Communications Officer Louie marks Nelson Mandela Day 2021 and considers what it means, then and now…On 18 July every year, the United Nations invites you to mark Nelson Mandela International Day by making a difference in your communities. Everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better! Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change.
Having lived in South Africa we saw first hand what apartheid was all about, we’ve lived through a ‘State of Emergency’ called for by the then President P. W. Botha, a worrying time for British non-residents I can tell you.
Following a stroke in 1989 he resigned his post and was replaced by F.W. de Klerk. Things started to happen very quickly and after 27 years in incarceration the Government would soon be releasing Nelson Mandela.
On that sunny February afternoon in 1990 all the family sat alongside millions of others watching national TV coverage as Mandela was released from Victor Versa Prison in Cape Town and started that ‘Long Walk to Freedom’.
The rest is history as they say, but we feel encouraged and blessed that we were a part of that and I will always remember that things that seem impossible can change, it just needs the work of many to make it happen or just a few to have that vision to start it.
As Mandela said: ‘It is in your hands to make of the world a better place’. And so, every year on Mandela Day, we ask people around the world to take action and inspire change by making a difference in their communities.
“Today we should all ask ourselves: What have I done to improve the surroundings in which I live? Do I litter or do I protect my surroundings? Do I buy stolen goods or do I help reduce crime?” – Nelson Mandela
He of course was referring to that time back in the 1990’s but if you’ve been following the news reports coming out of South Africa at the moment he could have said it yesterday. I have no doubt that he would not have condoned the actions of the few that are taking place currently.
Take Action! Inspire Change!
Has that got you thinking about how can you make a difference on this Nelson Mandela Day?
It doesn’t have to be something big it can be a simple gesture of helping a friend, a neighbour or even a stranger in need.
One of the reasons I joined SI Lichfield and District was to make a difference in my local community and oh my goodness, do we make a difference every month! I soon realised though, that we can make a difference to seamstresses in Burkina Faso just as much as helping a local group here in Burntwood.
By working together and linking with other Soroptimists group in the area, UK and throughout the World, we can definitely take action and inspire change.
You will be amazed what we can do together.
Happy birthday Nelson!