The MPULE Foundation was established in July 1999 to address theHIV/AIDS crisis in Botswana. The historic founding board of theFoundation included Linah Mohohlo, Governor of the Bank of Bot-swana, Joy Phumaphi, Minister of Health, Dr. Ric Marlink of the Har-vard AIDS Institute and other thought leaders in Botswana.Mpule traveled extensively across Botswana, addressing tens of thou-sands of people. Her first address was to a gathering of 35,000 peopleat the national stadium in Gaborone on 1st July 1999 including HisExcellency Festus Mogae, then President of the Republic of Bot-swana, and members of his cabinet.Right: Mpule with Sir Ketumile Masire, former President of theRepublic of Botswana at a dinner held in her honor at the GrandPalm Hotel in GaboroneNelson Mandela launches the MPULE FoundationThe Foundation was officially launched at a glittery dinner gala heldat Ditshupo Hall in Gaborone in November 2000. Nelson Mandelaserved as the guest of honor and key note speaker. He was accompa-nied by his wife, international human rights activist and former Minis-ter of Education of Mozambique, Graca Machel. Other guests ofhonor included Former President of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masireand his wife, Lady Gladys Masire, Mikko Kuustonen, United NationsGoodwill Ambassador for Finland and Goedele Likens, United Na-tions Goodwill Ambassador for Belgium.Right: Mpule welcoming Nelson Mandela, former President of theRepublic of South Africa, to Botswana at Sir Seretse Khama In-ternational Airport. Left: Mpule play- ing koi, skipping rope, with youth after addressing them on positive behavioral change and the conse- quences of HIV/ AIDS at the Bot- swana National Youth Council headquarters in Gaborone. TheMPULE foundation created innovative approaches to engaging youthon HIV/AIDS, ensuring that safe spaces were provided for youth toexpress their questions and concerns, and receive relevant informationand services in return.Right: Mpule speaking with Joy Phumaphi, Minister of Health(Botswana), Graca Machel, human right’s activist and formerMinister of Education (Mozambique) and Lady Gladys Masire,former First Lady of the Republic of Botswana
The MPULE Foundation was launched under the theme “Keep HopeAlive.” in Gaborone, Botswana. The slogan recognized the urgency ofaddressing the HIV/AIDS crisis in Botswana. In 1999, Botswana hadthe highest HIV infection rate per capita in the world, with 1 in every4 people aged 15-44 testing HIV positive.Mpule adopted HIV/AIDS as her platform, and launched a historiccampaign in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Bot-swana, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the African YouthAlliance Botswana Project, the Botswana National Youth Council,Youth Health Organization (YOHO), and Botswana Council ofChurches among many.Top right: Mpule launching the campaign at a kgotla gathering inKang. Standing next to Mpule is the Reverend Mpho Moruak-gomo. The campaign started in Gaborone and took Mpule around an ex- tensive tour of Bot- swana that covered dozens of towns, vil- lages and remote set- tlements including Mochudi, Mahalapye, Serowe, Selibe Phikwe, Francistown, Mathangwane, Maun, Ghanzi, Tsabong and Kang.Middle right: Mpule arriving at the kgotla in Mathangwane ledby traditional dancers. Mpule visited many people living with HIV/AIDS, including prominent AIDS activ- ist Elizabeth Kganu in Selibe Phikwe. Mpule was accompanied on the visit by Mikko Kuustonen, UN Good- will Ambassador for Finland, and Goedele Likens, UN Goodwill Ambassador for Bel- gium. Elizabeth lost her fight with HIV/ AIDS shortly after thevisit.Bottom right: In the mining town of Jwaneng at the Mpule Kwe-lagobe Children’s Center. The Center was established by DEB-SWANA and the Government of Botswana.
Government of the Republic of BotswanaPartnerships are critical to the MPULE Foundation’s work. Oursupport from the Government of Botswana has given Mpule un-precedented access to reach and address hundreds of thousands ofelders, women, youth and other Batswana in kgotlas (traditionalmeetings called and presided by the chiefs), schools, hospitalsand other community gatherings, even in the most remote parts ofBotswana.Top right: Mpule with boys in a remote village in the MoremiUnited NationsMpule was appointed as the United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) Goodwill Ambassador for Southern Africa in February2000. In this capacity, she has addressed the World Summit onSustainable Development (Johannesburg, South Africa), theUnited Nations Least Developed Countries (LDC) Conference(Brussels, Belgium), the United Nations General Assembly (NewYork), members of the United States Congress (Washington DC),the United Nations World Youth Summit (Dakar Senegal), UN-FPA Goodwill Ambassador’s Meeting (Geneva, Switzerland),moderated an AIDS panel during the Congressional Black Caucusand lobbied European donor governments to increase funding forUN programs.Right: Mpule’s appointment as a United Nations GoodwillAmbassador at the United Nations headquarters in New YorkCity.Harvard AIDS Institute In 1999, Mpule became the first Miss Universe to work with the Harvard AIDS Institute. Based in New York, Mpule also supported and partnered with the Magic Johnson Foundation, amFar AIDS Research, God’s Love We Deliver, Determined Involved Supermodels Helping to End Suffer- ing (DISHES) and Hale House among others. Mpule served as a spokesperson for Bristol Myers Squibb’s Secure the Future AIDS Foundation. Left: Mpule attends an amFar gala in New York City.Bottom right: Mpule speaking at Harvard University at theinvitation of the Harvard AIDS Institute. Dr. Ric Marlink lis-tening to Mpule speak.
Human Health Rights ActivistIn 2001, Mpule was recognized for her fight against HIV/AIDS by theInternational Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) whichawarded her the Jonathan Mann Human Health Rights award. She washonored alongside Former US President Bill Clinton and the principaladministrator of the European Commission HIV programmeTop right: Mpule with Lieve Fransen, principal administrator ofthe European Commission HIV/AIDS Programme after receivingtheir awards from IAPAC in Chicago.Botswana: Mpule (green dress) with His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana (second from right), His Honor the Vice President (extreme right), senior mem- bers of cabinet (including Ministers of Education; Sports, Youth & Culture; Presidential Affairs; Lands & Housing, and Science, Tech- nology & Infrastructure) in September 2011.Global Leader for TomorrowIn 2003, Mpule was selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT)by the World Economic Forum, joining nearly 500 individuals frombusiness, politics, public interest groups, the media, and the arts andthe sciences--including Bill Gates, former British Prime Minister TonyBlair, Michael Dell and Bono--who have been selected since the pro-gram’s inception in 1993.Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGL)In 2006, the World Economic Forum selected her as a Young GlobalLeader (YGL), joining a newly formed, unique, multistakeholder com-munity of the world’s most extraordinary leaders under 40 years whoare ready to dedicate their time and energy to jointly work towards abetter future.Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)The MPULE Institute is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, aforum established by former US President William J. Clinton to helporganizations accelerate implementation of their commitments intoaction.