition, former President Nelson Mandela placed a high value on education. This is another reason for us to acknowledge the significance of education and the need to educate the next generation because they will be the leaders of tomorrow.
What kind of activities does Girl Code does to celebrate this day?
Tinyiko Simbine: Nelson Mandela, former president, considered education the most effective tool. Following in his footsteps, we gave more than 300 scholarships to unemployed young girls in order to upskill them and give them internationally recognized credentials that would increase their employability. On that day, we are also hosting a hackathon.
What are the few qualities of Nelson Mandela that everyone should try to practice?
Tinyiko Simbine: Making a difference is the one I consider to be most important. We have the power to influence not only our nation but also the entire world. We all possess the capacity to change the world and have an impact. The secret, however, is to begin where you are and with what you have undoubtedly. You never know what networks you might be able to access and how much of a difference you might be able to make.
How can people in different parts of the world celebrate this day?
Tinyiko Simbine: People should set aside 67 minutes each day to work on projects that will benefit other people or organizations. Spending time at an orphanage, planting trees, creating vegetable gardens for the less fortunate, or making financial contributions to charities or groups that empower others are a few of these ways. We can do this even through social media.