Peacing it all together
PUBLISHED: 13:27 05 April 2007 | UPDATED: 15:03 12 May 2010
NOTHING is impossible, according to a woman dedicated to peace and cultural diversity. At 60, Dina Mandalia is just months away from drawing her pension, but thanks to her charity work, she says she feels as young as ever. For years, Dina has been invol
NOTHING is impossible, according to a woman dedicated to peace and cultural diversity.
At 60, Dina Mandalia is just months away from drawing her pension, but thanks to her charity work, she says she feels as young as ever.
For years, Dina has been involved with schools, organisations and hospitals.
Her work has even taken her to Littlehey Prison in Huntingdonshire, where she taught prisoners about cultural diversity and the art of Bollywood.
Her work spreads from in and around Royston and Cambridge, to right across the country.
And now her commitment has been rewarded after the Universal Peace Federation made Dina an Ambassador for Peace.
Dina, who lives in Litlington said: "It came as a great shock, one that I never expected.
"To be given such an award is fantastic, and it's nice to think that my work is being recognised.
"This is one of the best moments of my life - it's better than winning the lottery."
She also described her award, which she picked up at Lancaster Gate in London, as a moment she would never forget.
However, Dina added that personal accolades were just a bonus, and that her charity work came first.
She said: "I have a strong desire to help people, and in this country there are so many corners of opportunity to do good.
"It doesn't take a lot to make a difference. Helping others makes me happy - it's what keeps me going."
Dina, who was born in Uganda, and moved to Britain in 1969, has lived in Litlington for 20 years.
She has also worked for the Red Cross in Bosnia and Croatia, and has forged close links with a number of schools throughout the area.
She said: "I do a lot of assemblies and workshops, because I believe it's vitally important that children learn about other cultures and religions."
A spokesman for the Universal Peace Federation said Dina was given the award for helping transcend racial, national and religious barriers, and for her commitment to world peace.
And despite collecting her pension in August, Dina said that it would not deter her from her work, and insisted that she would continue to help others for as long as she could.
She added: "Nothing is impossible. All you need is a body and soul - with those you can make a real difference."
- Dina will be holding an international poetry evening in the Chapel Schoolroom in Pound Green, Guilden Morden tonight (Thursday). Anyone is welcome to attend - all you need is a poem and a passion for reading.