Switzerland 27 May: Geneva, WHO

Graça Machel: Mandela’s Work for Peace Lives On

They say, “Health is wealth”. They might as well also add, “Wealth has any lasting value only in times of peace.”

Nelson Mandela not only understood this fundamental truth that peace is the cornerstone of everything else that human beings value and thrive on in life, but also lived it and preached it. Peace, health, human rights and justice as well as social and economic well-being of all people, were his life’s work and his cherished and steadfast goal. Following Nelson Mandela’s passing in 2013 at the age of 95, peace has also now become his vibrant legacy, budding reality and a baton of flowering hope that he has passed on to his supporters and the rest of the world.

Mrs Graça Machel, Nelson Mandela’s wife, Board Chair of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, co-founder of The Elders, the group of independent leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela to work for peace, justice and human rights, is just such a lifelong supporter and trusted baton carrier. Mrs. Machel embodies the solidity of Mandela’s legacy and the youthfulness of his relentless efforts to sustain Mandela’s vision for peace for many generations into the future. With Mandela’s birth centenary fast approaching and the world’s ever unquenchable thirst for peace, Mandela’s lofty bequest to the world is only poised to blossom ever more beautifully with the passage of time.

It was imbued with these reflections that the Peace Run has benefited from this unparalleled opportunity to encounter Mrs. Machel following her exalted talk to the delegates of the World Health Assembly and the wider international community in Geneva, Switzerland (see above photo). Health and peace go hand in hand as humanity is charting its course towards a brighter future, with Mandela’s life serving as a beacon of hope for the world.

The Peace Run congratulates Mrs. Machel for her sincere efforts and high ideals. We wish Mrs. Machel much health, happiness and peace of her own as well as determination and strength as she continues to carry aloft Mandela's (and the world's) banner of peace and health for all.

Sri Chinmoy, the founder of the Peace Run, had supported wholeheartedly Nelson Mandela’s lifelong work and aspirations. They both met on several occasions between 1990 and 1999.

In the above photo from September 1998, Sri Chinmoy met President Mandela and his wife, Mrs. Graça Machel in New York. The three of them held aloft the Peace Torch from the worldwide Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run — a photo which has inspired countless young people to participate in the global relay run for peace.

Sri Chinmoy wrote a book about Nelson Mandela entitled: Nelson Mandela: The Pinnacle-Pillar of Mother Earth (1998). The book includes poems, songs and touching anecdotes about the life and inspiration of Nelson Mandela. A small selection of poems includes:

"President Mandela's very name builds a hope-cathedral in the heart of despair-flooded humanity."

"He is a magician supreme! He transforms our very long-standing bitterness into our abiding sweetness in the twinkling of an eye."

Also, following are just a few quotes on the subject of peace from Sri Chinmoy’s vast literary creation:

“When I think of peace, I immediately feel peace inside my heart.”

“Peace is not a new invention. Peace is a very, very old discovery.”

“How can I have peace? Not by talking about peace, but by walking along the road of peace.”

For more information about Sri Chinmoy’s friendship with Nelson Mandela, please visit the following link: https://www.srichinmoy.org/service/meetings/president-nelson-mandela