My Experience – Mandela Day

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I am from the Reunion Island and on the 18th of July I had the opportunity to give my bit celebrating Nelson Mandela Day. This day, which is also the birthday of Nelson Mandela, is to help for 67 minutes the most destitute people. In my country there is no day similar to this one. There are associations, shelters, there are actions for the poor but they are not undertaken by individuals.
But Mandela Day also needs an organization. The day before, we prepare all the ingredients for the soup. It was mostly cut all vegetables and it was a real team work. We can also say that this day is also an opportunity to tighten the links between colleagues. Solidarity begins already in the organization of the action that will be performed. It was at this time that we put aside the job to devote ourselves to a common task that takes us to the heart. Indeed, all that is done for the day rests solely with the kindness, the generosity of each person who wishes to gain a part of his time to others. The Mandela Day allows us to open ourselves to another.
So for this event, we cooked food to make soup during the morning and in the afternoon, we installed the huge pot of soup and buttered rolls on the street in front of the company. Everyone was invited to come and serve a cup of hot soup accompanied by bread. In a group, including our young children, we also took trays of delicious soup and rolls and handed them out up and down Long st. It was at this time that we could meet handicapped people, families who are homeless or workers, to whom we gave a little heat with our drink.
We really went to the poorest and we really saw the misery before our eyes. It’s hard to imagine us in the same life because it must be very hard when you are almost excluded from society. The only thing we could expect in return that was just a smile that would show us that gives them a bit of humanity but we give them a little happiness. Making their lives a little better that’s all we could have hoped. It was for me a truly rewarding experience. However, we must do more Mandela Days and not just once a year.
Giving something to those less fortunate is such a warm, wonderful and regarding thing to do.
Amelie