Nelson Mandela Day: 67 Minutes of Change

Nelson Mandela: Civil Servant, Activist, Political Prisoner, President. Mandela’s living legacy is an inspiring and unique story, one of devotion to positive social change and justice for others. Many of us recognize Nelson Mandela as the man who became president of South Africa after spending 27 years in prison, but his incarceration has little to do with his impact on the world. In 1993 Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his key role in ending the apartheid regime peacefully and safely.

He was relentless in his mission to end apartheid in South Africa, and even after that goal was accomplished, he remained dedicated to helping others in need. As president he enacted a number of progressive social reforms, including the introduction free healthcare to children, and the launch of the successful Reconstruction and Development Programme that built over 1 million houses for those living in poverty-stricken slums, called townships.

After his political retirement, Mandela has continued to act as a voice for inspired change and the common good. His commitment to changing the world for the better has lasted almost 7 decades, 67 years! In commemoration of his achievements and dedication, the United Nations has endorsed “Nelson Mandela International Day” on July 18th, his birthday.

Today, people around the world are asked to use at least 67 minutes of their own time, in honor of Mandela’s 67 years of activism, in service of their communities.

Here at Spence-Chapin, we’re deeply inspired by Nelson Mandela’s leadership and legacy, because we’re always striving to do the best work possible to help those in need. Currently, our International Adoption Staff is in South Africa learning from our partner at Johannesburg Child Welfare, visiting our Grannies, and sharing information to create a new adoption program in the country that will help many of the 1.5 million orphans in South Africa.

We know that if everyone tries, we can make this world a stronger, better, and happier place. What will you do with your 67 minutes?

Spence-Chapin Awarded Adoption Authorization in South Africa

South Africa adoption
Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children
is very proud to announce that we have been chosen by South African Ministry of Social Development’s Central Authority (SACA) to contract with South African agencies to process Hague Adoption Convention adoptions from South Africa to the United States.

South Africa adoption
Spence-Chapin has been working in partnership with Johannesburg Child Welfare Society (JCW), to establish and support the children in orphanages with our Granny Program.

South Africa adoption

Currently, three of our colleagues are in South Africa further refining processes with our partnering agency there. Please continue to monitor as we update our International Adoption page with application information for adoptions from South Africa.


UPDATE Oct.25, 2012: We are now accepting applications for adoption from South Africa. Visit us online to learn more.

South Africa Granny Program

This spring Spence-Chapin proudly started our first Granny Program in Africa with the Othendweni Family Care Center, an orphanage in Soweto, South Africa that is home to 90 children—30 of whom range in age from just a few days old to four years. Othandweni is operated by Johannesburg Child Welfare Society (JCW), one of the oldest, largest and most respected organizations of its kind in the country.   In September JCW and Othandweni held a dedication event to introduce the program to the local Soweto community, which was attended by many community members and local media.

South Africa Granny Program

Every week, Monday through Friday, 20 children spend quality one-on-one time with their grannies.  JCW staff reports that they immediately began to see changes in the participating children, who now look for their grannies every day!

The introduction of a granny to a young child is literally life-changing; it gives that child the opportunity to live a healthy, confident and well-adjusted life. Orphanages are struggling to provide for the most basic needs of the children in their care and are asking for programs like this one to help them improve the lives of these little ones.

Our Granny Program is an outstanding humanitarian aid initiative that gives institutionalized children the opportunity to form important healthy attachments with a trusted adult. Due to our effective partnership and JCW’s strong oversight, 20 children are reaping the emotional and developmental benefits of having a granny.