Five Foundations Commit $10 Million for Commemorative Grants to South Africa

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Joe Voeller (212) 573-5128
The Ford Foundation

The Ford, Kellogg and Mott foundations, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund today announced a commitment of a total of $10 million for a special fund for grants commemorating the tenth anniversary of South Africa’s democracy and its impact on the social and economic development of southern Africa. The fund will supplement the foundations’ current grant making in the country.

The commemorative grants will support efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and encourage public debate about the experiences and advances since South Africa’s first democratic elections ten years ago. The five foundations will identify projects for special funding to address the spread of HIV/AIDS, strengthen the role of NGOs in South Africa’s democracy, help close the economic gap between disadvantaged and more advantaged groups, and other initiatives to be defined.

“South Africa’s transition to a democratic society with a strong constitution and respect for civil and human rights represents a powerful example for the world,” said Susan V. Berresford, president of the Ford Foundation. “The special fund celebrates this achievement while also supporting efforts to address specific challenges going forward.”

“The Kellogg Foundation is delighted to partner with other foundations to acknowledge the maturing of democracy in South Africa and other countries in the region,” said William Richardson, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation.

The participating foundations have been making grants in southern Africa for decades. Their funding has supported projects to strengthen education, human rights, governance and civil society organizations and to promote cultural programs, economic opportunities, rural development and sound environmental policies.

"Carnegie Corporation has a long history of working in South Africa and currently is focused on strengthening higher education institutions,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. “At this ten-year juncture, it is most important that we bolster the impressive work of the country’s new leaders as they tackle perhaps the most difficult social and institutional issues to date.”

Mott Foundation president William S. White said: "We are pleased to have this opportunity to help celebrate ten years of democracy in South Africa. The country's historic achievements in the past decade have been remarkable. We recognize that challenges remain, and we are committed to helping address those in the years ahead."