Nelson Mandela's humanitarian projects
Nelson Mandela is arguably the most celebrated humanitarian in the world, motivating millions of people across the globe to forgive those who have done them harm.
And his influence has only grown greater even as he attempted to retire from public life – many projects, foundations and events worldwide celebrate the legacy of the much admired and loved Madiba.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is the focus of much of his humanitarian work. Started in 1999 as he stepped down as president of South Africa, the Foundation is built on the basis of Madiba's greatest characteristic – the art of dialogue, and learning to listen to others.
Via strategic networks and joint ventures, the Foundation uses its resources and skills skills to lend a hand where it is needed most. It hosts discussions about difficult social issues like xenophobia, racism and policy-making. Donations to the Foundation are used to develop different sectors of communities in need.
A particular humanitarian project that lies close to Madiba's heart is the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. Started in 1995, the Children's Fund is not merely a charitable handout, but remploys an holistic and sustainable approach to the rehabilitation and integration of children who are left with little hope - refugees, AIDS orphans and the homeless.
The Children's Fund also built the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital in the Gauteng province, which opened in 2007. It is only the fourth hospital on the continent to be entirely dedicated to the health and wellbeing of children.
Probably the most celebrated project, however, is the annual 46664 concert.
Every year the world's most famous musicians perform for free in this festive celebration combined with an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign that is broadcast to millions. The concert also coincides with Mandela Day – Nelson Mandela's birthday on 18 July. This important campaign aims to motivate people to selflessly make a difference, just as Madiba did.