“The word that comes to me when I think of being a Project Officer at NMCF is PURPOSE.”
1: Tell us about yourself
I was born and bred in Makhanda, Eastern Cape. I am a soft-spoken individual who can’t go a day without listening to music, I can’t imagine life without it. I hold a Bachelor of Honours degree In Psychology, from Rhodes University. I am passionate about children and youth related issues, I have been involved in community service since high school and I do not see myself working in environments that do not cater to children. My areas of interest include mental health, as I believe there is so much that is misunderstood around mental health conditions. My wish is for everyone, especially children and youth to have equal access to psychological services.
2: What does being a YLP Project Officer mean to you?
The word that comes to me when I think of being a Project Officer at NMCF is purpose. Every day I wake up and I have the privilege to play a role towards creating the change I want to see in our country. The Youth Leadership Programme seeks to amplify the voices of children and youth by giving them a platform to highlight and design solution on societal issues that affect them. Now to be at the forefront of such a mission truly is a huge responsibility but one I have an honour of fulfilling, as I truly believe as youth we need to play an active role when it comes to our development agenda.
3: What does your role entail?
The journey started with the Youth Leadership Secretariat internship, our role was to design, develop and implement the Youth Leadership Programme. The first two parts of the plan are complete and now our initiatives are undergoing the implementation stage. It is such an exciting time for us, as we have opened the call out for youth to join the Efeng Bacha initiative and we cannot wait to welcome the new cohort.
But on an everyday bases my role includes engaging stakeholders, internal and external. I am also responsible for planning, administration and coordination of the YLP initiatives.
All of this is possible through collaboration; I have the pleasure of working hand in hand with Zamajozi Sithole. We are always bouncing off ideas and navigating our way in ensuring the Programme runs smoothly. We have the support of the NMCF family and we play our part in changing the way society treats its children and youth.
4: Is there an event or story you would like to share that has impacted you during your time as a Project Officer?
It’s difficult to point out a specific event because most days I learn something new. Sometimes I have to leave my comfort zone, but I always come out a better person. I’m practically and intentionally sharpening my skills, so for me those are some of the rewarding aspects of being a Project Officer. However, what stands on top of the list is when we get to engage with children and fellow youth. Now you see, the fulfilment that comes from these interactions is unmatched. One of the highlights was when we took a trip to Mtubatuba, KZN along the Child Survival and Development team. To host a children’s dialogue and hear the challenges children face due to mining activities in that area. I vividly remember a 14 year old girl singing with her brothers and their song was about the challenges they face in teenage hood such as early pregnancies, peer pressure and lack of access to basic needs. The whole experience was an emphasis that children are aware of the barriers that exist in their surroundings and they just need to be heard. There is a cultural barrier that children don’t know much but they actually do and they find the most creative ways of expressing themselves. I think we can all learn from that.
5: What work have you done in your community to assist in improving the livelihood of those in your community?
I have tried my best to play many roles that can better the lives of the individuals around me. These range from mentorship, tutoring, fundraising drives and ensuring that younger girls do understand they can achieve anything you set your mind to. My life is a testimony of that, I still want to achieve more, but I have been fortunate enough and through hard work to call myself an SSP Alumni, Achieve scholarships and get into Golden Key in university and be part of the Youth Leadership Secretariat. Therefore, with every interaction I hold with my peers in my surroundings, I always try to make sure they feel seen and know there is hope, that our background does not define us.
6: What does Youth Day mean to you?
Youth day means taking a moment to pause and reflect, by recognizing the sacrifices and the lives that were lost to an injustice system of apartheid. It means to remember Hector Pieterson, Hastings Ndlovu and what they stood for, making it possible for us to access education, to have choice in some extent to learn in our language and about our identity. Therefore, the day plays a role of reminding us how far we have come but also gives us an opportunity to think about the journey ahead and the role we are playing in creating our own narrative as this current generation.
7: What are some of the issues affecting youth and what are your recommendations on combating them?
The sad reality is that Youth is facing quite a number of challenges, for example, yes we have access to education but there’s still too much structural inequality within the system, we all know the Fees Must Fall movement and the struggles of unemployment, the rate is more than 50%. These challenges are putting up a toll on youth, and these years are where an individual is prone to mental health conditions, therefore it can be challenging to navigate one’s future with these in mind. We do need the government to open up more opportunities for youth, to have more young people in leadership spaces. But individually, I think it is important to put our best foot forward and continue working towards our dreams because they are so valid. As much as there are so many barriers, we cannot lose hope.
8: Why do you think it is important for us to honour our youth?
It is important to honour youth to remind them of the important role they play in our country and also to recognize their resilience. To encourage youth to take on leadership, in minor or big spaces. To honour their brilliance, talents and role in shaping a better South Africa.
What is your message to your fellow youth?
My message to the my fellow youth is to challenge them to locate their voice and practice the spirit of serving. You find what you are most passionate about and then pursue it. Not every act of change needs to monumental or publicized. I believe the real heroes are those who help out in their communities, whether it’s helping ugogo (grandmother) down the street with their garden, helping children with reading or collecting your peers to play sport after school as other forms of coping away from substances. I think those acts, which can be viewed as minor, are very important. As they play a role in creating a better tomorrow.
9: What is your vision for our Nation’s youth?
To have more access to leadership spaces, to be given a chance to shape our future. Most of us grew up being told to get education. We have access to what our parents didn’t, we have indeed taken advantage of that opportunity and need be given a chance to utilize those skills and education. But until then, I think it is important for each individual to continue working on their self-development journey, so in turn they can empower others.
“Love and Respect Yourself because Charity Begins at Home”
“The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.” – Nelson Mandela
As Youth Day approaches we checked in with our young ambassadors who are part of our Youth Leadership Programme.
1: What does being a youth ambassador mean to you? And what does the role of a ‘A youth ambassador’ entail?
It means being able to put your needs aside to support and represent the young leaders in doing what's right. Being able to identify the difference between good and bad and teach others about the difference between the two. It's more of advocating for everyone's rights and making sure that they're protected.
2: Is there an event or story you would like to share that has impacted you during your time as a youth ambassador?
Societal expectations, when you uphold a certain position as an ambassador. There are expectations that people make out of you either in your social world or the corporate world, I learners to maintain the balance between the two worlds but I've made peace that there will never be balance. It's a see-saw, when the other picks, the other drops and the cycle goes on.
3: What work have you done in your community to assist in improving the livelihood of those in your community?
In 2020, I ran a campaign together with the young leaders in the rural community that I'm from. After Covid-19 hit us, we initiated what we called "Home-based classes". We had 30 learners that we were teaching in their own respective homes, we were targeting grade 4-12 and this ran for 6months. I've run motivational talks in different schools within the borders of Limpopo but sadly I couldn't reach too many schools as a result of a lack of resources.
4: What does Youth Day mean to you?
Youth day marks a very respectful day to all South African residence. It carries a lot of history and as we had young leaders who fought against Bantu education at that time.
5: What are some of the issues affecting youth and what are your recommendations on combating them?
Sexual relationships, my recommendation is that let there be programmes where these young teens can be taught about relationships and for a moment, let them shy away from practicing what they see in TV soapies because it's different to reality. They need to understand the concept of dating.
6: Why do you think it is important for us to honour our youth?
For the sake of simplicity, we have taught our children that honor means “lifting someone up and treating them as special and important.” It's about allowing the other person to go first, encouraging them, empowering them and believing the best in them. This will definitely lead to a proactive youth.
7: What is your message to your fellow youth?
Love yourself, respect yourself and remember that before you can pass any love nor respect to the next person. You have to start with yourself, charity indeed begins at home.
8: What is your vision for our Nation’s youth?
Nation's Youth is powerful beyond measure and very resourceful, they just need to realize it and use it to change our nation for the better.
In celebration of Freedom Day join us to “Serve Like Madiba And Give Like They’re Yours”. Killarney Mall in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund has joined forces for The Art Is Freedom Expo in hopes to raise funds and donations for its flagship project, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, in Parktown, Johannesburg. The Fund has lent part of its Poster Project collection to the event celebrating Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s life of 95 posters from around the world, honoring his lifelong contribution to humanity.
The event opens on Freedom Day, Tuesday 27 April 2021, which brings influencers and celebs alike to raise awareness and help support this drive, these include Robert Marawa, Nandi Madida, Tshepi Vundla, DJ Tira, Rulani Mokwena, Zizo Tshwete and a performance by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra
On display will also be affordable to collectable art pieces, including pieces from: Shani Krebs, Justin Abelman, Louise Andrews, Ria Singha, Murray McGregor, Tracey Armstrong, Nasina Nash, Ina Millan, Nicky Thomson, Shank, Heidi Lori, Melissa Muller, Geraldine Garcia, Angie Da Silva, Cornelia Wolff, David Rubenstein and many more!
We are pleased to welcome the renowned local sculptor, Anton Smit to the Art Expo! Widely revered for his overwhelming heads and monumental African sculptures, evoking themes of suffering, reconciliation, glory and sublimation, his works grace public and private collections countrywide and internationally.
CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, Ms Kone Gugushe, says, “This Freedom Day as we support the recovery efforts from the biggest health pandemic in our lifetime, we continue to celebrate struggle icons, such as our founder Mr Nelson Mandela, who dedicated their lives to securing our freedom. For us, this includes promoting and protecting the rights of children including those children in need of specialised healthcare. This event is therefore a crucial activation as part of our fundraising campaign called Serve like Madiba and Give Like They’re Yours, so that we can raise funds for sick children in need.”
The benefits of this collaboration include.
About Killarney Mall
Killarney Mall is one of Johannesburg’s most established shopping centres. Centrally located within in the heart of the prestigious areas of Houghton, Westcliff & The Parks. We have been conveniently Yours for over 45 years.
About The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund:
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund) is an advocacy development agency and a leading champion for the general well-being of children, founded in 1995 by the former statesman Mr. Nelson Mandela. To make the life of children a celebration, the Fund is undoubtedly honoured with the task of continuing the legacy of its founder. The key message that goes with carrying out this honoured task is found and embedded in the vision of the Fund, which is: “Changing the way society treats its children and youth.” The Fund believes that children should enjoy the absence of hunger, abuse, exploitation and homelessness. This is underpinned by a clear notion that the eradication of poverty and its systemic causes are the ultimate desired change, rather than amelioration of difficult and unchanging circumstances in which targeted beneficiaries find themselves. It is possible to have a world where children live with dignity, are safe, nurtured and their voices are heard and that the transformation needed to create such a world needs every part of society to play its role.
Come and celebrate your inner artist and free your inspiration! In celebration of Freedom Day and proudly South African artworks. There's truly something for everyone! Whether you’re in the market for some collectable pieces or are just a lover of local art, this event is bound to satisfy your innermost creative’s desires!
We thank you for your support and consideration on behalf of our children lets serve like Madiba this Freedom Day.
By Bontle Lekgoathi - Child Safety and Protection Programme Project Officer
Violence against women and girls can take many forms: physical, sexual, economic, and psychological. All of these are a violation of human dignity and human rights, and have long-lasting consequences for both the survivors and their communities.
It is for this reason, that the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund) has organised our Child Safety and Protection Programme (CSP).
The CSP wants a safer learning, teaching and living environment. We do this by establishing child safety interventions. As part of the focus, we aim to reduce corporal punishment, bullying and sexual violence in schools and communities. It’s how we #ServeLikeMadiba.
Our objectives include:
We value partnerships in implementing the programme, which included the active participation of children, families and communities. Furthermore, our strategic partnerships with peer organisations and government departments have enabled us to implement our programme in five provinces, namely:
One of these partnerships is with Home of Hope, who actively respond to the issue of violence against women and girls by creating a platform and process to help children and young people to be their own leaders in life.
For over 10 years, Home of Hope has been helping girls who are at the risk of abduction, sexual violence and living on the street. Part of their work is reuniting girls with their families, using police, social services and municipal offices to assist in locating and assessing the reunification of family networks. The process involves:
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, many children cannot be reunited with their family members, and Home of Hope becomes their new home. Here the girls receive counselling with the centre manager, Ms Khanyisile Motsa, who completed trauma counselling training. Mam’Khanyi, as she is affectionately known, has ensured that all her staff are fully qualified in counseling and caregiving, to provide a safe and caring environment.
The girls are then also able to participate in yoga classes and life skill classes which give them the tools to manage stress and gain confidence in their new lives. An integral part of Home of Hope’s rehabilitation programme is ensuring that each child in their care will build skills that can enable them to break free from any dependence upon those who exploit them. The process usually follows this model:
With this support, the girls grow into independent and confident women who can fully participate in society, moving into careers that built a living for them. Some have graduated with university degrees and others continue to work at the centre, using their experience to provide more hope for girls that continue to pass through Home of Hope.
Former President, Mr Nelson Mandela, has taught us that any individual can make a difference and bring change into society. The work of the Fund and places like Home of Hope rely on the public to take action on issues like Gender Based Violence. We all have a responsibility to speak out, and in order to end Violence against Women and Children we all need to play a part, we all need to #ServeLikeMadiba.
As the world prepares to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, South Africans can do something to change the tide of violence against women and children.
The South African parliament has put forward a call for the Children’s Amendment Bill. The call is to have every one of us to contribute to the democratic and legislative processes of our country.
This Children’s Amendment Bill is an opportunity for us to engage with one another about the rights and responsibilities, safety, protection and wellbeing of our children.
The time to act is now, to make input and let your voices be heard in shaping the Children’s Amendment Bill. The Bill is currently open for submissions until the 27th of November 2020.
Comments can be sent to Ms Lindiwe Ntsabo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Play your part, #ServeLikeMadiba, and make your voices be heard!
Click here to see Mampe’s Memorial Site
In a year that has already been defined by great loss, sorrow and grief, we could have never imagined that we would yet shed our most heaviest of tears.
The loss of our colleague, friend, sister and advocate, Mampe Ntsedi, has left us most devastated and weary.
On behalf of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund) Board of Trustees, Management and Staff, we would like to extend our most heartfelt condolences to the Ntsedi family at this tragic time.
Mampe has been a member of our NMCF family for the past twenty years and has made a huge contribution in the well-being of children and youth including advocating for the advancement of their rights.
As Manager for the Fund’s strategic Child Safety and Protection (CSP) Programme, Mampe was involved in community development work for the past two decades. This kind of dedication and display of commitment is rare and is exemplary of the commitment our founder, Mr Nelson Mandela, had envisioned for our organisation and society as a whole.
As you are aware, our organisation’s vision is to Change the Way Society Treats its Children and Youth. In Mampe, we not only found a colleague but also a champion who dedicated her life to its realisation.
Even during the current pandemic caused by the advent of Covid-19, Mampe was concerned about promoting the safety of those children and families whose vulnerabilities were further exposed by the virus. Through the CSP Programme, Mampe, worked closely with her team and various partners on the ground, to ensure that those communities in need were not neglected.
Mampe was a fierce advocate for children’s rights and a strong leader who never lost sight of our mission as an organisation. Her life’s work and the change that she has brought about through her work lives on in the lives of the innumerable communities she has influenced across various provinces in the country.
We relay the collective message of sorrow and comfort from partners, donors, community-based organisations, children, including survivors of exploitation, and many others who bear testament to a life of commendable community service.
Mampe’s absence is already felt in our lives but we hold on to our dearest of memories from the privileged time we spent with her.
May your family find peace and comfort knowing she has left a legacy that has affected many lives and contributed to building a better tomorrow for our children and youth.
May her soul rest in peace.
NELSON MANDELA CHILDREN’S FUND
NELSON MANDELA CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL TRUST
On behalf of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund) Board of Trustees and Staff, we mourn the loss of our servant leader, Mr Achmat Dangor. Our founder, Mr Nelson Mandela, handpicked Achmat to lead the Fund, the first legacy organisation established by Madiba in his presidency. Achmat would become the second Chief Executive Officer to lead the Fund from 1999 to 2002, during a turbulent period in our country.
At that stage, the Fund was still in its infancy and its mission was immense, as our country and our children had been gravely impacted by the HIV and AIDS epidemic. This was a critical time where Achmat’s leadership played a vital role to respond to the devastating impact the virus had on the lives of children and their families.
Achmat steered the Fund with zeal, compassion and agility. His jovial spirit complemented that of Mr Nelson Mandela. It is therefore, only befitting to describe Achmat’s leadership in Madiba’s own words: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Mr Nelson Mandela
He fortified Madiba’s legacy through his leadership footprints when he served as the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation (2007 to 2013) and a member of the Board of Trustees at the Mandela Rhodes Foundation (2013 to 2019).
Achmat had an immeasurable impact on our lives. We are forever indebted and honoured to have been a part of his incredible life story. We feel your pain and mourn with you, Dangor Family.
May your family find peace and comfort knowing he was loved and will be missed dearly. May Achmat’s soul rest in peace.
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund
Nelson Mandela wanted to create a safer world for our children to be healthy & thrive. Covid-19 has forced our children & those who care for them into vulnerable states. The Embassy of France in South Africa is therefore raising funds to protect vulnerable communities through the work of NMCF.
On 14 July, the Embassy of France in South Africa celebrated Bastille Day (National French Holiday) in partnership with Trace TV. Under the leadership of French ambassador Aurélien Lechevallier and to mark the occasion, the Embassy hosted a virtual fundraising initiative to benefit the work of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, including its flagship project, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.
This event coincided with the Fund’s 25 year anniversary and international Mandela Day under the theme #ServelikeMadiba. Inspired by former president Mr Nelson Mandela’s legacy of giving, the theme aims to encourage philanthropy and a message of being of service to one’s community and society.
We are asking our community to #ServelikeMadiba and help us raise R500 000 for this initiative.The donations from this campaign will support the following activities:
This campaign will run until 31 July 2020. Play your part by donating towards this initiative on the NMCH’s GivenGain platform which can be found here.
Remembering our Founder Nelson Mandela
We awoke to a grey sun and a heavy cloud of grief, as we learned of the passing of our dearest Zindzi Mandela - one of our fiercest of champions.
As trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (the Fund), Zindzi served on our board with the greatest passion.
Our hearts are laden with sorrow as we try but fail to reconcile this loss that will leave an indelible mark on the Board, management and the staff of the Fund.
Zindzi’s dedication to improving the lives of children on our continent was exemplary and an indivisible part of her staunch advocacy for human rights.
Zindzi, belonged to all of us. As a historic figure in her own right, she wrote her name in the history books as an activist against the apartheid regime and a young fearless leader during Nelson Mandela’s years in prison.
In our hard-won democracy she continued to serve our people representing the Republic of South Africa to the world, including in her role as Ambassador to Denmark before her untimely passing.
We will always remember her fondly for her commitment to Madiba’s vision, our founder, to secure a better future for our children and youth.
Today, we stand on her shoulders and her valuable guidance and selfless devotion to furthering the cause of the Fund.
As we mark 25 years since our inception, there is no doubt in our minds, that our organisation would not be able to count its successes without her significant and immeasurable contribution.
We could always rely on Zindzi to answer our calls, to lend her name to our work and to invite others to support our mission.
It is deeply saddening that this loss occurred on the anniversary of another tragic day when Madiba’s son Thembekile died in a car accident in 1969. July is also a time when, Madiba’s legacy organisations, honour the memory of our founder during what is widely known as Mandela Month.
We have been robbed of a chance to remember these moments and of a life that still had so much potential.
Our prayers are with the Mandela family at this difficult time including her children she loved so dearly. Our thoughts are also with her friends and loved ones.
May her wonderful soul rest in peace. Lala ngoxolo beloved Zindzi. Lala kahle, Madlomo Sopitsho, Yem Yem, Bhomoyi, Ngqolomsila, Hala, Zondwa zintshaba zingazumenzanto, Vela Bambhentsele, Madiba odiba indonga zidibane!
With Love and Appreciation,
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund
South Africa Main Office
21 Eastwold Way, Saxonwold 2196, Gauteng
P.O. Box 797 Highlands North 2037
Email : email@example.com
Tel: (+27) 11 274-5600
Fax (+27) 11 486-3914