Blog Post

Donald Woods Foundation celebrates Steve Biko’s life

12 September 2014

12 September 2014 marks the 37th anniversary of Steve Biko’s death. The Donald Woods Foundation joins millions of South Africans in commemorating this important date in our country’s history, and in celebrating Biko’s life and his legacy.

We also add our support to the many Biko Month events which are taking place throughout September to remind South Africans of Biko’s sacrifice, and his incalculable contribution towards forging a democratic South Africa.

Donald Woods fought tirelessly to expose the truth behind Biko’s death in detention in 1977. This same determination lives on in the Foundation that bears his name, as we continue to work alongside our regional, national and international partners to bring about social and economic upliftment in some of the poorest areas of the Eastern Cape. Shortly before his death, Biko wrote: “In time, we shall be in a position to bestow on South Africa the greatest possible gift – a more human face.”

The Foundation’s groundbreaking Health in Every Hut programme, made possible by Eli Lilly, and the important supporting role we play in the province’s fight against drug-resistant TB, form an important part of this effort to humanise the most marginalised communities.

As we observe Steve Biko’s death and commemorate his life, it is important to reflect on the post-apartheid society Biko and like-minded South Africans, Donald Woods among them, had envisaged.

It is a society in which every household, irrespective of income or social status, should have access to basic healthcare, and we will continue to work closely with the Department of Health and our international donors to assist in bringing this about.

Through our other community programmes, in the Mbashe region in the former Transkei and in East London and King William’s Town, we are committed to stimulating economic development and the upskilling of those who work with us.

The essence of these and other DWF programmes is, and will remain, putting the most forgotten people of our country first. In so doing, we are creating a better, healthier and more humane South Africa, which is the most fitting way to honour Steve Biko’s life, and his sacrifice.

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