The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) was established by Mr Mandela when he became President in 1994 as a personal commitment to improve the treatment and future prospects of children in South Africa.
He was so determined to see the charity succeed that he donated a third of his Presidential salary for the 5 years he was in office. Still relatively young compared to other development and aid organisations, NMCF has evolved into an internationally recognised charity with the welfare of children at its core.
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund believes that it is impossible to separate the welfare of children from the condition of their community and so much of NMCF’s work concentrates on producing innovative approaches to community organisation, development and economic growth. Through our programmes of work, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund reached and helped over 87,000 children and young people in the past year. Our work is divided into the following focus areas:
Child Protection and Safety helps the most vulnerable children – supporting those who have been abused, who live on the streets or are refugees. Court support programmes counsel traumatised children and prepare them to face their attackers in court.
Goelama Child headed households and children who are caring for sick parents as a result of the HIV Aids pandemic are also offered support through the Goelama programme. NMCF helps communities to develop systems to identify and care for vulnerable children. They are also encouraged in income generating activities that reduce poverty and provide long term stability for children and their families.
Youth for Change aims to build the confidence of young people, through participation in a Children’s Parliament and by helping them to develop entrepreneurial skills and involving them in community action particularly in HIV and Aids prevention.
Sport for Good uses a range of sports to reach out to young people, develop self-esteem and equip them with leadership, mentoring and coaching skills that could lead to employment.
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is an initiative of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. NMCF has experienced first-hand the glaring inadequacies of the paediatric healthcare system in Southern Africa. Based on this, Mr Nelson Mandela asked us to champion a very important initiative – to build a dedicated specialist paediatric hospital facility which will open in 2015. We are currently raising funds for the capital costs of the Hospital. With nearly 450 million children on the African continent, many children who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses have little chance of receiving specialised care. This is because Africa as a whole suffers from a dire lack of dedicated paediatric facilities with only 4 such facilities on the continent – 2 in Cairo, 1 in Nairobi and 1 in Cape Town. This compares dismally to the 23 children’s hospitals in Canada, 19 in Australia, 20 in Germany and 157 in the United States.
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will provide cutting-edge paediatric medicine through clinical and medical research within defined centres of excellence by sharing skills and expertise with like-minded facilities worldwide. No child will be turned away for inability to pay. The family-centered healthcare provided will translate into how families see their role in treating children outside of the healthcare system and will install these values into the family care system by influencing that space so that they, as families reflect the values and ethos of NMCH. Above all, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital represents the ultimate legacy project to carry the great patriarch’s name as a living legacy and final tribute to his unbounded love of children.
For more information on the work of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund please visit: www.mandela-children.org.uk