Ambassador’s Remarks during Mandela day cleaning activity on July 21, 2018 at Polyclinique de Tsévié

Family Photo

Ambassador Gilmour
Mandela day cleaning activity
July 21, 2018 –  0730 – 1100 AM
Polyclinique de Tsévié et Monument de l’Union


Monsieur the Prefet,
Representative of the Director of ANASAP
Colleagues from the U.S. Embassy.
Dear exchange program Alumni, especially YALI fellows,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I should begin by saying Great Work! You did an extraordinary job, and I am impressed by the big turnout. Thank you all!

Each July 18 we celebrate Nelson Mandela Day. This year was special because it was the the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. He once said, “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”  In other words, no matter who you are, or where you live, or how much money you have, you can make a positive impact on someone else’s life or in the life of your community.

This is Mandela’s legacy, and this is why each year we honor the memory of Nelson Mandela by doing community service activities. For those of you who belong to the YALI network, there is a whole campaign linked to Mandela Day called YALIServes! From now through August 12, YALI fellows are urged to participate in service events in their communities. For those of you who are part of that network, thank you for your dedication.

I always feel a great pleasure to participate in these types of events that testify to the spirit of volunteerism and civic engagement in Togo. We have done many activities of this type since my arrival in Togo and I am proud of the outpouring of support and participation each time.

What I find most impressive is strength of this partnership, which weaves together the public sector, the private sector, civil society, and diplomatic missions and representations. Today, it is more clear than ever that government alone cannot solve society’s most pressing problems, such as pollution. These problems reach across sectors and that is why we can only overcome them if we also reach across sectors – public, private; business, civil society – and work together.

What we’ve done today is just one small example of that. So, to all of you who participated I say thank you. Thank you to especially the Prefet of  Zio for the warm welcome and the support. To the YALI and most of all thanks to each and every one of you, for giving up your time on a Saturday morning to participate in this noble activity, and showing that every citizen can make a difference.

Some dignitaries of Tsevié
Some dignitaries of Tsevié