Education - the most powerful weapon

  Newsletter 03 August 2021  

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Breezy May’s MeetPrayLove Newsletter

It is now only a few weeks before the Solas Festival. For those of you able to travel to Perthshire, the weekend offers a wonderful opportunity to engage with social and spiritual issues. This year we are contributing to the festival through exploring the theme of ‘Break Out’. We are encouraging people to break out of misconceived images we construct of ourselves, of others, of God, of the world, and of the future in order to help us be all that we can be. You can find out more about the festival at I hope to see you there.

Last year our focus at the Solas Festival was inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela. Through the year we have continued to reflect on his lasting contribution to global society. In this penultimate piece reflecting on Mandela’s legacy we consider his call to ‘get educated and educate others’.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” Mandela said during a speech at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 2003. However, he never suggested this was an easy thing to do. Mandela twice failed to complete his bachelor’s degree and readily admitted he was a poor student. Eventually, though, he earned his law degree.

Six weeks after being elected president in 1994 Mandela called on South Africans to solve the country’s profound education crisis. “The task to make South Africa a learning and learned nation belongs to all of us,” he said. Today, almost all South African children attend school. However, the country’s schools are near the bottom in international rankings, with unqualified teachers, inadequate training and corruption part of the problem. Both quantity and quality matter – it is important to get children into school but perhaps as important to find ways to give children a love of learning if our nations are to become ones that are “learning and learned”. This love of learning can help sustain us as we fulfil multiple roles through life – in the case of Mandela transforming from lawyer to activist and from prisoner to president.

Practical Idea: Create ‘hand flowers’ with a partner, as a simple symbol of learning something, working together and helping each other share in making something: something you can pass on to others.


Coloured paper cut to A5 size

Felt pens/pencils



Stapler / Sellotape


Find a partner

Choose a piece of coloured paper

Splay out your fingers so you can get between fingers

Take it in turns to draw around each other’s hand

Cut around the outline with scissors

Pull the scissors along each ‘finger’ of paper to curl and make petal at

Fold together at base

Staple or sellotape to a straw

Your flower is complete!




Charity of the Month: Think Global

Think Global is the working name for the Development Education Association. Think Global is a national education charity, and the hub of a community of schools, NGOs and businesses that care about global learning and development. Their goal is to help create a more just and sustainable world, through the power of global learning. You can join Think Global as an organisation or as an individual member. Think Global’s members include 10,000 teachers and school leaders, and 140 organisations including international and national non-governmental organisations, universities, faith groups and unions, all of whom believe it is possible to create a world that is both just and sustainable. For more information see

All best wishes,

Sally Robertson
MeetPrayLove is part of the Methodist Church and is open to all

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