In a note from the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation , the South Africa-based organization expressed its concern for former President Jimmy Carter, now battling an advanced stage of cancer. Archbishop Tutu is similarly struggling with cancer and has been in and out of the hospital.
Carter, who considered himself a friend of Africa, was chosen to be part of “The Elders,” an international group of elder statesmen, peace activists, and human rights advocates, brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007. The goal set by Mandela was for the Elders to use their “almost 1,000 years of collective experience” to work on solutions for seemingly insurmountable problems such as climate change, HIV/AIDS, and poverty, as well as to “use their political independence to help resolve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts.”
During the early onset of the AIDS crisis in South Africa, former President Carter said he nearly came to blows with ex-president Thabo Mbeki over his refusal to authorize antiretroviral treatment during the AIDS epidemic.
Countries visited by former president Carter included Sudan and South Sudan and Zimbabwe.
“President Carter’s faith has been an essential ingredient in sustaining his power and sense of wellbeing, even in times of crisis,” the foundation’s executive director wrote on their website. “Thank you for a lifetime of service to justice.”