On this Monday, 27 February 2023, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund (the Fund) joins the world and all like-minded organisations commemorating the annual World NGO Day. Following the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic challenges that have a devastating impact on children and youth, the Fund pays tribute to, celebrate, and appreciate all its implementing partners that are community based and non-profit organisations that continue to provide interventions that give dignity and a voice to children, youth and all vulnerable citizens in hard to reach communities. There are also strategic partners from other medium to large NGOs, funders, donors, development partners, private sector, government departments and individuals who have enabled the delivery of quality services that address social ills and assist in holding government accountable to service delivery as per the annually developed plans and budgets across the country.
World NGO Day is critical annual moment to reflect the celebrations or achievements and challenged faced by NGOs as agents of change that foster partnerships and collaborations with various stakeholders nationally, regionally and globally in order to give a voice to grassroots communities while at the same time interceding with and on behalf of children and their communities in service delivery challenges across the country. Through this day, the Fund is encouraging active citizenry, especially for the children and youth, so that they can move their immediate communities towards resolving their own development challenges by seeking context specific solutions. Some of these context specific solutions include the discipline to save whatever little income communities receive from government grants, remittances, stipends, and inheritances, if any, to start their own income generating activities.
Chief Executive Officer of The Fund, Linda Ncube-Nkomo, says; ""World NGO Day serves as a reminder of the pivotal role that civil society plays in our modern society. Our democracy thrives on the collective voice of civil society, advocating for the most vulnerable and standing in the place of the unseen. As the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, we commemorate this day as a reminder of the role we must continue play to advance the rights of children and youth."
The Fund, with its 28 years of experience, has been working with over 400 community based organisations by empowering and enhancing their capacity to change the way society treats its children and youth in particular. The NGOs have also played a role in building cohesive communities that have actively participated in tackling the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality. The community facing focus areas of the Fund are in child health, safety of children from all forms of violence, economic resilience and the leadership and empowerment of youth to participate in decision making spaces at all levels. In addition to this, the Fund advocates for policy changes, policy evaluation and implementation using the lenses of children and youth throug consultations, dialogues, research, and thought leadership that shares the development and advocacy experience .
The Fund works in alignment with the global and priorities for children and youth. It partners with the Department of Social Development (DSD), which is the custodian of the NPO Act and is mandated to register and regulate the NPOs in the country. The Fund also partners with the DSD in hosting that annual Nelson Mandela Children's Parliament. There are currently as many as 270 313 NPOs registered with the DSD. For grassroots level impact that is closer to the communities, the Fund challenges government, development agencies and corporates among other to partner with NGOs in the wok they do in the communities.
The National Mandela Children's Fund (NMCF) sends its condolences to the families of the victims and all those affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck southern Turkey and the north-western parts of Syria.
Latest reports indicate that the powerful quake has killed more than 3000 people and injured thousands more.
The NMCF stands in solidarity with those impacted by this disaster. In moments like this, children are the most affected because of obvious reasons. The Fis grateful for the efforts of the rescue teams that are working to search for survivors and provide aid to those in need.The Fund is deeply saddened by the devastating news of the earthquake.
"As the Fund, we know all too well the pain and heartache caused by natural disasters especially on children and youth, and we extend our support to the affected communities during this difficult time," said Dr Stanley Maphosa the Chief Programs Officer.
The NMCF is also calling upon South Africans and the international community to do what is possible to support the provision of the necessary aid and support to those affected by this disaster with the lenses of children and youth.
Nelson Mandela always says “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” This is especially true for pregnant moms or moms-to-be. There are so many hills that moms climb during a pregnancy and many times they suffer either mentally or physically – that is why NMCF would like to go through some tips for pregnant moms that will help them during and maybe even after a safe and healthy pregnancy.
Acknowledging the accepting the role that men and boys have in realising a gender-based violence-free society, and in recognition of the massive investments of government, civil society and the academic community to shift the dominant narrative of boys and men as perpetrators of violence against women and children to peaceful, productive citizens promoting gender equality and non-violence, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) are inviting 50 critical stakeholders to an inaugural ‘Nurturing Non-violent Boys’ conversation.
A diverse panel will share evidence of promising care practices, policies and interventions focusing on the boy child, as well as make recommendations for collective action towards successfully reducing and eventually eliminating violence against women and children through nurturing peaceful boys.
The panelists include: NMCF Interim CEO, Dr Stanley Maphosa (PhD), Senior Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Practitioner, Charlotte Nonkululeko Motsoari, Author, Founder and Senior Mentor of the Young Men Movement, kabelo Chabalala, Activist, Founder of Anti Vioelnce Buddies Club, Nehwoh Belinda, Afrika Tikkun Rep, Segopotso Maribe and Senior Lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand, Prof. Malose Langa.
Keep an eye out as we bring you more on the 'Nurturing Non-violent Boys' conversation.
I am a qualified and registered Social Worker from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. I am currently working as a Senior Mental health and Psychosocial Support practitioner in the MHPSS programme at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation. I provide mental health and psychosocial support to victims of various forms of violence( organised violence, war trauma and torture, SGBV and other gross human rights violations). Part of my work involves advocating for clients’ access to medical, social and legal services with the aim of promoting holistic wellbeing.
My professional interests are around providing trauma-informed mental health and psychosocial services to individuals, group and communities as well as the integration of contextually relevant MHPSS interventions within processes of rehabilitation.
I also provide capacity building and support to local stakeholders and regional organisations around wellness, trauma informed practice and integration of MHPSS as part of transitional justice processes.
I also provide supervision support for students and interns.
Dr Stanley Maphosa
Dr Stanley Maphosa is the Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund), overseeing five programmes, and the M&E and Special projects. He also leads the executive committee (EXCO) members of the Fund that cover finance, human resources, fundraising and engagements. Dr Stanley also plays an integral part in the organisational governance and strategic development the work of the Fund.
Dr Maphosa concluded his PhD in Social Sciences degree at the University of Fort Hare (SA) in 2020 where he majored on Youth Sociology or Youth Agency and participation in decision making processes. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the University of South Africa (UNISA), Honours Degree in Development Studies from the same university and a Post Graduate Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM). He holds a qualification in Policy Formulation, Implementation and Evaluation (Stellenbosch University) and Disaster Risk Reduction (University of Cape Town). His first degree was in English and Communications and he is also a holder of a Diploma in Primary Education (Teaching). He is a members of various local and international merit based professional associations.
Prior to joining the Fund, Dr Stanley Maphosa worked as the International and National Liaison Manager at the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) for seven years, where was involved in the stakeholder engagements with governments, science councils, embassies, civil society, parliament and science organisations nationally, regionally, Pan African and globally. He has been involved in science diplomacy, science engagements, science advise and science communication through the work of the public entity of the government of the Republic of South Africa under the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). Before that, Dr Stanley Maphosa worked for World Vision International (WVI) for 12 years from grassroots level at KwaMaphumulo, Insiza and Limpopo up to executive level where he among other things became the Operations Director and later as Advocacy Director covering the whole country as well as nine countries in Southern Africa. Before his work at World Vision International, Dr Maphosa was a school teacher at various levels of the education sector including being a Journalism Lecturer. Dr Stanley has been involved in the not-for-profit sector and government in executive capacity, since 2008 and is a specialist in community development, disaster risk management, advocacy and internationalisation of science. His main success was the establishment of science academies in least developed countries across Africa.
Mr Kabelo Chabalala
Recently worked with Primestars on “ What about the boys” Campaign.
Author of, A journey from boyhood to manhood. Founder and senior mentor at the Young Men Movement (YMM), an organisation that focuses on the reconstruction of the socialisation of boys to create a new cohort of men in our society accracross globe. A columnist for the Sowetan, my column appears twice a month in the paper on Fridays.
The Community Builder Awardee of the year 2019 for the Marcia Lebambo Foundation.
Community Builder Awardee of the year 2019 for the Marcia Lebambo Foundation.
One of 200 Obama Leaders: Africa 2018
Finland Correspondent Participant 2018.
2018 Top 100 Most Influential Young South African (Avance Media).
Former PR Specialist for Lingashoni and Mzansi Magic.
Former Columnist for the The Citizen newspaper.
Former columnist for The Star and Pretoria News and the Independent Media Group
Former motorist scribe for Weekend Wheel (Saturday Star).
A feminist at heart, big advocate for equality and also an advocate for the welling being of the boy-child. A Preacher, with a Theology certificate from the Johannesburg Bible College (JBC). By profession, a journalist, was a Senior Layout Sub-Editor for Independent Media Group. Prior to that, an Advertising Specialist and Consultant at the Pretoria News. Holds a Diploma and B-Tech in Journalism, obtained from the Tshwane University of Technology.
An ambitious and passionate lady, Nehwoh began her career in Cameroon and later moved to South Africa, where she spent 10 years working for People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA). A fervent feminist and children’s rights activist, it was here that she began advocating for women’s rights in the various roles she held over the decade. Nehwoh then joined Afrika Tikkun as the Gender-based Violence Programme Coordinator in 2012. Just three years later she was promoted to General Manager of Afrika Tikkun Uthando Centre. Harnessing her years of experience of working with women and young people, she started the Young Urban Women and Young Urban Men’s programme within Afrika Tikkun with the aim of providing a safe space for young people to discuss the issues affecting them in their communities and advocate for change.
Nehwoh started the Anti Violence (AV) Buddies Clubs in three schools in Diepsloot, with the aim of helping to create awareness about violence and to develop responsible citizenship. Her work has been presented at different platforms, both nationally and internationally, including the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the African Union (AU). Currently, overseeing almost 100 staff members, Nehwoh and her team deliver on Afrika Tikkun’s vibrant Cradle to Career programmes. She also sits as a board member for a few organisations including Gravitas, 1in9 campaign, people opposing women Abuse (writing project), the Children’s Memorial Institute and WGL. With over 10 years of experience working with women, Nehwoh’s passion is to see women grow in all spheres of life, and she will stop at nothing to ensure they do just that.
Segopotso is a 14 year old, wondrous and visionary boy with great ambitions. He is a voice of the voiceless, and a boy who manages to step up for himself and his peers. He is a grade 9 student in inner-city Johannesburg who currently sits as the President of Young Urban Men self-advocacy group in Braamfontein. He is also a member of the Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Parliament and has an unmatched skill of playing the djembe drum. Segopotso takes on many roles at his youth centre, he is always demonstrating leadership skills and always willing to tackle a challenge. He has recently signed up as a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award – a Young Urban Man who says that nothing will make him act out of character.
Malose Langa is a Professor and Senior Lecturer in the School of Community and Human Development, Department of Psychology, at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and Associate Researcher at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Recompilation (CSVR). His research interests include risk-taking behaviours amongst the youth and their role in politics, substance abuse and addiction, trauma of collective violence and the psychology of men (masculinity) in post-apartheid South Africa. He has published book chapters and journal articles on violence and other topics on masculinities. He is the author of Becoming Men: Black Masculinities in a South African Township and the recent co-edited book entitled: youth in South Africa: agency, invisibility and development published by Mistra. Prof Langa has recently completed his LLB degree, following his extensive experience where he has served as an expert witness as a Psychologist ranging with specific focus on cases of torture and other human rights violations.
JOINT CALLS TO ACTION
The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children’s Campaign runs annually from 25 November to 10 December. During this time:
The second Presidential Summit on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) took place between the 1st and 2nd of November 2022 in South Africa and presented an opportunity to reflect on the successes and challenges in tackling widespread GBVF in the country. Since the first summit in 2018, South Africa has taken some positive steps, including adopting the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on GBVF 2020, and the September 2021 amendment to the 1998 Domestic Violence Act. Despite all these efforts, GBVF is still rampant in South Africa. The data showed that between the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 there was a 52 percent increase in the murder of women, and 46 percent increase in the number of children murdered (President Ramaphosa address at the 2nd Presidential Summit on Gender Based Violence and Femicide.
The Fund and REPSSI-SA call on all actors that promote the wellbeing and protection of children to UNITE! to advocate for the safety of children and the eradication of GBVF from our communities.
At the summit, the President also made an urgent call to reach out to boys and young men to develop masculinities that value respect, understanding and accountability. He referred to the Primestars’ Project, What About the Boys? supported by the Fund, which in collaboration with Government, focuses on redefining masculinity among young men. The Fund and REPSSI-SA have partnered for over a decade to contribute to making South African homes, schools, and communities at large safer, happier places for children, through strengthening child protection and psychosocial support. Addressing harmful practices and toxic masculinity has been central to their approach employed.
The Fund and REPSSI-SA call on stakeholders to intentionally focus on the care conditions required to nurture non-violent boys, and to engage with evidence to plan interventions that effectively address patriarchal beliefs and practices that drive violence within our country and change the current reality in which boys and men are both predominantly the perpetrators of violence and predominantly the victims of violence.
Safety, protection, and mental health services are fundamental rights for all children and adolescents living in South Africa and are essential to overall health and well-being. However, national research and stakeholder reports indicate that these are underfunded and under-prioritised. This has created serious gaps in protection, care and health for children and adolescents in South Africa; gaps which often lead to gross human rights violations.
While mental health is so underinvested in, it is important to note that in UNICEF South Africa’s U-Report poll, 65% of young people stated that they have some form of a mental health issue but did not seek help. Increased poverty and a lack of hope for the future were the top reasons for children and young people’s anxiety, even more than violence which was the lead reason given in a similar poll conducted six months prior to this one. However, research on peace building and violence prevention has noted that poverty and unemployment (which contributes to a lack of hope for the future)
are key drivers of violence and ensures that the cycle of violence continues.
Therefore, the Fund and REPSSI-SA call for the integration of economic strengthening efforts in all child protection and psychosocial support programmes aimed at ending violence against women and children.
The partnership between the Fund and REPSSI-SA aim for this 16 Days of Activism is to highlight the importance of including and collaborating with boys and young men to fight the scourge of GBVF through:
The Fund and REPSSI-SA call on everyone within South Africa, including children, to UNITE! Against GBVF and to build a country that is safe for our children of all genders, and which provides the necessary conditions for them to thrive and enjoy good mental health and wellbeing.
For more details visit https://www.nelsonmandelachildrensfund.com/
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund) is an advocacy and social developmental agency founded by former president, Mr Nelson Mandela in 1995. In line with its vision to Change the Way Society Treats its Children and youth, the Fund’s mission is to give voice and dignity to the African child by building a rights-based movement. The organisation’s strategic programmes include, Child Safety and Protection, Child Survival, Development, and Thriving, Sustainable Livelihoods, Youth Leadership and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Parktown, Johannesburg.
The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiatives (REPSSI) is a renowned pan African organisation that has been providing holistic psychosocial care and support to girls, boys and the youth in East and Southern Africa since it was founded in 2002. Our programmes are spread across 13 countries and aim to respond to the psychosocial, mental health and social protection needs of children and families affected by: HIV and AIDS, conflict, poverty and social strife. Programmes are delivered through partnerships with regional bodies, national governments and non-governmental organisations.
For more information contact:
The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI)
Manager: Communications and Marketing
Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund
Telephone: 011 274 5600
By Dr Stanley Maphosa
The Government of South Africa declared the first Saturday of November as the National Children’s Day.
The National Children's Day celebrates every child's rights to healthcare, protection and education. The day was initiated by the South African Government with the aim of celebrating and highlighting the progress being made towards the realisation and promotion of the rights of children. By promoting children's rights, the hope is to achieve a South Africa where all children are free from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Section 28 of South Africa's national constitution deals directly with the rights of children.This section lays out basic rights that every child should be given from conception. These rights include giving a name to a child, registering a child to have a nationality and giving the child a family or parental care (or alternative care if this is not possible). Basic nutrition, shelter, health and social services are also some of the rights that children should enjoy. Children should also be protected from all kinds of maltreatment as well as exploitative labour. The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund is a home grown, progressive development and advocacy organisations with 27 years experience working with children across the country in all the nine provinces. Working with strategic partners mostly at national level and implementing partners at grassroots level, the Fund is moved by the vision of its founder to change the way society treats its children and youth. By and large, society has ignored the voices of children- seen then but not heard them, left children vulnerable to abuse, neglect and exploitation in the name of religion and culture. The number of children dying before they reach the age of 5 is increasing despite policies, practices and prevention measures that are easily available to many. The death of children is still not taken seriously by some communities. This must change. The National Children's Day therefore acts as a reminder that all children are protected under the constitution of SouthAfrica. Children are not miniature human beings, they are human beings. Their rights are human rights and should be protected like those of everyone else. Children 's issues should not be forgotten in any plans of municipalities, Provincial and national government and their entities. Private sector and civil society organisations should also prioritize children. Children should never be an after thought, tick box or tokenistic window dressers for events and activities.
On this National Children's Day, the Fund hosted the packaging event for food packs under the Isondlo child nutrition initiative. The initiative will reach 1000 00 chirdren through 19 implelenting partners. The Fund challenges public and private organisations to considers programs that children and youth out of poverty, inequality and unemployment particular. With child poverty in particular addressed, child mortality, child safety and all forms of discrimination will be dealt with. Like what the Nelson Mandela Children's Parliament (NMCP) does, organisations may also organise workshops for children to learn all about human rights and civic participation. Children's issues are everyone's responsibility
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