ISSUED ON BEHALF OF MRS GRAÇA MACHEL
After six months of retreat, mourning the death of President Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela, Mrs Graça Machel will now return to her active role as a global advocate for women’s and children’s rights.
“In December 2013, Madiba passed on and South Africa lost its father of democracy and leader, and the world lost an internationally respected icon. I lost my best friend, beloved husband, and guide. I have been deeply touched and comforted by the affection shown towards my family and I since Madiba’s illness through to the present moment. I would like to thank our family, friends, and the people throughout the world who gave me love and support during these difficult times.
I was fortunate that in Madiba I found a soul mate and a fellow advocate for children and women’s rights. I am inspired by his rich legacy that promotes justice, compassion, and solidarity. Children were very dear to Madiba and his last wish was to build the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. This is my dream too and I wish it can be realised in my life time.
My other priority is to continue to advocate for an expanded space for women in Africa to access better opportunities in economic, political and social spheres. I will work with others to protect the rights of children, fight for an end to child marriage, ensure we continue to make progress on child survival and development, as well as promote the attainment of quality education for all children. As part of my democracy and good governance work across the African continent and internationally, I look forward to helping shape the new global development agenda.
I realise these are huge tasks that lie ahead in putting the lives of women and children at the centre of development and the heart of a thriving Africa I look forward to working with current and new partners in the achievement of these tasks.”
In her role as the Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and African Ambassador for A Promise Renewed at the third Partner’s Forum, Mrs Machel will welcome over 1000 international delegates on Monday, 30 June, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Partners’ Forum is co-hosted by the Government of South Africa and will focus on progress made in women’s, children’s and newborn’s health and the post 2015 development agenda.
While Mrs Machels has officially come out of mourning, she continues to grieve the passing of President Mandela and will issue no further statements or accept interviews with regards to her private and family life.
Graça Machel Trust
Tel: 27 11 325 0501
Mrs Machel plays an active role in the governance of the following organisations:
Zizile Institute for Child Development
Foundation for Community Development
Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital
Nelson Mandela Children Fund
Graça Machel Trust
Mandela Institute for Development Studies
New Faces New Voices
Africa Progress Panel
Millennium Development Goals Advocates
Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health
High Level Panel on Global Education