South Africa is a beautiful country. Our landscapes and people are beautiful, our land is rich and resourceful, our cultures are diverse — we are a rainbow nation. Each and every South African influences this country in one way or another, and as Nelson Mandela once said:
“If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.”
In the spirit of Mandela Day, let us try to spread the “goodness” across our beautiful country. Here are 10 things that every South African can do to make Mzansi a better place:
There are many non-profit organisations, charities, and welfare organisations that are in desperate need of people willing to volunteer to help those in need. Offer to help out at your local soup kitchen, visit an Animal Welfare Society branch to take a few dogs out for a walk, or help to organise a charity event for your local hospice.
2) Become an organ donor
As stated on the Organ Donor Foundation website (http://www.odf.org.za/), there are approximately 4 300 South African adults and children awaiting a life-saving organ and/or cornea transplant. By registering as an organ donor, every person has the potential to save 7 lives! Registering only takes a few minutes and can be done here: https://www.odf.org.za/become-an-organ-donor.html.
3) Donate blood
“Safe blood saves lives.” One unit of blood can save up to three lives, and the procedure involved is painless, safe, and free of charge. The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) needs a constant supply of healthy blood in order to save the lives of accident victims, people suffering from illnesses, and others. Click here for information on where to donate blood: http://www.sanbs.org.za/index.php/where-can-i-donate.
4) Purchase locally produced goods & support local businesses
Have you ever seen the ‘Proudly South African’ label on your clothes or other items that you have purchased? This label means that the item was sourced, produced, or manufactured in SA, and by purchasing these items, you are in turn helping to stabilise our economy and to create sustainable jobs across South Africa. Click on the following link to read more about the Proudly South African Campaign: http://www.proudlysa.co.za/index/index.html.
5) Take pride in where you live and work
Pick up the trash on the pavement and throw it away in a bin, help with the upkeep of your local parks, and keep an eye out for other ways in which you can improve the environment where you live.
6) Be friendly
Start a conversation with the person next to you while waiting in a queue at the store, compliment someone for their good service, or simply give a smile to every person that you see!
7) Plant a tree
Put yourself to work and get your hands dirty by planting a tree — whether it be in your own garden or as part of an event at your local school.
8) Reduce your impact on the environment
Make an effort to recycle your trash (at home and at work), save water by fixing those leaky taps, and save electricity by switching off any lights or plugs when leaving a room.
9) Share your skills
Each one of us has a talent, so why not share it? If you are talented in the arts & crafts department, host a painting class once a month at a local hospice. Good at sport? Start a local sports club for the youth in your community. Who knows, you might just inspire a young boy to reach for his dream and become the next big Bafana Bafana star!
10) Be positive and be the change you want to see in this country
Having a positive attitude is something that will not only inspire you to make a change, but will also inspire others to make a change.