T he month of July is South Africa is acknowledged as Nelson Mandela Month and we are constantly reminded about the importance of giving back to the less fortunate as that is what uTata believed in as well.

WHAT DOES GIVING BACK ACTUALLY MEAN?

You cannot conceptualise giving back as one concept, giving back can mean doing anything for a person that is in need or doing something nice for someone, it can be as little as donating clothes you no longer wear, raising funds to give to a charity of your choice or volunteering at a charity or for a non-profit organisation (NGO), basically giving your time. What matters is embracing UMUNTU UNGUMUNTU NGABANTU. Be the change you want to see in the world, it starts with you.

THE IMPORTANCE OF GIVING BACK

“There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return”

– Nelson Mandela

July 18 is Nelson Mandela Day and that is celebrated through the 67 Minutes Initiative, where South Africans are urged to go out and give back with their time for 67 minutes. Besides giving back on the 18th only, here are some of the ways you can give back on a daily basis:

  1. Tutor a student
  2. Volunteer at a nursing home
  3. Volunteer at a hospital
  4. Prepare and serve meals to the less fortunate
  5. Plant a tree
  6. Greet someone and ask them how they are or how is their day is thus far

Below are some of the important points of giving back:

1

Helps You Connect with Your Passions

Giving back to a cause you are passionate about is a great way to connect with your passion. If you are passionate about motivational speaking for instance, you can start small, gather girls from your community and talk about sexual and reproductive health, menstruation, leadership, careers, and the importance of sisterhood and sharing your struggles with someone rather than dealing with it alone. If you are passionate about fitness you can start a fitness club or if you are passionate about cooking, you can get organisations that are passionate about giving back to sponsor groceries and you get people you can start a soup kitchen with, open doors to the less fortunate and offer them food on a daily.
2

Good for Your Soul

Even something as simple as helping an old lady cross the road is a way to make us feel good. You feel good when you do a good deed each day. Paying it forward makes everyone feel happy. The point is that it lifts the weight from our souls. Giving back makes you feel satisfied and content.
3

You’ll be Happier

A positive soul is a happy soul. By helping others and witnessing the good it does you can tune out of the depression and misery you may be experiencing. It will give you a more optimistic look on life and make you see that 99% of people in this world are great.
4

You give hope to the less fortunate

For example with matric students from poor families, by donating food to their families or school uniforms, you give those students hope that they can make it through the year, work hard to get bursaries, further their studies and improve the lives of their families. You will never understand how grateful a person feels when someone reaches out and offers to help when they need it the most.
Do you have small gestures that you do on your daily life to give back or do you wait till Nelson Mandela Day? What will you be doing for your 67 mins?