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Mandela Day: Is volunteerism about 67 minutes?

This being the first July 18th since the passing of Dr. Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela, it is not surprising that the sentiments of Mandela Day are increasingly reaching different corners of the world as this great giant continues to inspire us to be agents of positive change through our commitment to the betterment of humanity. This past Mandela Day was the first that I spent outside of South Africa and it was heart-warming to witness how the greatness of one man can effect change beyond the borders of geography, culture and more. I was travelling with some friends on the day and I did not participate in any related activities, but I do know that throughout Milan, people took part in various initiatives around the city.

On the eve of Mandela Day, a commemorative mural, celebrating Nelson Mandela’s legacy and 20 years of democracy in South Africa, was unveiled in Milan by the Mayor of Milan and the South African Consul-General. To see the artwork and read all about the unveiling, click here.

While there is no doubt that Mandela Day is a great catalyst for people to take volunteerism and community service seriously, quite often people have questioned whether having such a day promotes the true spirit of service beyond the day itself. I am of the sentiment that as much as having such a day is a great reminder of the need for our commitment to volunteerism, it is important to commit ourselves to the true spirit of volunteerism outside of these mass events and throughout the year.

Through our Pay-It-Forward initiatives, Mbewu is committed to playing a part in making a difference in the society we live in. Each of us also contributes on a personal capacity to various causes that aim to uplift communities – causes that speak to us individually. We know we all have the responsibility and are able to effect positive change every day, and each year Mandela Day reminds us of this.

I came across a video where Luvuyo Mandela, Dr. Nelson Mandela’s great-grandson, shares his views on volunteerism and service (see video below). I love what he says about the importance of self-development as a tool to collectively build our country to what it needs to be.

What does volunteerism mean to you? And how committed are you to this humanity cause?

MM

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