SAFRICA-POLITICS-MANDELA-HOMAGEThe world has lost a savior this morning and even though I think everyone is sad about Mandela‘s passing, it helps, at least it helps me, to remember all the ways in which he transformed the world, especially for South Africans and their children.

Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation. – Nelson Mandela at the National Men’s March, 1997

He is known as “Tata” which means father to the children of South Africa, and he worked tirelessly to improve the lives of children the world over. CNN reminds us:

Mandela loved children, and he wanted all the world’s young people to have opportunities. In a 2000 interview with CNN’s Jim Clancy he said, “We want every child to have a first-class primary education, and we want the elimination of all preventable diseases in society so that we can say in theory and in practice that we regard our children as the jewels in our society.”

Of the more than 2 billion children in the world, 1 billion live in poverty. Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund is dedicated to improving the conditions and lives of children and youth. Other organizations dedicated to helping children are UNICEFFeed the Children and ChildFund International.

Donating your money or time to organizations dedicated to the welfare of children, locally or internationally, is a way to uphold the Mandela legacy. Sponsor a child. Groups like Save the Children and World Vision make it easy to do online. Advocate for young people. Donate goods. Toys for Tots makes it easy for you to find a drop-off location near you, and you can call the Salvation Army at 1-800-SA-TRUCK to schedule a pick-up of your donated goods.

For those of you interested in making a donation, you can visit any of the above links. The Schools For Africa initiative via UNICEF promotes education for all, with a special emphasis on girls, orphans, children living in extreme poverty and other vulnerable children. South African President Jacob Zuma has said: ”Our nation has lost its greatest son, Our people have lost a father.” I think that can be said for the entire world. Rest in peace dear Madiba.

(Image: getty)