Home > News

Mandela, The Loss of a Great Hero - Reflections by Marta Benavides

By Marta Benavides, GCAP co-chair

We know that Mandela – Madiba as he was called in his beloved country - is alive in all that we do, in the way we decide to live, lives dedicated to the well being of all and the care of Mother Earth.

His soft and tender smile, the peaceful semblance of his face, are here to stay, as we walk the paths we are called to walk, if we choose to live them in the way he did - in humbleness, in the magnificent magnanimity of caring deeply, intentionally and sincerely.

Ah, Mandela, Madiba . . . you and your smile, you and your endearing face!  You have lived the prayer of Mayan peoples: to be granted by the Great Spirit to live a meaningful and useful life.  This is the reason to live and you did it.

Across the globe, people are in celebration of your life, in their own ways, and in their own words . . .

Mandela, Presente, ahora y siempre!

Mandela Lives, Now and Forever!

Monsenior Romero, Presente, ahora y siempre!

Martin Luther King, Presente, ahora y siempre!

Malcom X, Presente, ahora y siempre!

Chief Seattle, Presente, ahora y siempre

Rosa Luxemburg, Presente, ahora y siempre!

Gandhi, Presente, ahora y siempre!

Che, Jose Marti, Bolivar, Hugo, all those who suffered violence for the sake of justice, freedom, liberation and human fulfillment, Presente, ahora y siempre!!!

We all stand on the shoulders of those who have brought the peoples’ movements for human rights to this day. The world has not lost Mandela. The world is seeking and building peace and justice, just as he has.

GCAP, the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, is thankful to have had Nelson Mandela accompany our launch in 2005, when he said:

"The Global Call to Action Against Poverty can take its place as a public movement alongside the movement to abolish slavery and the international solidarity against apartheid."

We are still being called, clearly and loudly, to be about the eradication of poverty, for corrupt people and systems continue to be about its creation. Poverty is the global apartheid that afflicts billions of people today, poverty expressed in each and everyone of its dimensions. This system constantly reinforces and reinvents a paradigm that negates human rights. And we must be clear, because this system negates our birthright - to be humane as we live amongst other people and with the planet.

Today, when the numbers of billionaires and impoverished people are both on the rise, even in the so-called 'developed' countries, the dangerous situation of the quality of life on this beautiful and loving planet, is and must be our compass.

We are creating a Global Citizens Movement for the care of Mother Earth and the humanization of humanity. But we must be intentional and efficient as we do this, respecting and implementing all aspects of human rights.

How do we go about it?

We must start where we must start, with the nations and peoples who suffer impoverishment and discrimination: the first nations (indigenous peoples), the Afro descendents, the diasporas, women, youth, Dalits, rural and coastal peoples, migrants, older adults and LGBT. We must clearly discern the structural root causes that create poverty and inequality as well as ways to make a qualitative difference for now and the future.

We do not need a better or more just world. We need to create a world, a society that guarantees the care of humanity and of the planet.

The call and work are ready. Will we respond in a timely and effective manner? Will we be 'solidarious', that is consciously one in all that we do, all that we are about and in everything that has a repercussion on life, humans and the planet?

Let us take the time to reflect, meditate and move the movements.

Let us start today.


Hamba Kahle, Madiba

Ngiyabonga kakhulu

Go well, Rest in Peace

Thank you very much