NFPs Pay Tribute to Mandela
6 December 2013 at 11:54 am
Not for Profits across Australia have joined the millions of mourners who are paying tribute to one of the world’s most influential political figures, Nelson Mandela.
|The late Nelson Mandela.|
Mandela, who overcame South Africa’s apartheid regime to become the nation’s first black President, has died at age 95 due to complications from a lung infection.
According to reports, Mandela had been receiving treatment for a lung infection at his Johannesburg home since September and was surround by family at the time of his passing
International aid NFP World Vision Australia, which has many programs and campaigns in South Africa, said the global community had lost a “beacon of justice and a noble humanitarian, but the historical legacy he leaves behind will no doubt continue to grow through the work of his foundation”.
World Vision Australia chief executive Tim Costello said Mandela was one of the few people whose commitment to justice reverberated the world over, and who proved great change can be achieved through the dedication and grace of a single person.
“Nelson Mandela showed us that the extraordinary can happen,” Costello said.
“Everyone believed it impossible for South Africa to break from apartheid without bloodshed – a huge amount of bloodshed – yet after years of struggle Mandela led his people from oppression to equality, and his nation from shame to dignity.”
Costello said Mandela’s life and influence spoke to both the strength of his character, and his dedication to humanity, compassion and love.
“This man’s ability to forgive, and to reach out to whites after decades of black oppression was a miracle in our lifetime,” he said said.
“Nelson Mandela is one of the twentieth century’s great symbols of hope.”
Even 27 years of imprisonment – including 18 years on notorious Robben Island – could not diminish Mandela’s spirit, Costello said.
“It was a tribute to Mandela’s depth of character that he turned a barbarous prison into a school room where he taught other prisoners. He showed the darkest place, depending on your response, can be a place of light and learning.”
The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) Chairman Craig Cromelin said it was a sad day for Aboriginal communities across the country, as Mandela was revered as an icon of resistance in Aboriginal Australia.
“Mandela was the first to advocate armed resistance in 1960, after the Sharpville massacres. He was a staunch fighter of discrimination,” Cromelin said.
“We’ve got our own history of deep racial injustices here in Australia, some that continue to this day. And it’s icons like Mandela that gives us all continuing hope that change isn’t just a dream.
“As president he faced the colossal task of re-building a deeply divided nation still suffering the wounds of the disgraceful apartheid regime.
“To his eternal credit, he achieved those goals and brought an entire nation with him towards reconciliation.
“So whilst there’ll never be another Nelson Mandela, he will forever be an inspiration to us all in the Aboriginal community.
“Our sincere condolences go to Mr Mandela’s family and the people of his beloved South Africa.”