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2007.08.09

* UNICEF: Mandela Institute seeks new solutions to social and educational challenges South Africa
* 08 Mar 2007

From behind the grand colonial façade, a very different South Africa has emerged. A fusion of local traditions with some of the best of the west gathered for the launch of the Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development and to hear children tell of how many still live in poverty without a decent education. From grade one until last year I never had shoes I went to school barefoot some of my friends do not read well my friends walk a long distance to school. It was to end such hardships for children that led to Mandela’s dream.
Nosimo Balindlela:  “He has always had this dream and today that dream has come into reality. Apartheid’s legacy has left many township schools on the edge, under funded and under resourced. Mandela’s institute, now a partner of UNICEF, will have its work cut out for it, helping youth break free from violence. Stuck between old ways, bad habits, and new temptations, many of South Africa’s youth have fallen into a cycle of HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy and drugs.
Sakhile Hans: Many people are not educated and because at our school we don’t have security so people come here others have drugs and smoke here so that effects us a lot of people who don’t do drugs and who want to be something.”
If more isn’t done, there are concerns that young people like these will end up helpless and hostile.
Harry Belafonte: “A child without education is not only a helpless human being but eventually could develop into a hostile human being and if society does not pay more attention to the children at large then I think we will have a future that is going to continue to perpetuate chaos, problems tragedy and animosity between people. “
But it is the power of partnerships, the quality of its leaders and institutes, that will take the country’s youth forward


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