volunteer-your-timeBy Monique van der Walt

What is the first thing that springs to your mind when you hear someone say “South Africa, a nation which is celebrating 20 years of freedom this month (April 2014). ”

The face of the “father of our nation”, Nelson Mandela springs to my mind.


A quick survey in my multicultural office revealed some of the following responses: Mandela, Crime, Freedom, Happiness and Peace.


We all know Tata Madiba’s story; 20 years ago, he won the big battle for the freedom of South Africa with the 1994 election. Madiba fought for this nation through the worst and best. His legacy will remain with us forever, and it is our prayer that it is never forgotten by our leaders. The freedom we have gained as a nation, the ability to work nelson-mandelatogether, expanding on one another’s skill set, is a formidable privilege. It has brought happiness and peace to many in our nation.


Crime. Yes, it is not a pleasant factor to review, but you know what, crime is EVERYWHERE. And along with crime, there is greed, corruption, murder, ill-will, rape, terrorism. These are all REAL factors that each and every city in the world has to deal with.


So what is there to be done about it? The answer is simple: to make a difference, do NOT sit back and say “what is going to happen is going to happen, just make sure it doesn’t happen to you”, rather take a stand, make an effort in developing your local community and positively contributing to your plant-indegeniousenvironment. Yes, there will always be the negative, but good triumphs over evil. Even the corrupt do their bit sometimes, even if it is for the incorrect reasons. The real crux of the matter is that all of us will have to begin doing our part if we are prevent our environments from crumbling, and even the most evil do not want their own selfish life to “go under”.  Some simple ways to start making a difference:

Volunteer your time: there are plenty local organisations that ALWAYS need a helping hand. Use God-given skills and talents,  we all have things we are good at, so use them. Perhaps you are good at coordinating events; find an organisation and put together a fund-raising event.

Donate money/items: even giving R2 to a homeless person is a start to making a difference.  Preparing a sandwhich for a vagrant. Giving away your old items.rainwater-harvesting

Look after your environment: recycle, educate – spread awareness, conserve. Energy saving globes, gas appliances, rain water harvesting. Plant indigenous plants. Neuter/spay your pets. Even a simple comment to a stranger, friend, colleague, once off or ongoing, begins to change a mindset.

So, I think, in order for us to continue to prosper, let us do as Nelson Mandela inspired us to do: WORK TOGETHER, do our part, even if it is the smallest, and seemingly insignificant offer. Yes, the next 20 years and after will continue to have its ups and downs, but, together, doing our individual parts, we can make a combined effort to celebrate our future, through change, humanity and unity.

Watch Us Making a Difference: All Fuels Neknomination Challenge

HES – Your Culture for Our Future