You’ve heard of the IMF, the AU and the almost irrelevant EU, but you have probably not heard of the Elders. They are a group of independent global leaders who are working together to advance peace and human rights.
The idea for the group came out of a discussion between business mogul Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel who felt that as the world becomes more interdependent, it would benefit from the counsel of a group of elders from different parts of the world. These Elders would extend their wisdom and experience to strengthen communities around the world .
The Elders is made up of renowned figures like Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel, Desmond Tutu, Aung San Suu Kyi, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt to name a few. They are committed to ending child marriages and they have committed themselves to rebuilding efforts in post war Cote d’Ivoire. They also provide support to humanitarian and governance issues in North Sudan and South Sudan. It has been nearly five years since the Elders was formed. The initial group of 5 has grown to 11 and they show no sign of slowing down.