Former South African President Nelson Mandela turns 93 today and his birthday is mobilizing many to action.
MUST READ: Nelson Mandela Birthday Tribute [PHOTOS]
Mandela has been receiving a lot positive messages and best wishes from all over the world. But his birthday is inspiring an international day of community service.
South Africans rang in Mandela's 93rd birthday with songs and charitable work, according to reports.
Thousands of South African school children help to sing happy Birthday to Mandela early this morning.
Mandela spent his birthday in Qunu, his home village located in the Eastern Cape Province. He is said to be in good spirits, according to the online news Xinhua.
As the people of the world celebrate Nelson Mandela's 93rd birthday on July 18, Madiba continues to be a beacon for the global community, and for all who work for democracy, justice and reconciliation. On behalf of the people of the United States, we congratulate Nelson Mandela, and honor his vision for a better world, said U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle in statement on the White House website.
Mandela also received well wishes from South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille, who said: The most significant honor we can pay this great man on his birthday is to work towards his vision of a better life for all South Africans, to build on his dream, and to vigilantly and consistently protect the Constitution which he called a 'sacred covenant'.
The United Nations General Assembly in November 2009, declared July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day. This recognition was in honor of Mandela's contribution to the culture of peace and freedom, according to the U.N.'s website.
This year, the U.N. has asked that people Take Action! Inspire Change. The organization joined the call of the Nelson Mandela Foundation that has been asking that 67 minutes of our time be devoted to helping others.
They are asking that people dedicate 67 minutes to others because for 67 years Mandela devoted his life to serving humanity. He did this as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, and international peacemaker, and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa, according to the U.N.
Mandela served as president of South Africa between 1994 and 1999.
CNN has reported that a multiracial, multilingual group of South African bikers rode across the country last week, helping out at seven rural community projects in small forgotten town along the way.