“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” - Nelson Mandela
With Mandela Day coming up on the 18th of July, we found ourselves thinking of a way we can help out and be a good citizen. Not only to fulfill our 67 minutes, but to be a better citizen overall. Here are a few ways you can be of service to your fellow citizens and be the change you’d like to see in your community and the world.
Sharing is caring
The last couple of months in lockdown has taught us to be more neighbourly. You’ll often find yourself in need of something or with some extra to spare, and with restrictions only recently being lifted, you couldn’t run to the shops every few hours. We found ourselves exchanging homemade loaves of bread for goods we needed from our neighbours. It not only helped us out of a tight spot, but it increased the sense of community and we got to know our neighbours a lot better.
This also doesn’t have to come in the form of physical items. For example your neighbour might need a ride to the shop since public transport is risky or a no-go at this time. Offering to take them to the shop (safely wearing your masks etc.) or picking up something for them is just a small act of kindness you can do for your fellow human.
Being active in your community has many interpretations, and it doesn’t have to be as intricate or complicated as it sounds. By simply shopping locally, you’re helping out your community members. So do a bit of research on where you can buy your everyday items before heading to the shops. Perhaps someone in your area sells eggs, or bakes bread, or makes ready made meals. We can guarantee you’ll feel good about helping the ‘little guy’ and perhaps you’ll make a few friends along the way.
If you’d like to get more involved, you can organize a community clean-up, start a community garden on a verge or raise funds for needy neighbours who have lost their source of income due to COVID-19.
Put a mask on it
We’ve seen the curve go up dramatically in the last couple of weeks. So this is quite possibly the simplest and easiest way to be a good citizen at this stage. By simply wearing a mask and washing your hands frequently you are protecting others around you. Some people are extremely vulnerable or susceptible to the virus, and by wearing your mask you are almost completely eliminating the chance that you will pass on the virus in the event that you are infected or perhaps a carrier.
Let’s talk about it
If you see someone struggling to cope, having a bad day or if the current pandemic and subsequent repercussions thereof are getting to them, talk to them. Reaching out and letting people know you care can be life changing, for you and the person you’re trying to help. And if you feel they need the help of a professional, give them the number of one of our service providers, Global Choices. They, together with their mental wellness partner, The Talking Point are reaching out to pay it forward during these trying times. Their case managers will connect you and your friend with a qualified professional who will engage with empathy, listen carefully, guide, counsel and assist where necessary. They offer support and counselling services free of charge during the lockdown period. Call Global Choices on 0861 887 887 Monday to Friday between 07:00 and 21:00 during the lockdown period only. Their case managers will connect you with a qualified professional who will engage with empathy, listen carefully, guide, counsel and assist where necessary.
Have a heart the size of a blue whale? We’ve got more ideas on how to be a good citizen and what you can do for Mandela Day this coming Saturday. Read THIS BLOG and THIS BLOG and find out how you can make everyday a Mandela Day and make the world a better place.
Please remember that it is up to each one of us to do our part and keep ourselves and loved ones safe. Visit https://sacoronavirus.co.za/ for more information about the current pandemic.