World

South Africans mark Mandela's 67 years of struggle with 67 minutes of community service

  • A woman paints a shack with white fire retardant paint as a contribution to International Nelson Mandela day celebrating former South African president Mandela birth day in the township of  Nomzamo, South Africa,  Saturday, July 18, 2015. Thousands of South Africans celebrating former South African president Nelson Mandela birth day by giving  67 minutes of their time to help other people. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    A woman paints a shack with white fire retardant paint as a contribution to International Nelson Mandela day celebrating former South African president Mandela birth day in the township of Nomzamo, South Africa, Saturday, July 18, 2015. Thousands of South Africans celebrating former South African president Nelson Mandela birth day by giving 67 minutes of their time to help other people. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

  • A child walk on a dirt road near his home as people nearby paint shacks with white fire retardant paint as part of their contribution to International Nelson Mandela day celebrating former South African president Mandela birth day in the township of  Nomzamo , South Africa,  Saturday, July 18, 2015. Thousands of South Africans celebrating former South African president Nelson Mandela birthday by giving 67 minutes of their time to help other people. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    A child walk on a dirt road near his home as people nearby paint shacks with white fire retardant paint as part of their contribution to International Nelson Mandela day celebrating former South African president Mandela birth day in the township of Nomzamo , South Africa, Saturday, July 18, 2015. Thousands of South Africans celebrating former South African president Nelson Mandela birthday by giving 67 minutes of their time to help other people. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

  • Children paint a shack with white fire retardant paint as part of their contribution to International Nelson Mandela day celebrating former South African president Mandela birth day in the township of  Nomzamo , South Africa,  Saturday, July 18, 2015. Thousands of South Africans celebrating former South African president Nelson Mandela birthday by giving  67 minutes of their time to help other people. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    Children paint a shack with white fire retardant paint as part of their contribution to International Nelson Mandela day celebrating former South African president Mandela birth day in the township of Nomzamo , South Africa, Saturday, July 18, 2015. Thousands of South Africans celebrating former South African president Nelson Mandela birthday by giving 67 minutes of their time to help other people. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

South Africans honored the 67 years of former president Nelson Mandela's service to the country with 67 minutes of charity and community action around the country on his birthday.

Established in 2009, the day is meant to encourage South Africans to emulate Mandela's humanitarian legacy and recognize the decades he spent fighting apartheid.

All over the country, South African volunteers handed out blankets and books, distributed toys at orphanages, and cleaned up public areas, before reporting their activities on social media.

His former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela held a lunch for elderly, needy women at the Mandela family restaurant near the family's home in Soweto, and handed out blankets.

At the University of Johannesburg, his widow Graca Machel gave out food parcels.

Mandela died in December 2013.