On 1 June 2011, the South African Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal took part in the launch of the first International Mandela Monday which officially kicks off on 6 June 2011.The launch was an initiative of Mr Nuno Delgado, the Portuguese judo Olympic medalist, who organized the world’s largest judo class.Some 4000 youths took part in the event, establishing a new Guinness World Record.The event also had the support of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, under the theme Achieve, Collect & Give Back.

Ambassador Keitumetse Matthews was invited by the Portuguese Secretary of State for Sport and Youth, Mr Laurentino Dias and the Mayor of Lisbon, Mr Antonio Costa to address the event, which took place at the lovely Terreiro do Paço, overlooking the Tagus River. Ambassador Matthews called on the participants to heed the appeal of the Nelson Mandela Foundation for people to volunteer at least once a week to help someone in need.

Ambassador Matthews with organiser Nuno Delgado (on the left), the Secretary of State for Sports and Youth, Laurentino Dias and Lisbon Deputy Mayor, Manuel Brito (on the right)