The South Africa Consulate General in New York and South African summer citrus will celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day Friday, July 18 on what would have been Mandela's 96th birthday.
South Africa is the world's second-largest exporter of citrus next to Spain. Two New York City celebrations will mirror programs in South Africa, where citrus production and export is changing the lives of the people there. The South African Consulate General of New York works consistently to promote and support the citrus program to the United State,which contributes to the economic stability and growth of the Rainbow Nation to which Mandela dedicated his life.
With special focus on the number 67, the number of years Mandela is considered to have been in service to South Africa, New Yorkers are invited to commit 67 minutes in service to the community.
A large inflated orange will draw people to a banner displaying Mandela's messages of service on July 18 from 2-3 p.m. at the Boys/Girls High School at 1700 Fulton St. in Brooklyn. This location was visited by Mandela, and a school sports field will be named in his honor. By signing the banner, individuals pledge 67 minutes of service to making the world a better place. Those attending will receive South African oranges. The banner will be presented to the Nelson Mandela Foundation at a later date.
Like South African Summer Citrus' Harvest of Hope program, the Bowery Mission provides opportunities to others. Some 67 cartons of South African summer citrus will be presented to the Bowery Mission at 227 Bowery in New York City. In unity, a truck of fresh citrus will be unloaded at the Mission in bucket brigade manner lead by Consul General George Monyemangene, citrus growers from South Africa, U.S. importer partners DNE World, Seald Sweet, Capespan and AMC Direct, and representatives from the Bowery Mission.
Harvest of Hope is an economic development program established by those South African citrus growers exporting to the United States, enabling farm employees to co-own land and secure a sustainable future for successive generations.
Since 1999, South African summer citrus has been exported to the U.S., providing consumers with citrus when domestic product is unavailable. Citrus from South Africa is exported via one of the more successful programs of the African Growth & Opportunity Act, an international treaty in consideration for renewal in 2015. South Africa Citrus is available in U.S. supermarkets from late June through October.