Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation

Welcomes you

Founded in 2013, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation represents one of the world’s most iconic leaders, and his life-long partner. The Foundation strives to ensure their uncompromised bravery is celebrated, communicated and curated for posterity.

The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.


The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation (DLTLF) is the official programmes and legacy organisation of one of the world’s most iconic leaders and his lifelong partner.

Founded in 2013, the Tutu Legacy Foundation strives to preserve the legacy of the Tutus while taking their example into the future by growing and facilitating powerful and courageous voices of uncompromising bravery in the world.

Guided by the values of its founders, the Tutu Legacy Foundation aims to deepen societal healing from the wounds of discrimination, prejudice, inequality, and conflict. We aim to achieve this by championing a new wave of hope driven by the courage, capacity, and compassion to confront injustices at a societal level.

Our work of deepening societal healing is realised through our three key programmatic pillars:

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

A Look Into The History

1931 – 1943

Hope is born

Born on in Klerksdorp on 07 October 1931 to Zacahriah Tutu and Aletta Mathlare, the Arch is one of 4 children.

1945 – 1953

Friendship, Setbacks and a Change for Good

Having fallen ill with Turberculosis, Tutu struck up a longstanding friendship with Father Trevor Huddleston. It was during these years when the decision to join the priesthood was made and changed the course of Tutu’s life.

1954 – 1957

The Future Takes Shape

With a teaching degree in hand and the Bantu Education Act as a backdrop to the political and social climate of every Black South African, Tutu took a stand in protest due to promoted inequality and pursued more active means to support the cause.

1966 – 1974

Opportunity Awaits

From lecturer to Anglican Chaplain to Dean, Tutu made every effort to use his platform to challenge and champion the struggles of the victims of Apartheid.

1983 – 1992

Adding a Voice to Change

From Nobel Peace Prize to Bishop of Cape Town to Chancellor of the University of Western Cape, Tutu did not falter in advocating for he knew to be right, to be fair and to be just along with his wife, Mrs Leah Tutu who stood up for the improved working environment for domestic workers.

2013 – 2020

A Resounding Amen

Steadfast in his beliefs and the Arch did not shy away from advocating for equality and reconciliation in the name of the Rainbow Nation.


Our Advocacy initiatives enable in-depth exploration of critical issues that demand societal healing. We advocate for human solidarity programmes on strategic issues at both local and global levels and raise awareness of issues that threaten human well-being. Key focus areas include racial justice, societal violence, and environmental justice. Each year, we host the International Desmond Tutu Peace Lecture, which serves as a global platform for critical discourse and dialogue.

Leading from Humanity

Leading from Humanity (LfH) aims to cultivate a powerful network of young leaders for humanity. This includes an intensive residential leadership programme that works with diverse groups to enhance their leadership skills, as well as the A Million Ripples  online programme that uses archival footage of Archbishop Desmond Tutu to grow a movement dedicated to leading for humanity.

Learning from Legacy  

Learning from Legacy shares stories and histories that encourage bold action and works to grow awareness of the Tutus’ legacy. This includes the Truth to Power exhibition, research capacities to deepen engagement with their life and legacy, and co-curricular learning materials for school learners. Additionally, the Foundation will introduce the Tutu Tots programme for young children to engage with the legacy work.

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