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Activities and Programs

The Memory Programme

The Nelson Mandela Memory Programme undertakes the following activities:

Records and Documentation
Memory resources on the life and times of Mr Mandela are scattered geographically and across a range of legal and other jurisdictions. The objective of the Records and Documentation programmatic area is an integrated information resource on the life and times of the Founder. The Memory Programme will promote co-ordinated work on these resources and will convene them through both virtual and physical portals. It will locate, document, and curate scattered materials, linking layers of memory. In addition, it will promote the preservation and accessibility of memory resources, ensure integrated collections management at the Foundation, and, where appropriate, collect materials not already in archival custody.

Research and Analysis
Through thorough research and analysis, the Memory Programme will aim to ensure that memory resources are contextualised and reliable. The objective of the programmatic area Research and Analysis is to establish a unique research facility ensuring that all Nelson Mandela legacy endeavours are rooted in memory. This objective will be supported by three primary processes:

Verification of memory resources in dialogue with scholars and historical participants
Interrogation of texts, contexts and narratives
Provision of integrated research services

Dialogue Programme
The objective of the Dialogue Programme is to develop and sustain a dialogue platform promoting the Founder’s legacy. The Nelson Mandela Foundation aims to utilise the history, experience, values, vision and leadership of its Founder to provide a non-partisan platform for public discourse on important social issues, and in doing so contribute to policy decision-making. 

South Africa occupies a unique space in Africa and globally as an example of a country that emerged from the morass of deeply rooted racial, cultural and political divides, primarily because of timely dialogue between all its stakeholders. Yet the country continues to face a range of complex challenges. It is the Foundation’s view that the original spirit of inclusive and open dialogue that broke the political deadlock needs re-invigoration.

Therefore, the Nelson Mandela Foundation intends bringing about meaningful conversations among all relevant stakeholders. Drawing on the rich traditions of transformative dialogue, problem-solving and social renewal that made South Africa’s remarkable transition possible, we hope to facilitate greater understanding and awareness about the problems faced by people particularly in South Africa and Africa, and the possible solutions available to them.

External Relations
The Memory Programme will promote the use of resources by audiences across a spectrum from all over the world as well as within South Africa, and particularly to systemically disadvantaged communities. The Foundation will develop and implement an integrated range of instruments for reaching and impacting on both global and local audiences. This will be achieved through managing and promoting the organisational brand; overseeing and monitoring external communications; undertaking outreach programmes, including travelling exhibitions, books and comic series; promoting the work of the Foundation; and overseeing all user interfaces.

Founder’s Office
As long as Mr Mandela remains active, the Foundation is committed to providing him with full and integrated personal office and household services. Although Mr Mandela’s public engagements have decreased since his official retirement announcement in 2004, requests to Mr Mandela’s office remain at high volumes.


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