Former South African and Mozambican first lady Graça Machel Mandela attends ceremony to accept check.
The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) presented a check for $122,500 to representatives from the African Leadership Academy at a Sept. 29 ceremony in New York City.
The African Leadership Academy, a two-year program designed to prepare students for college, is located in Johannesburg.
On hand to accept the grant were African Leadership Academy cofounders Fred Swaniker and Chris Bradford as well as Graça Machel Mandela, the former first lady of both Mozambique (she was married to Mozambican president Samora Machel from 1975 until his death in 1986) and South Africa (she was married to South African president Nelson Mandela from 1998 until his death in 2013). A humanitarian and leader in her own right, she is currently the board chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, a project of the World Health Organization.
“These bright young students are a shining example of Africa’s future,” said DEF president Phyllis Bergman. “DEF is proud to support these emerging leaders who represent our Diamonds Do Good mission of supporting transformative initiatives in global diamond communities.”
From left: Chris Bradford, Phyllis Bergman, Graça Machel Mandela, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Nicola, Breytenbach Steiner, Nancy Orem Lyman, Fred Swaniker