The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund) and its flagship project, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) will be wrapping up Mandela Month Celebrations and resume the dropping-off of physical donations by the public at the institutions on Saturday, 31 July 2021.
In July, the legacy organisations traditionally mark the birth, life and social contribution of their founder, Mr Nelson Mandela. The month has also become synonymous with altruism, with the public often supporting these institutions with various requests including on-site donations to support their work.
Historically, former president, Mr Nelson Mandela, also celebrated his birthday in the presence of children sharing in the celebrations together with staff of the Fund, members of the public, corporates and the philanthropic community. Since his passing in 2013, the Fund has upheld this tradition, honouring Madiba by hosting the Annual Children’s Celebration at its Head Offices in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, and other venues across the country.
However, the Level 4 restrictions together with the recent unrest in the in the country, placed limitations on both the Fund and NMCH’s ability to host events in a similar manner, resulting in an joint announcement on 16 July 2021 to postpone all physical donations.
To end off Mandela Month in a fitting manner, the Fund and NMCH are excited to announce that these activities will now resume under Level 3 Covid-19 protocols. As such, the Fund and Hospital will be hosting donation “drive-throughs” where the public can drop off donations to benefit beneficiaries.
CEO of the Fund, Konehali Gugushe says that the Fund is reaching out to the public to request that they donate essential items that will benefit children across the country. “This year our plan is to put together care packages that will be distributed to our various strategic partners nationally. This includes partners working with the Fund in the health, child survival & development, as well as the child safety and protection space. We are therefore providing another opportunity for our supporters to come forward to make this year memorable for our beneficiaries.”
The organisation has also placed various donation boxes at Menlyn Park where visitors at the mall can drop off their donations.
Furthermore, the Fund is also calling on the public to join its virtual #MandelaDanceChallenge by dancing to media personality, Proverb’s “Legacy” song and posting this online. “This a way for us to still promote child participation and to encourage families, to have fun together in a light-hearted way and in the spirt of celebration,” says Gugushe.
Interim CEO at NMCH, Dr Nonkululeko Boikhutso, also encouraged the public to support the only dedicated children’s hospital in Gauteng. “Our patients and families have a wide variety of needs. We are relieved that we can end off the month in this way to encourage the public to support our institution in the spirit of Madiba and giving.”
From April 2021, NMCH had to accommodate approximately 100 patients together with their families and staff from Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) following a fire at that facility. While some patients have been moved back to CMJAH, others remain at NMCH. “The intervention was absolutey necessary but as you can imagine, this has added strain on our resources,” says Boikhutso.
To drop off donations on Saturday, 31 July 2021, the members of the public are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book a slot and ensure that we have appropriate crowd control provisions.
The public can also make online donations to both organisations through their website portals and support the virtual initatives outlined on these.
For more information on visit on the Fund visit www.nelsonmandelachildrensfund.co.za or visit www.nmch.org.za to learn more about NMCH.
The Nelson Mandea Children’s Fund (the Fund) and its flagship project, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) will be postponing any physical donation drop-offs and activities at the institutions this International Mandela Day on Sunday, 18 July 2021.
Given the current restrictions presented by the Covid-19 pandemic including a rise in infections, particularly in Gauteng, as well as the limitations placed by the recent unrest in our country, the Fund and NMCH have taken the decision to place safety first.
Historically, former president Mr Nelson Mandela celebrated his birthday in the presence of children sharing in the celebrations together with staff of the Fund, members of the public, corporates and the philanthropic community. Since his passing in 2013, the Fund has upheld this tradition, honouring Madiba by hosting the Annual Children’s Celebration at its Head Offices in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, and other venues across the country.
CEO of the Fund, Konehali Gugushe says that the Fund has had to adapt the celebrations in the past two years,. “Covid-19 has really forced us to look at other ways of honouring our founder and ensuring that our beneficiaries are not left feeling neglected during this time of celebration, which they have come to expect and really look forward to enjoying with us. As such, we’ve had to be innovative and move those activities we can online to avoid gatherings and curb potential infections.”
This year the Fund in partnership with Takalani Sesame is calling on the public to join its virtual #MandelaDanceChallenge by dancing to media personality, Proverb’s “Legacy” song and posting this online. “This a way for us to still promote child participation and to encourage families, to have fun together in a light-hearted way and in the spirt of celebration.”
The Fund and Takalani Sesame will launch the official video for the challenge on Mandela Day on its digital platforms.
The organisation is also putting together care packages, filled with essential items such as sanitary towels, hygiene products and toys, which will be distributed to its beneficiaries.
The Fund had intended to collect donations in person from the public on Mandela Day, but has postponed this activity to the end of the month. “As we mentioned, safety comes first. We are also aware of the current needs of our beneficficiaries and note how the recent unrest in South Africa have strained supply chains. This has caused a delay in some of our donations reaching us in time. As such, we extending the collections to beyond Mandela Day and will collect all physical donations at our premises towards the end of the month as we continue to watch how this current situation unfold.”
International Mandela Day has also become synonymous with committing 67 minutes towards philanthropic work. The public often respond to this call with various requests including on-site actitvies at NMCH, Madiba’s legacy project and the only dedicated paediatric hospital in Gauteng.
Interim CEO at the hospital, Dr Nonkululeko Boikhutso, echoed the sentiments of the Fund in prioritising safety, thereby halting any physical activities. “The public have really shown us their much valued support in the past by dropping off items at the hospital and supporting our patients and families during this period. As a hospital however, we must promote the message of discouraging social gatherings and adhering to the government imposed Level 4 restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.”
The public can still make online donations to both organisations through their website portals and support the virtual initatives outlined on these. Outside of the dance challenge, the Fund will also be hosting a virtual auction of a bespoke pair of sneakers that have been redesigned from an original pair of Hi-tec sneakers that Madiba wore during his fight for liberation in our country. The auction will go live on Mandela Day (18 July 2021) on https://freedom.hi-tec.co.za/auction/freedom-shared/ at 10:00 [CAT] with the proceeds donated towards supporting the work of the Fund.
For more information on visit on the Fund visit www.nelsonmandelachildrensfund.co.za or visit www.nmch.org.za to learn more about NMCH
For enquiries please contact:
“I’m a small girl with big dreams!” – Zamajozi Sithole
Zamajozi Sithole, 28, from Durban, is currently based in Johannesburg, where she works as a Project Officer for the Youth Leadership Programme at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, together with being part of the Mandela Mile Leadership Programme of 2021.
She believes that young people have major potential and enjoys learning about new cultures and languages.
“I am a young person who believes in the potential that young people have. I believe that Africa will rise again, and the youth will be at the forefront of that revolution.”
We chatted more to Zamajozi about her take on the youth in South Africa in honour of World Youth Skills Day.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I am a small girl with big dreams (LOL). On a serious note, I am a young person who believes in the potential that young people have. I believe that Africa will rise again, and the youth will be at the forefront of that revolution. I am passionate about youth-related work, and would love to expand my experience in this field. I love learning about new cultures and languages. In fact, I just enjoy developing myself thus my participation in youth programmes such as Mandela Mile and ACTIVATE. I hold a undergrad degree in psychology, but I hope to become an educational specialist and a UN speaker one day.
What does being a Project Officer entail?
Being a project officer for an organisation that is dedicated to improving the wellbeing of children, and to amplifying their voices, is such an amazing opportunity. I do not take the work we do here lightly. In fact, I use that as my northern star throughout this journey. Knowing that I am here to serve and to represent the millions of young people in this country.
Is there an event or story you would like to share that has impacted you during your time as a Project Officer?
In 2019, we went to Mtubatuba to conduct a children’s dialogue about the environmental impact the mining has in the area. It was so encouraging seeing so many children attend the event and to also participate in the programme and have fun. The children were thrilled to finally be “noticed”, and to actually be given a chance to share their thoughts on the issues that affect them. That event reminded me that the children and youth of this country are very aware of the challenges in our society, and they want to be part of the solution. We are not a lazy generation; we are just overlooked and dismissed due to our age.
What work have you done in your community to assist in improving the livelihood of those in your community?
I have an NPO called Umthombo weMfundo Foundation. We used to conduct information sessions for grade 9 learners, to help them choose wisely when it comes to subjects for the FET phase. We also use to speak to parents as well, and encourage them to be more involved in their children’s education and to stop expecting the teachers to handle everything. My NPO works mostly with schools in the townships, as I feel that they do not have access to a lot of services such as career guidance.
What are some of the issues affecting youth and what are your recommendations on combating them?
The high youth unemployment rate is a huge problem here in South Africa. It is more worrisome to note that our government does not really seem to have a plan to address this. I believe that if this issue is addressed than other issues such substance abuse and the involvement of young people in criminal activities etc. will also see a significant decrease. What I think government needs to do to combat this is to continue to fund and support young entrepreneurs through the NYDA, give an incentive to businesses that provide internship or learnership opportunities to young graduates (and these opportunities should be minimum 1 year), and finally the affirmative action or BEE regulations need to be reviewed to include young people. A company should receive tax incentives not only for hiring black people or women or disabled persons, but for hiring young people as well.
Why do you think it is important for us to honour our youth?
We are the future. I believe that it is important to start investing in young people now. Shape them and nurture them to what you want them to be tomorrow. If our leaders see a bright future for this country, then they need to start working on that future now, and it starts by honouring your youth, and ensuring that they have the right tools and knowledge to succeed and to compete in the wider world.
I know it is hard. I know the odds are against us. I know there is too much pressure on us to succeed. I know we have all reached a point where we just felt so tired and wanted to give it all up. But my message for you today, is don’t give up. Keep hustling. Keep believing. Keep fighting for a better tomorrow for yourself and your family. YOU GOT THIS!!!
What is your vision for our Nation’s youth?
My vision is for the youth of this nation to be more open minded, to challenge their thinking, to question whatever information is presented to them. To be a generation of critical thinkers, innovators and hard workers. I think that the reason why our leaders think they can do whatever they want with this countries resources (and they do get away with it), is because young people are quiet. When we are the ones that should boycotting and lobbying etc. because if we do not fight for this country, there will be nothing left for us to even live in.
MTN SA Foundation commemorates healthcare workers at Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital
MTN SA Foundation today unveiled a sculpture to commemorate the pivotal role that South African healthcare workers have played in helping South Africa progress through the COVID-19 pandemic. The artwork has been donated and installed at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) in Johannesburg.
“With the prolonged impact COVID-19 pandemic has had on South Africa and on artists and the art world in particular, we decided that now was the right time to embark on a positive project. Through this project, MTN Foundation is enabling South African artists, to get up, get going, and progress through the COVID-19 pandemic” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, MTN SA’s executive for corporate affairs.
The project was done in a call for entries, where MTN SA Foundation invited five emerging artists between the ages of 21 and 35, to submit concepts for artworks that use technology as the medium to recognise South African healthcare workers. The selected emerging artists were:
Alexa Pienaar, who recently completed her master’s in Fine Art at the University of Johannesburg proposed an installation called Shift-19 which stretches 3m in length, consists of fifteen 3D printed discs that metaphorically and visually represent that of a disassembled telescope. “COVID-19 has had an impact on how we see the world, on our perspectives, and this comes through in the piece,” says Pienaar.
The disassembled pieces of the telescope that hold layers of city skylines (and other significant shapes), construct a large silhouette of a healthcare worker putting on a mask which can only be seen from the front of the installation. This is done in remembrance of the heroic efforts of the healthcare workers during these challenging times as the silhouette signifies bravery. The figure walks towards the viewer in a stance that imitates that of confidence while pulling his/her mask on with their coat flapping behind them – almost how a superhero would do when pulling open their everyday clothes, revealing their superhero outfit underneath, with their cape flapping behind them.
The discs assembled around a steel frame are flat cut-outs with landscape imagery in their inner semi-circles and patterns of the virus’s round shapes as textures on their outer platforms. This is accompanied by a smaller telescope through which to, metaphorically, view the larger ‘pieces’ of the telescope and, ultimately, Johannesburg city in the background. But once the viewer looks through the smaller telescope, they discover that it functions as a microscope, revealing the corona virus, the tiny virus that has had such a huge impact.
“I’m humbled to have been selected to commemorate health care workers. While we continue to distance ourselves from our families, friends and other relatives, and may feel physically isolated, new avenues of technological exploration and reconnection become possible” said Pienaar. “Shift-19is an interactive installation around which to move and view the separate pieces, as one would shift one’s perspective and view a situation from multiple angles. It, ultimately, serves as a symbol of realisation, adaptation and gratitude” said Pienaar.
The sculpture has been donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. “Not only is the hospital a state-of-the-art specialist paediatric academic and tertiary referral hospital but it also houses a notable art collection,” explains O’Sullivan.
“The hospital provides child-centred highest quality medical services to children of Southern Africa, regardless of their social and economic status in a safe, comfortable, healing and yet playful environment for children.” Says Konehali Gugushe CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the founder of NMCH. “NMCH is flagship project of the Fund. We continue to celebrate the incredible work at the institution and the various partners who have joined us on our journey. The 3D artwork piece is set to be placed within the Children’s Garden at the hospital, with a playful and fun theme for children to interact with. It was a natural fit to have the installation of the art piece on NMCH grounds, particularly as we also celebrate Mandela Month.”
The Hospital is currently running a fundraising campaign called #ServeLikeMadiba and Give Like They’re Yours which is a call on the public to support the only dedicated children’s facility in Gauteng including its patients and families. In July, the month of Nelson Mandela’s birthday, MTN SA Foundation aims to drive SA forward and encourage the public to donate through the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund MoMo account at
“Children with health conditions often experience feelings of loneliness and anxiety, a feeling that their lives are defined by their diagnosis”, says Bongi Mautloa-Dhlomo, art curator at the hospital, “and the creative sculpture can be an important part of the healing. We therefore, encourage South Africans to donate to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and help our children heal and grow.”
A major part of our Children's Celebration is children's participation.
Due to the current climate, we have had to come up with innovative ways to do this in a fun and inclusive manner.
As such, we have created a #DigitalDanceChallenge to one of our long-time supporters, Media Personality, ProVerb's song 'Legacy'. Our YLP team choreographed the dance.
We urge you to participate in the challenge by dancing, uploading your video on your social media channel of your choice and tagging @NMCF.
Let us create some joy during #MandelaMonth
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