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Mandela Day: recognising the power of the individual to change the world

first_imgAs the world took time out on Friday, 18 July to honour Nelson Mandela’s legacy of service on Mandela Day, Brand South Africa focuses on the power of the individual to effect change, and build a cooperative, cohesive society.This month, as South Africa and countries around the world celebrated Mandela Day, there is a greater poignancy as we reflect on the great man’s legacy now that he is no longer with us in person, just in spirit. As we remember his life, his leadership, the sacrifices he made to achieve our freedom and a better future as citizens of this country, and his passion for furthering humanitarian causes, we are encouraged to follow his example and make a difference in the world. As Nelson Mandela said: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is the difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead”.He had a vision of social justice and freedom for all, and he made great strides in working to fulfil that vision – today, it is his living legacy to us all and it requires us, as engaged citizens, to play our part in serving our communities and our country and making them better places in which to live and thrive.This year, Mandela Day encouraged us all to become ‘Mandela Changemakers’, citizens of the world who each day do something proactive that can effect positive change that will benefit everyone and the world we live in.Changemakers play their part by giving their personal time to make a change that’s close to their heart or by giving a little of their time to make a difference to the life of someone else. There are so many ways to make a difference and become a Mandela Changemaker; perhaps starting with what you are passionate about and where you know your actions will have a lasting impact.The power of the individualThe concept of recognising the power of the individual to play his/her part, to be the change, and genuinely make a difference to society through voluntary actions and contributions is a continuation of the powerful “Play your Part” campaign promoted by Brand South Africa. The key message behind “Play your Part” is that as caring and responsible citizens, we all need to be more accountable and to play proactive and contributable roles in the development of South Africa as a caring society. The underlying premise of this important campaign is that we all recognise to make positive change happen in the country on the scale that is needed, its starts with the individual, and that individual positive actions, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, can make the ultimate difference in the societies and communities in which we all live and work. If every individual looks to his/her own conscience and takes accountability for the contributions he/she makes outside of their own family and work lives to their communities and to society as a whole, then real positive change for good can happen.Food, shelter and education for allThis Mandela Day, citizens were asked to play their part and focus on the realisation or restoration of dignity and empowerment through their individual contributions to society.There are a number of key focus areas where citizens can make a difference through their positive actions. The first looks at how we can all help to address one of the biggest challenges here in South Africa and indeed around the world; ensuring food security. All people, at all times, should have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life. This is a crucial social support measure for effective development and growth. We can all play our part in working to achieve food security in the country for those who are most vulnerable by getting involved in community feeding activities, preparing food parcels for the disadvantaged, and working to establish community food gardens so that residents can have the opportunity to work at feeding themselves through their own efforts.Another key challenge that requires us all to play our part is in the field of education and literacy. In a world where knowledge truly is power, education and literacy are the basic building blocks that unlock the gates of opportunity and success for our citizens. As individuals, we can get involved in the drive for literacy, helping our children, our young people, and our adult learners in their reading and learning activities to help them reach their goals. By getting involved and playing our part, we can be part of the solution and help by giving every citizen the chance to fulfil his/her potential and dreams.The challenge of providing adequate shelter and infrastructure for all the country’s citizens is another that requires us all to play our part if we are to see a day when everyone can proudly say they have a place to call home. To achieve this vision, all South Africa’s citizens need to play their part, join together and look to see how their individual skills, talent and resources can be used to build the much needed shelter and infrastructure that will give hope to families and communities around the country.A life lived in serviceFinally, we can all play our part in living Mandela’s legacy by committing ourselves to a life and philosophy of service and volunteerism, giving our time and energy in some small way each day that can make a difference to the lives of others. Volunteerism is a powerful means of encouraging and providing a tangible mechanism for the country’s citizens to engage in activities that tackle developmental, societal and community challenges. It is not prohibitive, it is not exclusive, it recognises that everyone has something they can contribute, whether their time, skills or knowledge through volunteer action, and their combined efforts can be a significant force for achieving peace, development and sustainability. There is no doubt that the practical act of volunteering makes important economic and social contributions to all spheres of society. It not only provides direct support to individual community projects, national development initiatives and environmental programmes, but also has the power to contribute to the building of a more cohesive society by building trust and acknowledging the power of giving back amongst citizens.The Play Your Part campaign empowers every individual in the country to get involved, take a stand and make positive change happen in the communities in which we live and work. If we all take a little time out of our busy daily lives and work schedules to acknowledge the significant challenges that need to be addressed in the country, and take a positive decision to do something about finding solutions to those challenges, then we can all be part of the positive change that needs to happen in our country and act as role models for the rest of the world to follow. We can also become Mandela’s Changemakers and ensure that his legacy is fulfilled and the world becomes a better place as a result of his vision and our action in making it a reality.Although Mandela Day has passed, we are all called on to make everyday a Mandela Day.last_img read more

Ohio corn, soybean and wheat farmers reinforce commitment to water quality

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With the conclusion of the 2018 harmful algal bloom season, the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) and the Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) today reasserted their commitment to addressing water quality for the long haul. Lake Erie experienced a significantly milder summer in terms of algal blooms than recent summers – and notably less than the level of harmful algae that was predicted by scientific forecasters. Ohio grain farmers are nevertheless more determined than ever to protect Ohio’s waterways through best management practices.“While we are grateful for an improved summer for fishing, boating, swimming and recreation, we know we must continue to do all we can to keep nutrients on our fields and out of the water,” said OCWGA Board President Jed Bower. “Investing in best management practices is crucial not just for today, but for future generations.”“This was a good summer, but our goals are bigger than one good summer,” said OSA President Allen Armstrong. “We will keep doing our part for clean water by investing in research and following the science.”Research and education funded by Ohio’s corn, soybean and wheat farmers include the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program, edge-of-field water quality testing and updating the Tri-State Fertility Guide.For more information, please visit formyfarm.com.last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast August 29, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A couple of tweaks to the forecast this morning, but nothing major. We continue to see cooler than normal temps over the long haul, and some moisture is on the way too.Today will feature plenty of sun, with temps getting closer to normal. Clouds start to come into NW Ohio tonight. We have to keep an eye out for scattered showers in NE Ohio tomorrow morning, but they will be very spotty. The rest of the state misses out. On the whole, your Friday turns out partly to mostly sunny statewide (even after the renegade shower or two in the NE)Saturday will start with sun but clouds increase. Rain develops overnight Saturday night (mostly after midnight), first in NW areas, and then spreads south and east through the balance of Sunday and Monday. Rain totals will be from .25″-1.1″ with coverage at 80% of the state.We go dry on Tuesday, but have to deal with minor scattered showers to start off the day Wednesday…a few hundredths to a tent max, before sunshine returns.Thursday will be partly to mostly sunny, and then scattered showers reappear for Friday with totals up to .25″ and coverage at 60%.Rain through next weekSaturday finishes the 10 day period dry, and we keep the dry pattern through Tuesday the 10th. Showers roll in for Wednesday the 11th and Thursday the 12th, but are not that impressive, totaling .1″-.4″ with 75% coverage. We swing drier and cooler than for the rest of the extended window for the Friday the 13th.last_img read more

Mysterious disease kills 14 children in Bihar

first_imgA mystery disease has gripped Muzaffarpur and its adjoining districts in North Bihar and has killed 14 children in the past week.Suspected to be Japanese encephalitis, the disease has struck several villages in the area, with more than 50 children under the age of six undergoing treatment at different hospitals. There is as yet no unanimity among local doctors about the exact cause of the deaths – some doctors attribute them to heatstroke – because of the lack of facilities to confirm an encephalitis outbreak.The alarmed state government on Saturday sent a team of experts from Patna’s Rajendra Memorial Research Institute (RMRI) to examine the affected children and collect their blood samples. These would be sent outside the state for verification of the disease. Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi directed the principal secretary (health), Amarjeet Sinha, to personally monitor the situation through the district administration and make arrangements for the treatment of the ailing kids.Muzaffarpur civil surgeon Dr A.P. Singh has, meanwhile, constituted a fivemember medical team headed by additional chief medical officer Dr J.P. Ranjan to examine children. Singh said the children were being treated for heatstroke and that nothing could be said until the blood sample results were out.The doctors said the children were suffering from fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of consciousness and convulsions. Last year, as many as 20 deaths were reported from the same area with similar symptoms. The government had sent the patients’ blood samples to Pune for verification of encephalitis, but the report is still awaited.advertisementFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more