The day that rock beat paper

The day that rock beat paper

Other than vague memories from high school history classes, I’m not all that clued up on the meaning behind South Africa’s Women’s Day, which takes place every year on 9 August. (I know that much.)

Embarrassingly, my response is often, “Well, isn’t that nice? Hooray, for us women! Now can I take a nap/go shopping/read my book?”

So this year I decided to do some research before the day, so that on the public holiday I’d be able to appreciate what all the fuss was about.

I googled, …

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Why working at an NGO made me less generous

Why working at an NGO made me less generous

I’m sure most of us have had that moment when, through a deadline-infused haze, we’ve thought, “Maybe I should just quit my job and go work for an NGO.”

The thought usually brings with it a few ‘warm and fuzzies’. You ponder on all the good you can do for mankind, and how working for an NGO would surely make you a better person, right?

Part of me is hoping my mother will never read this, because, well, here’s the truth: working for an NGO made me a …

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What Is Urban Gleaning?

What Is Urban Gleaning?

Caroline Powell unpacks how we can use biblical principles to give in a way that dignifies and uplifts those we’re trying to help.

“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.” – Leviticus 19: 9-10

Based on God’s generosity …

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4 Common giving mistakes I’ve made

4 Common giving mistakes I’ve made

As Warm Up Winter kicks off, Common Good Executive Director, Sarah Binos, shares some of her personal discoveries about giving in ways that won’t erode dignity. 

Something a Common Grounder shared with me over a Sunday lunch has been ringing in my head for the last few weeks.

The thought was this: “We are all equal in Christ, but given our recent history, white people will struggle with the temptation to feel superior to other races, and blacks will feel tempted to feel inferior to whites, eroding our …

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The day I realised what our freedom means

The day I realised what our freedom means

I was born in 1982 as an Apartheid South Africa was unravelling. While my parents didn’t agree with the segregation and social injustice of the Apartheid system, I was raised in a politically “neutral” home: one where we didn’t really talk or discuss what was happening in our country at the time.

I don’t remember much about 11 February 1990 when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. I don’t remember much about our first democratic elections on 27 April 1994. I don’t remember much about 9 May …

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8 Tips for Active Citizenship

8 Tips for Active Citizenship

With the elections now over we hope some of you are asking, what’s next? We chatted to Craig Stewart and Margie Jansen from Micah Challenge SA to get some insight into becoming citizens who do more than just vote. 

1. Understand your citizen identity

“Often we think of ourselves as consumers or victims of the system, but if you just see yourself as a consumer, you limit your impact,” explains Margie. “When you realise that its your country and that those in power were elected to represent the people, including you, you …

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Our country needs the prayers of God’s people – Michael Cassidy

Our country needs the prayers of God’s people – Michael Cassidy

The critical component in any society’s life is whether the church is fulfilling its mandate of praying for those who are in authority.

In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, the apostle says, “First of all, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.”

The apostle is not only urging the church to prioritise prayer but also to prioritise those who …

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The Day God Stepped in to Save South Africa

The Day God Stepped in to Save South Africa

Two weeks before the 1994 elections on the 27th of April, the mediation process between the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party crumbled. Former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, who was leading the talks, said he saw Armageddon coming to South Africa in a couple of weeks. We heard via the US State Department that they anticipated a million people dead in KwaZulu-Natal alone.

But as all the international mediators left for home after a mere 24 hours, we encouraged Professor Washington Okuma of Kenya, who had …

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Why should we celebrate?

Why should we celebrate?

This month, South Africa will commemorate 20 years of democracy.

You’ll be surprised to know that it took me a while to write that sentence. I kept getting stuck at word six: ‘commemorate’ or ‘celebrate’?

It seems so silly but I’m not the only one struggling with the word ‘celebrate’ this month.

When Daily Maverick columnist Onkgopotse Tabane wrote an article giving twenty reasons to celebrate twenty years of democracy, the response he got from many readers was, “Celebrate? What’s there to celebrate?”

Many people aren’t feeling in the …

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Is reconciliation the job of the government – or us?

Is reconciliation the job of the government – or us?

Are we a reconciled nation? As the 4th national elections arrive on 7 May, I’ve been giving this question a lot of thought.

I’ve been reminded of the long queues of people clasping their ID books, waiting for their first opportunity to cast their vote. And I’ve remembered my first opportunity to vote in 1999 – the sheer joy of being able to participate in a new democracy.

Sadly for many the euphoria of the mid 90’s has been replaced with a cynicism and a sense of denial. It …

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