On becoming a social activist

On becoming a social activist

When I first started posting to this blog, I had no idea where this journey would take me. In fact, I believe I’m getting ahead of myself now because this personal journey has barely begun. I was thinking about a famous politician whose life, to my mind anyway, is drawing to a tragic close.

Nearing eighty, she is still regarded as the mother of her nation. For me, it remains a sad thought that Winnie Mandela is a far cry from the young, beautiful and blushing bride who once married the consummate lady’s man in the form of one Nelson R Mandela, former first president of newly democratic South Africa.

This short story is not about the icon and legend who has followed in the footsteps of other human rights luminaries but about the tragic about turn of a beautiful young social worker and how we, as social workers, should continue to promote our work and propagate the causes of the needy online and through the medium of keeping a regular blog. Bear in mind that the thoughts I am sharing with you today are an expression of how I feel and not influenced by collective thoughts of others, whether they are subjective or objective.

If you happen to detect similarities, well, then that will only be coincidental.

Winnie Mandela’s trauma

Long before Winnie met Africa’s greatest father, she had been an active and busy social worker, well-trained and with the passion needed to serve in line with the required vocation. Given that she and those that she was serving were on the wrong side of South Africa’s apartheid laws, she saw and encountered much that was wrong with the country and had already begun campaigning actively against oppression. This passionate spark was something that Mandela had noticed about her.

Apart from her physical beauty, her willingness to serve those in need and make the necessary sacrifices was something that attracted the great man. But as the country entered its darkest years and Mandela was banished to the island, life became a lot more difficult for Winnie. She was placed under house arrest and also banished from her fellow-South Africans for many years. The flames of the 1976 riots had barely died when she became more militant, some say even deranged, encouraging young, black South Africans to violently oppose the authorities and punish those deemed to be traitors of the struggle

How we should promote our work

Not much time and space is left to show how the mother of a nation regressed even after her husband divorced her. Interested readers can pick up widely available literature in their libraries or online. We now need to have a short conversation on how we, as social workers should always be promoting our work. The best way I can think of doing this right now is by always serving by example. Servitude towards those in need is influenced by love and everything that is associated with both peace and prosperity.

Propagating the causes of the needy

I mentioned earlier that I am essentially working for a non-profit organization. I get paid reasonably well to make my own ends meet. But for our organization to function effectively from month to month and from quarter to quarter is an endless struggle. We simply have no alternative but to continuously promote our work and go from door to door appealing to prospective benefactors who could afford to make financial and material contributions on our behalf and for those we have chosen to serve.

We have to do this, because the moment we take our eyes off the ball is the moment that our financial circumstances worsen. Fortunately, there are more than enough generous hearts and hands out there. And while we are not always getting nice fat checks every month, we are receiving much in terms of material necessities which are distributed among the needy.

Keeping a regular blog

In order to create and maintain awareness of social causes such as ours, ongoing communication is vital. The moment that we are silent is the moment when those who can help turn their backs on the needy and go on with their own lives. The NGO has its own team of contributors who often give of their time without any expectation of being paid. They write insightful, well-researched articles, not just on our local causes but on events happening across the globe which negatively impact the lives of women and children, particularly the most vulnerable.

Online forums now make it a lot easier for us to attract donations. Every small contribution that we receive helps. It all adds up. But in order to ensure that we are able to do our work properly, there’s little time left for us to rest. It’s hard work, I tell you.

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