Nearly fifteen years ago, Nelson Mandela having just been released from prison, came upon a group of young children tattered and torn and looking for a listening ear. They seemed to him to be discarded, invisible, below the radar screen, and yet these children struck a cord with him. His work for them would be a huge part of his legacy. They were the future. At that moment it became clear to Mr. Mandela that the future of South Africa depends on the welfare of South Africa’s children and youth. Thus when he was elected President, he established the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund donating one third of his salary to the Fund. From then until now, the Fund has grown and added affiliates in Canada, the Netherlands, UK and the United States, each in its own unique way becoming the voice of South African children in their home country.

 We are the voice for South African children in the United States

As an affiliate of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund we support its mission and vision. NMCF partners with NGOs in South Africa to provide services to vulnerable children and youth including, supporting children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic; empowering children with disabilities; and, promoting youth leadership.


The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund strives to change the way society treats its children and youth.


Our mission is to give voice and dignity to the African child by building a child rights movement. The Principles that guide the Fund’s pursuit of this Mission are:

• Development of partnerships and initiation of programs and projects that empower communities to be in control of their own circumstances.

• Promotion of the rights of children and youth through the influence of public policy and social awareness.

• Cultivating a learning culture within the organization that enables and encourages it to build new practices and supports its new approach of thinking about and implementing its work.

• Sustenance of the Fund’s initiatives through the development of sound financial information, support base and technical assistance to partners on selected organizational capacities.

• Committing its resource to its primary target beneficiary of 0 – 22.

Board Of Directors

We are fortunate to have a committed and distinguished Board of Directors who provide leadership and direction to NMCF USA’s staff and volunteers.

The Honorable David N. Dinkins

Professor in the Professional Practice of Public Affairs
School of International and Public Affairs
Columbia University
New York, NY



The Honorable James A. Joseph

Professor of the Practice, Public Policy Studies
Duke University
Durham, NC


Vincent Mai

New York, NY


Sibongile (Bongi) Mkhabela

Chief Executive Officer
Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund
Republic of South Africa


Franklin A. Thomas

The Study Group
New York, NY


Mary Tiseo

Executive Director
South Africa Partners, Inc.
Boston, MA


Susan Nichols Wagner

New York, NY


Donald H. Gips

Senior Director
Albright Stonebridge
Washington, DC


Mark B. Weinberg

Weinberg & Jacobs, LLP
Rockville, MD


Maryana Iskander

Chief Operating Officer, Harambee
Johannesburg, South Africa


Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool

South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States
Washington, DC


Mary Zients

Washington, DC


Holly Sargent

North American Advancement Team


Joan Williamson

North American Advancement Team