About the Centre of Memory
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory delivers the core-work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1999 to support its Founder’s ongoing engagement in worthy causes on his retirement as President of South Africa. The Foundation is registered as a trust, with its board of trustees comprising prominent South Africans selected by the Founder.
The Centre of Memory was inaugurated by Nelson Mandela on 21 September 2004, and endorsed as the core work of the Foundation in 2006. The Centre focuses on three areas of work: the Life and Time of Nelson Mandela, Dialogue for Social Justice and Nelson Mandela International Day. The Centre works closely with its sister organisations, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation. It co-ordinates its activities with those of other institutions that have a stake in its Founder’s legacy, including the 46664 Campaign, the Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, the Nelson Mandela Museum and the Robben Island Museum.
The Centre focuses on three areas of work:
The Life and Times of Nelson Mandela:
Memory resources documenting the life and times of Nelson Mandela are to be found in an extraordinary range of locations, both within South Africa and internationally. These resources are embedded in various legal and other jurisdictions. The Centre of Memory:
- Locates, documents and promotes the preservation of these scattered resources
- Collects and curates Mr Mandela’s personal archive
- Promotes public access to these resources
- Facilitates research by individuals and institutions
- Utilises an array of information-delivery platforms to make information available to global and local audiences
Dialogue for Justice:
Dialogue is fundamental to the legacy of Nelson Mandela and to South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy. Dialogue is at once a vital instrument for addressing critical social issues and the most effective vehicle for sharing memory, for growing it, and for engaging it in the promotion of justice. The Centre of Memory:
- Provides dialogical platforms for all its memory work
- Undertakes research and initiates advocacy on critical social issues impacting on its mandate
- Hosts or convenes dialogue processes
- Promotes coordination, resource-sharing and collaboration between memory institutions
- Disseminates the results and lessons learned from dialogue processes
Nelson Mandela International Day:
If the legacy of Nelson Mandela’s life and work is to be dynamic, it must be “owned” by current and future generations. It must be accessible to everyone, and applied in constantly changing contexts of time and place. The Mandela Day campaign was inaugurated as such a vehicle to achieve this. Its objective is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere. The campaign’s slogan is: “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.” Individuals and organisations are free to participate in Mandela Day as they wish. We do, however, urge them to find inspiration for their contribution in the legacy of Nelson Mandela and to adhere to the ethical framework of “service to one’s fellow human”.