The Nelson Mandela children’s Fund (Fund) held a historic Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the newly built Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) in Johannesburg on Friday 26 August 2016. The NMCH is due to open in December 2016.
The AGM kicked off with a closed session attended by the board of trustees and chaired by Judge Yvonne Mokgoro. It was later followed by an open session attended by funders and donors, government departments, NGO’s, CBO’s, research and institutions of higher learning and members of the public.
Members of the Board of Trustees at the AGM open session.
Back row: Ms Lulama Mokhobo, Mr Mpho Makwana, Mr Gabu Tungwana and Ms Barbara Nell.
Front row: Miss Onkgodisitse Mokonyane, Ms Irene Menell, Ms Shirley Mabusela and Judge Yvonne Mokgoro
The open session started with a panel discussion comprising of programme specialists from the Fund and some implementing partners, namely the Teddy Bear Clinic, Kwazulu Regional Christian Council, Education With Enterprise Trust (EWET) and Diepsloot based Southern Africa Youth Project.
Panel: From left: Mampe Ntsedi of the Fund, Mamahase Mosheshe (EWET), Clifford Legodi (South African Youth Projects), Mxolisi Nguswa (KRCC), Shadi Nyokong (the Fund), Shaida Omar (Teddy Bear Clinic)
The open session was interactive with panellists and the audience engaging on variety of issues affecting children and youth. Topics included child safety and protection, youth development and empowerment; and sustainable livelihoods by strengthening families and communities economically. Here is what those present had to say about their experience in working with the Fund:
Shaida Omar: Teddy Bear Clinic
“As the Teddy Bear Clinic for Children, we have an excellent partnership with the Fund, and one great achievement is an intervention in the judicial processes involving children. I don’t know how many of you have been in the actual court and experienced the anxiety that comes with such an environment, now just imagine in the case of children who have to testify against perpetrators of abuses against them. Our success in training paralegals to support children and families in court situations has brought dignity and amplified the voice of children.” – Shaida Omar
Mamahase Mosheshe of EWET
“When we started, we thought we were the best organisation we could be, but in our interaction with the Fund, our organisation was transformed from good to great through capacity building in areas of governance, operational efficiency and prudent financial controls. These empowerment and development programme have benefitted our organisation immensely. Our entrepreneurship programme is now aligned with the education curriculum, and our youth have achieved successes in operating small businesses. We are continuing our work of influencing policy in the interest of developing young entrepreneurs and in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Department of Education.”- Mamahase Mosheshe
Clifford Legodi – Former beneficiary and now employed by South Africa Youth Project in Diepsloot
“I’m deeply honoured to be in the presence of distinguished guests who have achieved so much in their respective careers. I’m also grateful for this opportunity to present the work we do in preparing young people for career development. We empower young people of Diepsloot through skills development in computer literacy, professional etiquette relating to career development. We thank the Fund for the support and mentorship in the growth of our organisation. We now have a presence in Limpopo. It is my personal goal to make a difference in the youth, not only of Diepsloot but of other communities as well. The narrative about Diepsloot is about crime and unruliness, but there is a lot of amazing things that young people are doing in the community, and this success stories like ours must be told.” – Clifford Legodi
Judge Yvonne Mokgoro – the Fund’s Board Chair
“I feel so good to see, hear and realise how all of us can do in the interest of children. After Madiba’s release from prison after 27 years, and seeing children sleeping under a bridge, that was a strong enough reason to start the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. I thank the implementing partners because they are the foot soldiers of Madiba’s dream in communities.
Our coming together from different organisations by Madibas’dream is not by accident. There is a purpose for all of us and I know it comes from within, it comes from the heart, it comes from the soul. We need to continue with Madiba’s vision of changing the way society treats its children.” –Judge Yvonne Mokgoro: the Fund’s Board Chai
“Wathinta bafazi, Wathinta ‘mbokodo” - “Mma Ngwana o tshwara thipa ka fa bogaleng”
The transition from the month of July to the women’s month of August is inspirational. We are energised following remarkable events we hosted and celebrated with our guests from eight African countries in July; in particular reference to the Fund’s annual children birthday celebration and the Africa Spelling BEE.
We begin the month of August also inspired by the acts of kindness and humanity in recognition of the International Mandela Day.
As we celebrate and acknowledge remarkable achievements by women in politics, business, the judiciary, community development and social entrepreneurship; we should also use this period to reflect on many adverse challenges facing women in general and a girl child in particular.
As we celebrate the women emancipation role played by Nkosazana Dlamini – Zuma as the chairperson of the African Union Commission, we must also amplify our voices to put a stop to a scourge of women abuse and sexual violence.
As we recognise Theresa May as the new British Prime Minister and wish her luck in navigating the Brexit negotiations with the European Union, we must also remain vigilant and highlight the reality of human trafficking that result in forced prostitution and drug abuse.
As we acknowledge and celebrate the historic nomination of Hilary Clinton as the first woman presidential candidate in the United States of America (USA), we should continue to ask tough questions about the plight of the girls kidnapped by the militant group Boko Haram.
Women of different age groups are continuing to make great strides in many different fields and professions; this is an achievement worth celebrating and we are confident that this success stories will shared in different platforms throughout the month of August. .
We pay special tribute to all dedicated and hard working women in our communities who continue to love and care for the children, orphans, the disabled, the elderly, the indigent and those who live with HIV and AIDS. Your efforts are greatly appreciated and we value your partnership in the work we do in communities as a collective.
In conclusion; Media Freedom is an important tenet of democracy; hence the media is often referred to as a fourth estate in a democratic architecture. The media continues to play a vital role in relaying messages, particularly on crime and gender based violence.
We therefore pay tribute to women journalists and their male colleagues who are committed to defend this sacred principle of media freedom. Through media exposes’ and other disclosures we are able to make interventions in the interests of women and children.
Happy Women’s Month to All.
Bafana Bafana will play The Pharaohs of Egypt in the 22nd Edition of the Nelson Mandela Challenge at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Tuesday, 6 September 2016. The match kicks off at 19h00.
The clash comes just three days after South Africa rounds off their 2017 Gabon African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Mauritania.
This will be the third time Egypt and South Africa meet in the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge.
The two nations locked horns for the first time in the 5th Edition played at FNB Stadium on 16 December, 1998.
The hosts won 2-1.
The two African giants met again on 15 November 2006, this time on neutral ground in Brentfort, London in England.
The North Africans emerged 1-0 winners in the 12th Edition.
This annual event is one of the ways used to continue the legacy of the late State President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, also known as The Father of the Nation, with proceeds going to aid the children in South Africa through the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund programmes.
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund designed the Self Help Group approach through its Sustainable Livelihoods Project with the aim of assisting families and communities to deal with the situation of vulnerability. The Self Help Group approach is meant to strengthen families economically with the aim of improving their lives and also giving them opportunities to excel in what they know best in dealing with their own situations.
It is through the Fund’s SLP’s Self Help Group approach that today women are now operating viable businesses such as bakeries and butcheries, generating income that will bring a better life in their families. Women have built their homes using their savings from the Self Help Groups’ savings mobilisation program. They have renovated some of these homes and equipped them with the necessary assets to create a better environment for their families and children.
They have educated their children and produced graduates using their Self Help Groups savings mobilisation programme. They have perfected their skills to produce good quality work in their income generating activities. The women have used their Self Help Groups meetings as psychosocial support structures to help each other in dealing with the difficulties they face in their homes.
Today these women serve their communities with pride and dignity. Their dignity has been restored!
Mapule Cheela: Manager - Sustainable Livelihood Project
Mapule has been in the field of Microfinance, assisting poor communities to change their lives with the little monies they have in their coffers, eventually assisting women to work out their way out of poverty for the last 24 years. Her vast experience in the field of Sustainable Livelihoods has made her come to a realization that; once a woman is armed with all the necessary equipment to fight poverty, the war can be won! She has seen women in difficult situations making a difference in their lives and in their families’ lives with the little resources they have and also using their natural skills to initiate income generating activities to bring the much needed income in their households.
“I have seen women thriving from these initiatives! I have seen women growing their businesses – from selling meat in a dish carried on their heads – moving from street to street and eventually becoming noticed butchers in their areas – with all the dignified structures that have the required butchery equipment! This is what drives my passion to work with women especially in poverty stricken areas – mainly in rural areas where there are little resources and poor infrastructure, but women make it in life under these conditions. They make these achievements in the name of their children! In the name of their families! In the name of their communities! “– Mapule
Mapule believes that women deserve to be treated as equal with their counterparts irrespective of colour, race or creed. They should be allowed to excel in what they know best. Their skills in dealing with situations at family and community level should be enhanced. Institutions designed to care for children and operated by women should be supported with all the necessary resources.
A lot of effort must be made in supporting organisations that are designing programmes to improve the quality of women’s lives and their families – making the necessary resources available. Women should be embraced for the good work they have done! Women have always been the pillar of their households including communities and the nation at large. Women should be treated with the dignity they deserve!
“I never dreamed about success, but I have worked for it! The above mentioned successes and achievements makes me proud of what I have done in life and this is what drives my passion in changing lives of women and children!” – Mapule
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