A Tribute to the Education Legacy of Mandela


“There can be no contentment for any of us when there are children, millions of children, who do not receive an education that provides them with dignity and allows them to live their lives to the full.

“It is not beyond our power to create a world in which all children have access to a good education. Those who do not believe this have small imaginations. ”

– Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, Launching the Nelson Mandela Institute, 2007

We join the nation and the world in celebrating the breath-taking life of Nelson Mandela. As we look up at his life, may we be reminded of the best of our collective self, and of the beauty of all of our children.

The Nelson Mandela Institute was launched in 2007 at his Alma mater the University of Fort Hare. As his public run for education came to its end, he handed off a burning baton to the public to take forward his unfinished work ‐ creating a system of public education that serves the best expression of all of our children.

If there was ever a tribute to Nelson Mandela, it will be this ‐ a system of education that affirms the humanity and potential of our young…

Of all his achievements, the one he still spoke most proudly about to the end of his life was the completion of his studies. When asked about his most important message for young people, he said ‐ they must study hard. When asked about his message for leaders around the world, he said simply ‐ they must focus on education.

Excerpt from Nelson Mandela Institute for Rural Development and Education