An historic AGM of the Nelson Mandela’s Children’s fund was held on Friday the 26th of August in Johannesburg at the recently completed NMCH (Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Hospital), which is all set to open its doors in December 2016.
The AGM began with a closed session, chaired by Judge Yvonne Mokgoro and attended only by the board of trustees. This was followed on shortly by an open session attended by donors, funders, NGO’s, government departments and institutes of higher learning. The open session was an inspiring dialogue of those involved with and committed to the improvement of child welfare and strengthening the bonds in communities. Here is what some of these dedicated and inspirational speakers had to say :
“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 – Teddy Bear Clinic
“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 Chair
The year 2015 marked twenty years since it was first established in 1995. The five year period of the organization, spanning from 2010 to 2015 gave rise to Sakha Ikusasa III and what has become known as the fund’s “Theory of Change”. Simply stated, the Theory of Change takes into account that from the moment a child is born, there are a multitude of factors which impact on the child. The child’s well being is both impacted and dependent on some of these factors, a holistic view is taken as to the overlapping circles or groups of people that have a bearing on the child’s life. For example the closest “circle” in the child’s life would be his or her immediate family, mother, father, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles etc. The second and overlapping circle would be the teachers, the doctor, the priest and the community in general. These overlapping circles fundamentally influence how the child negotiates successfully through childhood until reaching maturity.