Mandela Wani Michael

The Director of Alfalit South Sudan since 2015, Mandela Wani Michael also serves as the “caretaker” for Alfalit’s programs in Ugandan refugee camps where many South Sudanese fled during a civil war and remain still. Mandela recognizes the alarmingly high rate of illiteracy in his country and is committed to Alfalit’s mission. Thanks to his efforts, Alfalit is a recognized model for advancing literacy in the former Yei River State.

A child soldier at the age of twelve, Mandela knows firsthand how traumatizing extreme brutality, killings, and constant gunfire are for youth. His goal is to provide a safer environment so that children can experience life simply and fully. Alfalit’s education programs, he notes, provide the skills and training necessary to find viable, peaceful alternatives for seemingly unsolvable issues. Mandela credits Alfalit International with offering him the support and guidance that enables him to be the change agent that is desperately needed.

South Sudanese by birth, he and his wife Sunday Stella have two children and care for eight abandoned nieces and nephews. They also are raising four non-related orphans whose parents died from causes related to HIV/AIDS. Mandela attained a bachelor’s degree in general management from Christian-based Ndejje University (Uganda). He is trained in trauma-informed approaches, leadership and governance, human rights, gender equity, demobilization of small arms use, and much more. A former Director-General in the State Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, he was also the previous Deputy Director for the Community Action Water Program and a consultant for a Danish NGO focused on building democracy and accountability. Fluent in English, his first language is tribal Bari; he also speaks Kiswahili, Arabic, and Lingala. The Alfalit team values Mandela’s truly compassionate heart and is motivated by his zealousness to address the burdens of South Sudan.