Take Action and Inspire Change

Carlyle Labuschagne
Published on: August 2013
"The heart of Nelson Mandela International Day is good works for people and the planet. Its theme...is meant to mobilize the human family to do more to build a peaceful, sustainable and equitable world," Mr. Ban said. "This is the best tribute we can pay to an extraordinary man who embodies the highest values of humanity."
take action and inspire change,social justice
18th of July every year here in South Africa we celebrate Nelson Mandela day, by living true to what he stands for and honouring his dedication to public service, social justice and reconciliation, inspiring millions around the world. We are encouraged to deliver 67min of our time donating, helping out, and serving the segments of communities in much need of assistance, with shelter, food, schools and hospitals. This initiative has exploded over the years, where we now strive to make every day a Mandela day across the globe. When tuned in to radio, reading about it, or watching TV, I am amazed at what can be done by those who care. Truly what it means to me as not only a South African but as a person, is being human, by giving back, supporting and helping those in need whenever the opportunity provides itself. This year, UN staff in New York volunteered their time to help rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy last fall. Indonesia also celebrated Nelson Mandela Day for the first time on Thursday.

"The figure of Mandela embodies the principles of the United Nations [UN] concerning dignity, freedom and struggle for justice," United Nations Information Center (UNIC) Jakarta head Michele Zaccheo said during the 2013 Indonesia Commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day at the UNIC office in Jakarta.

All around the world there are communities in much need of any form of improvement. Here in South Africa our townships are most in need. When driving past such a settlement I cannot imagine the life they have 'settled' for, and the conditions that have led to the construction of these inhuman conditions. Huge Families living in make shift shacks in the worst conditions possible. Why not take the time to just drop off some of your clothes, a cooked meal, toys, books, anything you can spare - would you not wish someone could help you if the tables were reversed. Find an organisation that had contributed their efforts solely for this purpose, what gets me the most is the children that live in this horrid reality, they never really have a choice, this is all they know. But yet when I drive past these informal settlements there are kids of all ages playing around in the trash that has filled their 'playgrounds', smiling and happily being grateful for the little they have in their lives.
Me myself I have started a project known as Help build a library in Africa project. This is my first year of accepting and contributing my efforts to bring literature to the youth. My plan is to choose a school or library, hospital each year and collect right from one year into the next. Education and literature can change a child's life, enrich his environment. I strive to make each day a Mandela day! You too can become a hero to someone, by giving a little it can go a long way.
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