An article originally published on the Scientology Newsroom and reproduced here describes how Mandela Day marked a milestone for the Scientology Volunteer Ministers of South Africa this year: 8,000 people have now joined their ranks by completing all 19 Tools for Life courses.
The UN set aside Nelson Mandela’s birthday 18 July to celebrate the man and his impact, calling on people to make a difference in their communities and change the world for the better by taking action and inspiring change.
“At a time when so much of the world is beset by hardship and strife,” said South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa in honor of the day, “we are inspired by Madiba’s words that ‘it is in our hands to make a difference and to make the world a better place...Let us evoke Madiba’s ‘new patriotism’, where South Africans are determined to work together and make our country a winning nation.”
And the Volunteer Ministers of South Africa and the training they provide are doing exactly that.
Just last week, 230 educators including teachers, principals and department of education officials were awarded their Volunteer Ministers certificates at a graduation at Kyalami Castle in Midrand, Scientology headquarters for Africa.
“These courses changed my life,” said a police department community educator. “They gave me a full understanding of other people and how to deal with them. As police officers, we are used to dealing with people who can get very rude, call us names and get very disrespectful. I used to get angry back and it was just degrading. But now that I understand people and how their emotions work, I just wait for them to have their temper. I remain calm, and then when they are finished, I continue with my communication. I end up having people apologize for lashing out at me and telling me all the stresses going on at home. Even with my Early Childhood Development Centre, I used to help parents with their children based on what I hoped was correct. But now, I am trained to handle every situation. I just apply one or more of the tools. I have gained the respect of others around me. These courses have really put me in a good space.”
After graduating, a primary school teacher said, “I am a Volunteer Minister now! My help is yours. I am going to get my fellow teachers to study these courses and graduate too. If everyone who has studied these courses got someone else enrolled, we would be looking at a different world. And it is doable. We each have our work cut out for us. Well, I will be doing my part.”
A successful retired farmer recently hosted a professional development and mentoring seminar at Castle Kyalami for 120 agricultural entrepreneurs and advisors, training them on the Tools for Life to achieve poverty alleviation, sustainable agriculture, and combat unemployment among agricultural graduates.
Concerned about the problems and failure among smallholding farms, she decided to teach others the same skills she learned and used from the Scientology Volunteer Ministers community development program.
“After I came across the Tools for Life program, I put it into application,” she said. “And I am still experiencing success even long after turning the farm over to my daughter. I have retired and I now want to impart knowledge from my experience as my humanitarian mission to create better lives.”
The Tools for Life courses contain the skills Volunteer Ministers use to change life for the better. The Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers program is a religious social service created in the mid-1970s by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. It constitutes one of the world’s largest independent relief forces.
As he described, a Volunteer Minister’s mandate is to be “a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.” Their creed: “A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.”
Their motto is no matter the circumstances, “Something can be done about it.”
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