Yesterday in South Africa, President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton visited the Ramotse Clinic, which is in a semi-rural village on the outskirts of Hammanskraal. The clinic works with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to provide health services to the community and serves between 2,000 and 2,500 patients per month. While at the clinic, President Clinton and Chelsea met with children who spoke about the impact of HIV/AIDS on their community and performed a dance for the delegation. South Africa has the highest number of people with HIV and AIDS in the world, with more than 5 million people infected with HIV – which includes nearly 23 percent of all young adults. Since April 2010, CHAI has been working with the South African government to provide more people with treatment. Today, 2.1 million people are on treatment, up from 700,000 people in 2009. In the last year alone, 600,000 people began HIV/AIDS treatment, and CHAI now has nearly 50 employees working in Pretoria to increase access to treatment.
Following the tour of the clinic, the President Clinton and Chelsea co-hosted a live conversation from Pretoria with Professor Njabulo Ndebele, Chairman of Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. The conversation, “Embrace Tomorrow: A Conversation with the Clinton Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory” was livestreamed on Facebook, and featured six change makers who have made an impact and epitomize “embracing tomorrow.” The change makers included Hadeel Ibrahim, Founding Executive Director, Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Strive Masiyiwa, Founder and Chairman, Econet Wireless; Dr. James Mwangi, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Equity Bank; Zethu Ngceza, External Relations Coordinator, Ubuntu Education Fund; Kave Bulambo, Director and Founder, Women Across Borders; and Shaka Sisulu, Founder of Cheesekids. The panel participated in an open discussion on the future, taking questions from the audience and from Twitter, Facebook, and livestream viewers. Highlights included a question from a South African high school student, who asked for the panelists’ advice on how he could make an impact, and a question from an 11-year-old girl who has already started her own non-profit work.
The conversation also celebrated how Nelson Mandela’s principles established and continue to guide change both locally and globally. In his closing remarks, President Clinton reflected on many lessons that he learned from Nelson Mandela, one of the most important being that no one’s future should be dictated by their past.