By Staff Reporter
Years after his death, Nelson Mandela continues to impact positively on the lives of ordinary citizens around the world.
Recently, Jairos Jiri Southerton Children’s Centre in Harare, had a feel of Madiba touch when the South African Embassy in Zimbabwe marked the Nelson Mandela International Day at the centre which provides rehabilitation and educational services to physically challenged children.
“That the South African embassy has decided to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day at our centre, is indeed a great privilege and honour on the centre”, said Chris Mbanga, the chairman of Jairos Jiri Association Mashonaland Province, welcoming the South African ambassador, his staff and partners.
Addressing the guests, South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe, H.E Mphakama Mbete said the Nelson Mandela International Day is all about positive impact on someone else’s life regardless of how small it might be.
“The Nelson Mandela International Day is about making the life of another human being better in whatever way. So we are coming here to this important centre to make a humble contribution. We are not going to be able to help with everything that’s needed here. We hope you, ourselves and the young people here will be richer after this, however small that richness might be from where they were before.”
“Together with our partners from Anglo American, Old Mutual and Truworths, we have come here to do our part in doing good by donating, Groceries, cleaning materials, diapers, sanitary pads and wheelchairs. It is not much, but we hope it makes a difference,” said Ambassador Mbete. He saluted the Jairos Jiri Association for taking care of the children living with disabilities.
The event also featured music, poetry and dance performances by students and staff of the centre.
Nelson Mandela International Day has enjoyed 10 years of global support and solidarity since it was launched in 2009. This year the Nelson Mandela Foundation adapted a new strategy to mobilise people, governments, civil society and corporates to focus on five key areas: education and literacy, food and nutrition, shelter, sanitation and active citizenship.
Meanwhile, in a message on Nelson Mandela International Day, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres paid tribute to an extraordinary global advocate for dignity and equality, and one of the most iconic and inspirational leaders of our time.
“Nelson Mandela exemplified courage, compassion and commitment to freedom, peace and social justice. He lived by these principles and was prepared to sacrifice his liberty and even his life for them.
“Nelson Mandela’s calls for social cohesion and an end to racism are particularly relevant today, with hate speech casting a growing shadow around the world. As we work collectively for peace, stability, sustainable development and human rights for all, we would be well served to recall the example set by Nelson Mandela. Our best tribute is found in actions. Nelson Mandela’s message to the world is clear. Every one of us can step up and act for enduring change. We all have the duty to do so. On this day of reflection on Nelson Mandela’s life and work, let us embrace his legacy and aspire to emulate his example,” said Guterres