Nelson Mandela Foundation

A map of schools in the Free State

A map of schools in the Free State.

Nov 21, 2007 – On November 26, 2007, the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) will convene a multi-stakeholder dialogue in Clarens, Free State. This will bring together representatives from government, civil society, schools and the community to share lessons on implementing a caring school model for orphans and vulnerable children.

In June 2004 the NMF, in partnership with the Free State Department of Education (FS DoE), assessed the impact of HIV/AIDS on the educational sector in the Free State.

This assessment found that the number of vulnerable children in Free State schools had grown dramatically. Many children have been orphaned and family structures have weakened. It has become apparent that schools have a key role to play in the physical, social, developmental and emotional growth of these children.

In 2006 the NMF commissioned Save the Children UK to develop a caring school model in 25 selected schools in the Free State. This initiative was made possible by the leadership of the FS DoE.

This dialogue is part of the NMF’s vision to convene multi-stakeholder dialogues to deal with critical social issues. It also forms part of the Foundation’s exit strategy from its funded projects, always endeavouring to ensure sustainability by handing over these projects to government and other implementing partners.