Tribute to Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013

World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and WFD Youth Section (WFDYS)

My name is Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, WFD Vice President from South Africa.

My name is Braam Jordaan, WFDYS Board Member from South Africa.

On 5 December 2013, we lost a hero who fought for the rights of all people around the world, and touched millions in the process. We will miss him but will not forget his incredible work.


Why is Nelson Mandela so important part of the WFD / WFDYS history?

1960 – 1990 International sanctions were imposed against South Africa during the Apartheid.

In 1990 Nelson Mandela made first appearance at the United Nations in New York and soon started lifting the international economic sanctions against South Africa thereafter.


What does lifting economic sanctions mean to both Deaf community in South Africa and the WFD/WFDYS?

1995: Thanks to Nelson Mandela for making it possible for Deaf Federation of South Africa to become WFD Ordinary Member (OM).

2007: Thank you very much for making it possible for South Africa to become one of early signatories of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

2011: Thanks to Nelson Mandela for making it possible for DeafSA to host the XIVth World Congress of World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) on African soil for first time.

Thank you very much for making it possible for the WFD Honorary member Kobus Kellerman, the WFD Vice President Dr. Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen and the WFDYS Board Member Braam Jordaan, all South Africans, to advocate for Human Rights of Deaf people on international level.

Mandela leaves legacy of equality, democracy and education. It is incredible important that the
WFD/WFDYS and Deaf Communities around the world take his passing not as an end of an age, but as a renewed determination to carry on his work every day.


The WFD salutes you!

The WFDYS salutes you!

“But brave people never allow themselves to be influenced by the fact that they have disabilities.”
Nelson Mandela, 2006