Change the World – for the Better

Change the World – for the Better

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On Thursday 18 July, Nelson Mandela turns 95. The former president’s protracted hospital stay makes the day all the more poignant in the minds of South Africans, according to the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, Sello Hatang.

Hatang said, “Mandela Day is not about money but about giving your time. It’s about doing what you can to make a difference. The test of a legacy is whether the legacy’s impact can continue long after the person who left it can no longer initiate it. It’s up to South Africans to keep it going.”

On International Mandela Day, businesses and ordinary South Africans are asked to dedicate 67 minutes of their day to doing something good for others.

By devoting 67 minutes of their time – one minute for every year of Mr. Mandela’s public service – people can make a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step towards a global movement for good.

According to the Presidency, the Cabinet designated the theme of Mandela Day 2013 as “Take action; inspire change; make every day a Mandela Day”, with a focus on food security, shelter and literacy.

67 ways to change the world

If you would like to make a difference on Mandela Day, here are some things you can do:

  • Make a new friend. Get to know someone from a different cultural background. Only through mutual understanding can we rid our communities of intolerance and xenophobia.
  • Read to someone who can’t. Visit a local home for the blind and open up a new world for someone else.
  • Help out at the local animal shelter. Dogs without homes still need a walk and a bit of love.
  • Help someone get a job. Put together and print a CV for them, or help them with their interview skills.
  • Many terminally ill people have no one to speak to. Take a little time to have a chat and bring some sunshine into their lives.
  • Get tested for HIV and encourage your partner to do so too.
  • Take someone you know, who can’t afford it, to get their eyes tested or their teeth checked.
  • Donate a wheelchair or guide dog, to someone in need.
  • Buy a few blankets, or grab the ones you no longer need from home and give them to someone in need.

To see all 67 suggestions for action, visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation website.

Alison Job
Alison Job holds a BA English, Communications and has extensive experience in writing that spans news broadcasting, public relations and corporate and consumer publishing. Find her at Google+.