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A Fitting Celebration of Life–Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela Falls on Human Rights Day

The memorial service celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela is held on Human Rights Day.

How fitting that the memorial service for Nelson Mandela occurs on December 10, Human Rights Day—a day to reaffirm the right of every individual to education, adequate food and shelter, freedom of thought,  equal protection under the law, and freedom from slavery and torture. Nelson Mandela exemplified these values as a leader in the anti-apartheid movement and as president of South Africa. 

Needless to say, the struggle for human rights in South Africa and throughout the world continues. Aid for Africa members are working in South Africa to expand these rights—some through the courts and legal channels, others through community-based health, education, and development efforts.

The Southern Africa Legal Services Foundation supports South Africa’s oldest public interest law organization, which challenged apartheid for decades and now confronts the legacies of apartheid, including proper care for AIDS orphans, protecting the rights of refugees, and protecting the environmental rights of marginalized communities.

Children are most affected by AIDS and poverty in South Africa.

Africa Classroom Connection and Teach For Africa plug gaps in the education system that has left poor and underserved South Africans unable to get quality education. African Solutions to African Problems supports community-based programs and women’s networks to help them better deliver life-affirming care for orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa. mothers2mothers is stopping the spread of HIV from mother to child though a pioneering program now used in nine African countries.

Children are most affected by AIDS and poverty in South Africa. Ubuntu Education Fund helps South Africa’s orphaned and vulnerable children access education and employment by providing  household stability, educational, and medical support from cradle to career.  South Africa Partners  is working to improve healthcare, education, and economic development in South Africa through partnerships with local communities and organizations in the U.S. 

Nelson Mandela’s life is a testament to these organizations and all who work to sustain and expand human rights.  “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others,” he said. 

Click to see a full list of the Aid for Africa members working in South Africa.

Read other blogs related to this story

Fulfilling the Principles of Human Rights Day
Remembering a Leader of Legal Justice in South Africa