Madiba’s charities

2008-07-17 00:00

There are four main organisations with links to Nelson Mandela. ESTELLE SINKINS takes a closer look at who they are and what they do.

The Nelson Mandela foundation

The Nelson Mandela Foundation’s main objective is to consolidate and promote the legacy of Nelson Mandela. It is doing this valuable work through its Centre of Memory and Dialogue.

Mandela’s life has been based upon dialogue — listening and speaking to others and getting others to listen and speak to each other — so the foundation’s dialogue programme aims to utilise the history, experience, values, vision and leadership of its founder to provide a non-partisan platform for public discourse on important social issues, and in doing so contribute to policy decision-making.

On its website, the foundation says: “South Africa occupies a unique space in Africa and globally as an example of a country that emerged from the morass of deeply rooted racial, cultural and political divides, primarily because of timely dialogue between all its stakeholders.”

The foundation is also working to ensure that every aspect of Madiba’s life is collected to

provide an integrated information resource for the future.

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46664 is an African response to the global HIV/Aids epidemic that invites the world to take part in the fight. On its website, the charity says: “By gaining global backing for the cause, we will also raise funds to directly assist the many HIV/Aids projects we support.”

The charity’s name — 46664 — is an amalgamation of Mandela’s prison number 466 and the year he was imprisoned on Robben Island, 1964.

The 46664 campaign began in 2003 when over 30 of the world’s top artists performed at a global HIV/Aids awareness concert in Cape Town.

•For more information log on to

Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) was established by Madiba in 1995 as a way of alleviating the suffering of children in South Africa.

Against the broader backdrop of poverty, under-development and psychosocial problems, children in South Africa have to deal with a host of issues, including HIV/Aids; violence and abuse; the non-delivery of early childhood development, which is depriving many children of opportunities to develop social skills early in life; marginalisation and inequitable provision for disabled children and youth; and unemployment and crime which subject children and young people to poverty and violence.

The fund’s Goelama project was established to improve the quality of life for orphans and vulnerable children. In 2005, UNAids estimated that about 1,2 million children were orphaned through Aids.

Through the Goelama project caregivers and children are assisted to build sustainable livelihoods through projects involving communities and local governments.

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Mandela Rhodes Foundations

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation: African Leadership Development was started in 2003 when the Rhodes Trust, as part of its centenary celebrations, entered into a partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Their partnership drew together the legacy of leadership and reconciliation embodied by Mandela and Cecil John Rhodes’s legacy of entrepreneurship and education, to build exceptional leadership capacity in Africa.

In an address at Westminster on July 2, 2003, Mandela said: “We have agreed to and support this joint initiative believing that the bringing together of these two names represents a symbolic moment in the closing of the historic circle. We know with confidence that the work of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation will substantively contribute to a better life for the people of South Africa and further abroad on the African continent.”

• For more information, visit

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