Mandela Launches Fundraising Campaign To Help AIDS Orphans, Disadvantaged Children in Africa
Former South African President Nelson Mandela on Monday launched a new fundraising campaign aimed at helping AIDS orphans, girls and other "vulnerable children" in Africa by creating "child-friendly schools," the SAPA/News24.com reports (SAPA/News24.com, 12/6). The initiative will be a joint operation of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and UNICEF, with support from the Hamburg Society of International Law, South Africa's Cape Times reports (Hartley, Cape Times, 12/7). Mandela Foundation CEO John Samuel said that the initial five-year rollout of the program will target Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. With every $1 million raised, the initiative aims to help 1,000 schools with renovations and improvements to existing structures as well as new buildings, Samuel said. In a recorded message to launch the campaign, Mandela said, "No child in Africa, and, in fact, anywhere in the world, should be denied education." Per Engebak, Southern Africa regional director for UNICEF, said that the HIV/AIDS pandemic has "ravag[ed]" Africa, creating a "generation of orphans" who are now "slipping through the education net," according to the SAPA/News24.com. "In Zimbabwe, we had one of the highest (school) enrollment rates in Africa, 97% a decade ago," Engebak said, adding, "Now it's 68%." He said that the number of "vulnerable children" in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to increase from approximately 14 million currently to 25 million by 2010, according to the SAPA/News24.com. German ship owner Peter Kramer donated the first $1 million to the campaign (SAPA/News24.com, 12/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.