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Global Citizens Have Taken a Record-Breaking Number of Actions for the Mandela 100 Campaign

Over the last 5 months, Global Citizens have been on a journey to bring their collective voices together to encourage world leaders to take action on a number of issues faced by the extreme poor. Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 is set to be a historic moment — and not just because it is celebrating the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

Global Citizens have taken an unprecedented number of actions calling on leaders to commit to tackling systemic issues affecting the world’s most vulnerable. Close to 5 million actions have been taken — with over 4 million in South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland alone — to end malnutrition, eliminate NTDs, reduce HIV transmission, improve sanitation across the continent, and more. Since Global Citizen’s campaigns started in July, that’s over 1,200 actions taken in market each and every hour.

In response to these actions, world leaders have been confirming their attendance at the festival, making it the largest contingency of heads of state to attend a Global Citizen Festival since it launched in 2011.

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Building on these online actions, Global Citizen is working in partnership with a number of organizations to make a lasting difference on the ground. Global Citizen Days of Action, with 25 local NGOs and organizations, has so far yielded:

  • Cleanup of over 21 city blocks in Johannesburg
  • 901 HIV tests completed through the direct actions of Global Citizens
  • 31% increase in new blood donations with a 20.53% increase in non-white donors.
  • 8,627 bags of trash collected; 1 dumping site has now been turned into a park.
  • 192 cleanups across 8 countries
  • 2,050 students have taken part of education programs focused on girls/women health
  • Over 5,000 Volunteers/Global Citizens have participated in these offline actions
  • 75 people have received practical experience volunteering at Global Citizens and partner activations as part of a skills sharing program

In particular, the clean ups and blood donations have made significant, immediate impact. 

Launched on World Clean Up Day, Global Citizen partnered with the City of Johannesburg on a three-month campaign to get Joburgers to take action to improve the environment, reduce pollution, cut plastic use, and promote a healthy lifestyle. More than 600 Global Citizens joined Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, Lucas Radebe and TV star K Naomi at the first "A Re Sebetseng" meaning “let’s work,” and since then there have been over 1,600 participants across the first two clean ups. Approximately 3,970 bags of refuse have been collected in all A Re Sebetseng regions.

Global Citizen is also partnering with the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) on a national campaign to encourage citizens to make blood donation their responsibility. Despite 80% of South Africans needing blood at some point in their lives, only 1% of them donate, resulting in critically low blood reserves. The campaign has been extremely successful, particularly in recruiting black and Asian donors as well as people who either have never donated blood before or who have not donated in at least 12 months.

South Africa has the highest rate of HIV prevalence in the world with 18.9% estimated to be living with HIV. Global Citizen partnered with Unjani Clinics to offer residents the opportunity to “Know their status” for free. In October, 7 Gauteng based Unjani Clinics, which are in close proximity to schools and colleges in under-served areas, participated in an initiative that encouraged young people to attend health education sessions which focused on Family Planning, STI treatment, HIV testing, sex education. 

The initiative, supported by J&J Global Health, had 700 youth participants, of which 513 received free HIV tests. Unjani Clinics are designed to provide primary health care services at an affordable price to underserved communities in South Africa. The fee-based service model enables sustainability and the empowerment of black women through the use of a franchised business model and one of the goals is to build a successful network of nurse owned and operated clinics.

With a number of Days of Action still to come, Global Citizen is looking forward to working with its NGO partners to create even more on the ground impact.

Since 2011, Global Citizen’s action-driven festivals have helped secure more than 21 million actions by Global Citizens, leading to $37.9 billion in new commitments to end extreme poverty, which are set to affect 2.25 billion lives. Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 is set to receive historic pledges totalling $1 billion in new commitments and affecting the lives of the world’s most vulnerable.