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Mandela’s legacy
Jan 24, 2014

On the 5th of December 2013, South Africa’s first black president passed away after a long illness. Nelson Mandela is and will remain one of the most recognisable symbols of human rights in the twentieth century.

Nelson Mandela

Copyright Getty Images

ChildFund would like to pay tribute to this great man and his unwavering belief in human rights. As Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General, said: “Mr Mandela was…one of our greatest teachers. He taught by example. He sacrificed so much … for freedom and equality, for democracy and justice.”

Mandela had a steadfast belief in the ‘Right to Education’ (art. 26 of the Human Right Declaration). One of Madiba’s goals was to improve the level of access and quality of education for children all over the world, because he believed that a formal education was one of the two ways to break the cycle of poverty. Indeed, he advocated that an investment in education was an investment in a prosperous future. He said:

“Education is one of the most important weapons in a country. We want to transform education into national assets and in an instrument that we can use for development”.

Just like Mandela, ChildFund believes in the power of education. It is for this reason that throughout the 75 years of ChildFund operations, education has remained a key focus. Throughout our programmes, ChildFund:

  • Promotes educational opportunities;
  • Fosters community support for education;
  • Incorporates strategies to help children build the learning and coping skills needed to succeed in and beyond school;
  • Improves the quality of education through teacher training and curriculum development;
  • Provides alternative education for children and youth who have not been able to attend primary school;
  • Provides educational facilities in emergency situations.

One major aspect of ChildFund’s educational initiatives is Child-Centred Spaces (CSS). A ChildFund CSS is a safe space for children that provides structured, normalising activities that protect children from harm and promote their well-being. CSS’s foster and encourage the protection of children through play, recreation, literacy, and numeracy. They are places where a child learns and at the same time enjoys the process of learning. CSS recognize and respect the range of rights of children; not just their right to be educated but also their right to healthy, protected from harm and abuse, express their views freely, and participate in decision.

All of our educational initiatives would not be achievable without the help and financial support of our generous sponsors.

We at ChildFund hope that Mandela’s legacy will live on and on, and that his teachings continue to resonate with people the world over.

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