Education is another one of the things we tend to take for granted in this country. In fact we even frequently complain about having to spend so many hours a day and so many years of our lives in a classroom. But so many other people in the world never have the opportunity to enter the classroom let alone. These next 5 quotes are from some of the biggest proponents for providing everyone in the world a chance to get a good, and safe, education.

“I can promise you that women working together – linked, informed and educated – can bring peace and prosperity to this forsaken planet.” – Isabelle Allende

“Education…beyond all other devices of human origin, is a great equalizer of conditions of men – the balance wheel of the social machinery…It does better than to disarm the poor of their hostility toward the rich; it prevents being poor.” – Horace Mann

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

“From better health to increased wealth, education is the catalyst of a better future for millions of children, youth and adults. No country has ever climbed the socioeconomic development ladder without steady investments in education.” – Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

“‘I wish for a better life. I wish for food for my children. I wish that sexual abuse and exploitation in schools would stop.’ This is the dream of the African girl.” – Leymah Gbowee

– Chelsea Evans

Sources: Good Reads, UN
Sources: Global Higher Education


Read Humanitarian Quotes.

Nelson Mandela convey tend to convey the heart of experiences he’s encountered. Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president and the recipient of a Nobel Peace Price, has inspired generations with his determination for justice. Mandela was instrumental in the anti-apartheid movement, directing a peaceful campaign against the South African government for more than 20 years. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the movement, allow he refused to adopt armed resistance because of his fierce desire to put an end to apartheid. Elected as South Africa’s first black president in 1994, Mandela became a symbol of fortitude, justice and equality.

Though the former president’s health continues to decline, Nelson Mandela quotes still inspire millions and will be remembered long after his death. Listed below are five of the most thought-provoking and inspirational Nelson Mandela quotes:

  1. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
  2. “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
  3. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
  4. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
  5. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Katie Bandera

Sources: News One, DNA Medium, Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
Photo: UBM


Read Humanitarian Quotes.


Sean Jacobs recently published a fascinating piece in The Nation on the state of South Africa as its beloved former leader, Nelson Mandela, lies on what many assume will be his deathbed. Jacobs, a professor of International Affairs at The New School in New York City, grew up in the apartheid South Africa that Mandela famously worked to abolish. In his piece, Jacobs explores the limited progress made since Mandela left office and the country’s rising racial inequality.

Though Mandela is still esteemed by much of his country, his party, the African National Congress (ANC), has done little to better the lives of South Africa’s poor majority, a vast majority of whom are black. The government frequently places the interests of businesses over those of its people. Mandela himself oversaw the implementation of policies that, though crucial to maintaining economic stability, ensured that the white population would continue to wield undue wealth and political sway. The current government has been mired in controversy surrounding police brutality, murdered protesters, and “callous” treatment of the poor.

Inequality in South Africa has only increased in recent years. Since the mid-1990s, both the number of South Africans living on less than one dollar per day and the number of South African millionaires have doubled. Jacobs suggests that in order to progress, South Africans must realize that “true citizenship means taking on the ANC.” You can read Jacobs’ piece here.

– Andrew Rasner

Sources: The Nation, New School

Interesting Facts About Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela was a Nobel Prize winner, icon of modern South Africa, and one of the most  respected world leaders of the 20th century. Below are interesting facts about Nelson Mandela.


5 Interesting Facts About Nelson Mandela


1) Nelson Mandela was born as Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela. He was given the name Nelson by a school teacher, and is sometimes called Madiba.

2) Mandela graduated from the University of South Africa with a law degree in 1942 and is known as “the worlds most famous political prisoner” and “South Africa’s Great Black Hope.”

3) Mandela has been married three times. He was married to his first wife Evelyn from 1944-1958, his second wife, Winnie from 1958-1966, and his third wife, Graca, from 1998 to present day. The marriages have resulted in six children.

4) Mandela has established the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1999 and focuses on three areas of work including the Life and Time of Nelson Mandela, Dialogue for Social Justice, and Nelson Mandela International Day.

5) Nelson Mandela has an international day named in his honor.  The day is celebrated every year on June 25th and is dedicated to his life’s work and that of his charitable organizations, helping to ensure his legacy continues. The day serves as a call to action for individuals to take responsibility for changing the world into a better place.

– Caitlin Zusy 
Sources CNN, Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
Photo Guardian

Nelson Mandela's Childhood

Nelson Mandela’s life has been exemplary in many ways. Through his patience, his perseverance, his strength and his courage, he managed to lead South Africa through troubled social and economic times to become one of the world’s largest emerging economies and bring an end to apartheid to establish a new “Rainbow Nation” in honor of its racial diversity.

Nelson Mandela’s childhood is no less remarkable than his career. From a family that was traditionally powerful – his father was in line to be chief until a dispute robbed him of the title – Mandela came from humble beginnings. After his father was dispossessed of his status, his family was forced to move to a small village, where he was raised in a hut and lived a very simple life, eating what they could grow and playing with the other village boys. His first name was Rohlilahla, meaning “troublemaker” (an apt name for the man who would later become the leader of the African National Congress). He adopted Nelson when he began formal schooling and was given an English name.

After his father died, he was sent to live with Jongintaba Dalindyebo, a regent of the Thembu people, who began raising Mandela to assume a position of leadership when he grew older.

Mandela’s interest in African history is said to have started during his lessons next to the palace, where he studied English, Xhosa, geography, and history. He became interested in the effect of the arrival of the Europeans on the nation and the people. Later, in a coming-of-age ritual in the village, Chief Meligqili, a speaker, uttered words that would greatly influence Mandela.

“He went on to lament that the promise of the young men would be squandered as they struggled to make a living and perform mindless chores for white men. Mandela would later say that while the chief’s words didn’t make total sense to him at the time, they would eventually formulate his resolve for an independent South Africa.”

From the village, Mandela would go to boarding school and later university, which would feed the fire of his emerging interest in the rights of South Africans.

Mandela disproves the common conception that one needs to come from an established background in order to be successful; what made the difference in Mandela’s case was the education afforded to him by Dalindyebo, and later through boarding school and university. Mandela’s understanding of his own country’s history and his exposure to multiple facets of life gave him insight into the lives of many of the different citizens of the country.

Much of Mandela’s strength stemmed from a humble background and the early lessons of hardship and the value of each opportunity.

– Farahnaz Mohammed

Photo: The Guardian

An advocate for peace, unity, and love from a very young age, Nelson Mandela is an integral part of the history of human rights. Through his involvement and eventual leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) and after being awarded the Noble Peace Prize for his efforts in ending the apartheid, Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994. Since his retirement in 1999, Mandela continued with his advocacy of social and human rights and supporting the international Make Poverty History movement and the fight against AIDS. In recent years, Mandela’s birthday, July 18, has become a day of international good works.

Here are ten inspirational quotes by Mandela to motivate advocacy:

1. “Our single most important challenge is therefore to help establish a social order in which the freedom of the individual will truly mean the freedom of the individual”

2. “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

3. “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

4. “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

5. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

6. “There is no such thing as part freedom.”

7. “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

8. “There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a program that will help me bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate, and ridden with terminal disease.”

9. “If you are poor, you are not likely to live long.”

10. “Freedom would be meaningless without security in the home and in the streets.”

 – Kira Maixner

Source: Answer Africa, African American Registry