Nelson Mandela, our Chief Patron

Tribute to Madiba

Nelson Mandela

Becoming our Patron

In 1995, former President Nelson Mandela visited one of Afrika Tikkun’s first projects at Rietfontein and was so impacted by what he saw that he volunteered to become Afrika Tikkun’s Patron in Chief.

Today I have seen a miracle

This was Nelson Mandela’s declaration upon visiting Afrika Tikkun’s Rietfontein project. Here virgin land was made arable using a pump-system powered by children playing on a merry-go-round. In addition to producing crops for the local community, the project included the installation of running water and showers in the local school, but moreso, the project unified a community.

(Afrika) Tikkun demonstrates in a practical and sustainable manner what can be done by limited resources, great commitment and passion.

First impressions

Madiba’s first impression of Afrika Tikkun’s work was so profound that three days later he offered his ongoing commitment to the organisation, saying “I am so impressed with you chaps that I will become your Patron in Chief”.

As Chief Patron, Madiba went on to actively promote Afrika Tikkun, visiting Australia to launch the Australia office and visiting local projects to encourage communities.

The challenge to reach all the disadvantaged people of South Africa remains a paramount one. We need all the resources; human and financial, to address these challenging tasks. It is my belief that Tikkun represents the best of what civil society can offer.

Dedicated to education

Afrika Tikkun’s dedication to education is something which particularly appealed to Madiba who famously called education “the great engine of personal development” and said:

It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine,that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation.

For the love of children

Nelson Mandela’s love for children was well known and certainly played a role in his appreciation of Afrika Tikkun whose vision of a sustainable future for children in South African townships is one which he shared.

Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation. They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth, those who care for and protect our people.

Nelson Mandela’s patronage – the impact

The impact of the patronage of one of the world’s greatest heroes cannot be overstated and Afrika Tikkun is proud to have been counted as one of four organisations worldwide entitled to bear the Mandela name to the end.

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