LETTER OF CONDOLENCES FROM THE NELSON MANDELA CHILDREN’S FUND AND NELSON MANDELA CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Dear Tutu Family,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Management and Staff at Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund), and its flagship project, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, we would like to express our deepest condolences, on the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu.
When the news of his passing reached us, our hearts, along with those of the South African people and the global community, were ladened with an overwhelming sense of loss, that only a giant such as Archbishop, could evoke.
We remember the fondness with which our founder, and at the time, President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Nelson Mandela, spoke of the Archbishop at a Thanksgiving ceremony held in his honour on 23 June 1996. In his speech, President Mandela was quoted saying of the Archbishop, “He is renowned for selfless commitment to the poor, the oppressed and downtrodden. With his colleagues, he remained an effective voice of the people of South Africa when so many of their leaders were imprisoned, exiled, banned and restricted. Desmond Tutu is esteemed the world over for his commitment to justice and peace everywhere.”
It is that commitment, which cemented the Archbishop as a significant voice in the fight against apartheid, as well as a champion against injustice and inequality, in the newly democratic South Africa.
A close ally to President Mandela, the Archbishop shared Mr Mandela’s passion for a just society for our children, supporting Mandela’s dream of building a dedicated hospital for children stating, “For years, Nelson Mandela has dreamt of building a hospital dedicated to delivering world-class treatment to our children. Like Madiba, I believe our children deserve the best medical care possible.”
The Archbishop would become patron of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) Trust, which led the campaign to build the state-of-the-art facility based in Parktown, Gauteng. Next year, the hospital will celebrate five years of operations and serving thousands of destitute children in need of specialist healthcare.
Rare are leaders like the Archbishop, whose moral standing inspired nations and right-based movements without fear or favour. So unique was his hope in times of adversity, that it remained unshaken, never sacrificing truth and a stern approach to injustice. So deep were his tears, his empathy watered barren lands where hope and reconciliation could finally grow. So great was his smile, that even now, in this dark hour, it comforts all of us who feel an inextricable loss in the time of his absence.
Our nation and the global community at large will forever remain indebted to the Archbishop’s life of service, his selflessness at great personal risk and the moral compass he lent to humanity in navigating a more just world.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.
It is with deep sorrow to receive the news of the passing of Mr Franklin Thomas. From the Board of Trustees, Management, and Staff of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund), may you receive our heartfelt condolences.
Mr Thomas has been a beacon of true servant leadership in this world. Through his work as President and CEO of the Ford Foundation, Mr Franklin committed to advancing the work of Mr Mandela’s children’s legacy projects as a donor and advocate.
Through the years, the Ford Foundation supported the strategic work of the Fund which includes poverty alleviation, promoting the safety of children as well as their health and survival in the early development of their lives.
Furthermore, the Ford Foundation remains a major donor of Mandela’s dream for a dedicated paediatric facility, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) based in Johannesburg, South Africa. NMCH which will be celebrating five years of operations next year, providing services to critically-ill children and we owe our thanks to the support of partners like Mr Thomas and the Ford Foundation who have made this possible.
Mr Thomas’s relationship with Mr Mandela remains etched in our memory and his impact and influence continues to reverberate in our work across our country and region.
We are truly grateful and honoured to have had the opportunity to work, engage, and love Mr Franklin. Thank you to the Thomas family and Ford Foundation for sharing him with us. You remain in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult period.
May his spirit rest in peace.
Child Survival, Development & Thriving Programamme has teamed up with the Centre for Community Justice & Development (CCJD) in a joint nutrition project.
The project is focused on integrating households into production of nutritious food crops and developing sustainable diets aimed at improving nutrition status in children of under the age of five, pregnant women and vulnerable women of reproductive age focusing on the First 1000 Most Critical Days in child’s life.
The lockdowns due to disruptive nature of Covid-19 led to increased unemployment, household food insecurity and limited access to nutritious diets. In addition, family incomes are not enough to afford expensive refined nutritious products on the markets. During the lockdown last year, CCJD staff received hundreds of requests for food parcels from local residents. When distributing food parcels and handing them out, they visited people’s homes and were distressed to see the extent of food shortages and lack of nutritious porridge/food for children. In response, CCJD employed an expert with a PhD in food and agriculture to develop strategies for sustainable food production and diets at household level.
The nutrition project is aligned to one of NMCF’s health programme - Child Survival, Development and Thriving (CSDT) which support pregnant women and children under the age of fives. Emphasis is on supporting initiatives that improves good health outcomes, prevent malnutrition, strengthen families and building community initiatives that are intended to increase quality health services for children. Efforts of this programme are concentrated on first 1000 days of life of a child. With its commitment to ensure that children live a long, healthy and fulfilling life, NMCF is deliberate when addressing health and nutrition. Given the high levels of stunted and malnourished children, emphasis is on creating affordable healthy foods and increasing health education and awareness.
The joint program will also provide pathways for alternative, affordable and nutritious food products at household level. The program will work with Community Health Workers (CHWs) from the Department of Health to identify families in need, with an emphasis on households that have children under the age of 5, and pregnant women. In instances where malnourished children are identified, they will be put on a rehabilitation feeding programme. The program will train these households and other local women to start the gardens of indigenous leafy vegetables, and also train families on utilization and processing of locally available nutritious grain legumes such as groundnuts (peanuts), cowpea and soybean. The production of these crops will assure household diets rich in nutrients such as iron, zinc, proteins and essential fatty acids for the health of families and their children.
Seven (7) gardens were established, five of which have been planted and two gardens were suspended due to sustained conflicts among the community members. The planted leafy vegetables are bean, cowpea, okra, amaranthus, and pumpkin. The common vegetables such as spinach, kale and lettuce are also planted for adaptation of vertical garden on commonly available leafy vegetables.
Below are images from the launch lunch in Pietermaritzburg, where children were tasting food from veggies that were from the gardens.
South Africa Main Office
P.O. Box 797 Highlands North 2037
Email : email@example.com
Tel: (+27) 11 274-5600
Fax (+27) 11 486-3914