Guest Post: RSM in South Africa celebrate Nelson Mandela Day

I am delighted to share with you this touching and inspiring story from a group of trainees from the Johannesburg Office of RSM Member Firm in South Africa, RSM Betty & Dickson.

Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on Madiba’s birthday, 18 July. Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an impact.

The Mandela Day campaign message is: "Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes. We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation."

Salvazione School is a school located in the township of Brixton that has a special place in the heart of RSM Betty & Dickson (Johannesburg). A team of trainees from the firm decided to spend “67 minutes” (though we were there for the whole day) with the beautiful children of Salvazione School. Here is their story:

Going to the school for the first time, nothing was more warming on that cold morning than seeing the faces of those beautiful kids as they told us different stories all with one common thread - HOPE.

We split into groups of two and went into different classes from Grade 1 to Grade 7. The topic of the day was Mandela, a man whom the kids seem to know quite well. We visited a Grade 6 class carrying a stash of RSM Betty & Dickson branded backpacks. The “deal” with the kids was that each of them would receive a bag if they told us what they knew about this great man, Nelson Mandela. To our surprise all the kids had one or two different stories. One of the funniest stories was a pupil who said “Nelson Mandela had a straight line on his hair that exposed his scalp”.

We all gathered to watch short documentaries about the man who sacrificed his life for the country he loves dearly. It was very interesting and most of the children seemed to watching attentively. The children then sang a special birthday song dedicated to Nelson Mandela. Their voices were loud and it was all smiles. What a happy moment for the kids!!

Then it was sports time and we played soccer and netball with kids. We were undoubtedly out-played and couldn’t keep up after 10 minutes into the game.

This was a special day that helped us realise that the simple things can make a huge difference in the life of a child, especially love and happiness.

I personally enjoyed hearing this story about how our member firm in South Africa, RSM Betty & Dickson is connecting to their community, in this case to honour Nelson Mandela. RSM members around the world contribute and connect as part of being positive and responsible global citizens. And as this article demonstrates, we always get back more than we give.