(MyFoxBoston.com) – South Africa is preparing to celebrate Nelson Mandela's birthday as the anti-apartheid leader spends a fifth week in the hospital.
Mandela turns 95 Thursday, but the party has already started at Bertram Junior, an impoverished elementary school in Johannesburg that is also 95-years-old.
Students and teachers paid tribute to Mandela while sharing a cake with his grown grandchildren who visited Bertram for the festivities.
The school has lots to celebrate. It received hundreds of new books, food, equipment and warm coats in Mandela Day donations, recognized by the Mandela Foundation as a school in desperate need.
South Africans mark Mandela's birthday by dedicating 67 minutes to volunteer work commemorating Mandela's 67 years of service to his country. This year volunteers will paint and repair schools and special needs centers and deliver food to poor children.
Mandela spent 27 years as a political prisoner under South Africa's white rule before becoming the nation's first black president. He is being treated at a Pretoria hospital for a recurring lung infection.