In celebration of International Nelson Mandela Day, the Mission engaged in two outreach activities on 18 July involving two local associations.

On the morning of the 18th, six volunteers from the Mission joined members of the Ubuntu Leadership Academy run by IPAV (Father Antonio Vieira Institute) in an initiative launched by the latter entitled “Mandela Bridges”.  The Embassy volunteers were split into two groups that distributed postcards with the message “Hoje é Dia de Construir Pontes” (Today is a Day to Build Bridges) to commuters using Lisbon’s Entrecampos and Sete Rios Railway Stations.  The aim was to raise awareness through the distribution of postcards that inspire for bridge building around the memory of Nelson Mandela.  Following the activity, time was also spent with members of the Ubuntu Leadership Academy, who have Nelson Mandela as one of their role models, recalling his life and message. 

In the afternoon, the Embassy staff travelled to the headquarters of the Batoto Yetu Cultural and Youth Association in Caxias to participate with a group of youths in producing a hand-painting dedicated to Nelson Mandela.  Batoto Yetu is a youth and cultural association that works with children and young people who are interested in African culture. The association’s philosophy is based on the belief that, regardless of each person’s socioeconomic conditions, learning about and valuing their cultural roots is an essential factor to consolidate their self-esteem and sense of belonging!

The programme started with a short talk on the life of Nelson Mandela provided by Mr Reed Mkhohliso and Ms Maria da Luz Marques.  The hand painting organized by Batoto Yetu, which involved about 15 youths and 5 coordinators at the Association, was followed by an afternoon snack to which the staff contributed with sandwiches and fruit juices.  The staff also spent time interacting with the youths.