Major education milestone reached in Scottish Mandela memorial campaign

A major milestone in the campaign for a a statue and lasting memorial to Nelson Mandela in Scotland has been reached as the West of Scotland Development Education Centre (Wosdec) has launched a resource pack for educators in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Scottish Memorial Foundation (NMSMF).

As the NMSMF makes a push in the coming months for the final balance of £30,000 needed to build a statue of Nelson Mandela in Glasgow, the launch of the education programme is a welcome first step in marking the unique role Glasgow had in the campaign against apartheid – a role recognised by Mandela as he chose Glasgow in 1993 to receive the freedoms of Glasgow and eight other authorities.

NMSMF Chair and Honorary Consul for South Africa in Scotland, Brian Filling, said: “While the statue will be a visual reminder of Mr Mandela’s recognition of Scotland’s role in opposing apartheid, the education programme has always been critical to the campaign to ensure that the lessons of the struggle against apartheid remain in the minds of future generations so that Mandela’s life, sacrifice and values can be as inspirational to them as it was for earlier generations.”

The Wosdec resource pack is entitled “When Mandela Danced in the Square” after the song by Ian Davison about Mandela’s 15,000 strong rally in Glasgow in 1993.

The activities in the pack aim to support second and third level learners to explore Scotland’s connection with Nelson Mandela and feel empowered to take action on issues of importance to them today and to:-

  • understand the context of apartheid South Africa, the life of Nelson Mandela and the connections to the Scottish anti-apartheid movement
  • draw links to examples of modern day injustice
  • develop their speech-making skills to raise awareness of real world issues

The resource pack is at

Donations to the campaign to make the statue a reality can be made online at


Notes for editors
Scotland was at the centre of the campaign for Mr Mandela’s release from prison. In 1981 the first ever freedom of a city for Nelson Mandela came from Glasgow. It kick-started 2,500 mayors from 56 different countries eventually signing a declaration to the UN in 1981 demanding his release.

The pure Glasgow gesture of renaming the home of the Glasgow South African Consulate as Nelson Mandela Place in 1986 won worldwide acclaim – and Mr Mandela never forgot it as he told the 15,000 crowd in Glasgow when he visited the city in 1993.

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